The Property Council has welcomed the State Government’s announcement that fully vaccinated workers can return to the office and retail can open when Victoria reaches 80 per cent double dose vaccination.

Property Council Victorian Executive Director Danni Hunter said the Government’s decision to remove all restrictions and the requirement to wear masks indoors from 90 per cent full vaccination will further supercharge the return to office.

Ms Hunter said: “The Property Council has been advocating strongly for a full return to office, without restrictions or masks. We know this is critical for employees and employers and for the revitalisation of Melbourne’s CBD and we are excited that Victorians will return to the city in the coming weeks as they are the lifeblood of Melbourne.

“Our offices and retail centres are ready to welcome fully vaccinated Victorians back to the workplaces and spaces they love. Melbourne’s central city economy supports 500,000 jobs and produces about 7% of Australia’s GDP and 25% of Victoria’s GSP at peak. According to the Property Council’s office occupancy survey for September Melbourne is currently at just six per cent of its pre-COVID office occupancy levels and at no stage has the city’s office occupancy levels reached 50 per cent of pre-COVID levels since the pandemic began.

“We now call on the State Government to take a leadership role and mandate a return to office for public sector workers who have not returned to office since the pandemic started. With mask rules indoors and caps and density limits lifted, there is no reason why we can’t see private and public sector workers back in the office. We want to see the State Government shift its focus to revitalising our central city economy and partner with business and the City of Melbourne to turn Melbourne from a ghost town into the world’s most liveable city once again.

“The CBD needs our attention and our love. It’s time to rediscover our relationship with our incredible city; the places we work, the colleagues we haven’t seen in person for months, the restaurants and bars we enjoy, and the vibe we’ve missed throughout extended and repeated lockdowns.

“The Property Council is working in partnership with the State Government and City of Melbourne to reactivate the city, and our members are leading the charge with exciting activities and preparations already underway to welcome back workers and visitors.”

Media contact: Eric Allilomou M: 0448 291 236 E: [email protected]