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Half of the Sydney workforce are now back in their CBD offices

The Property Council of Australia’s latest office occupancy survey shows workers are slowly returning to the city, with the latest monthly update on Sydney’s office occupancy increasing by two points to 50 per cent in March.

Central Australia and the west coast lead the nation with occupancy ranging from 71% (Adelaide and Perth) through to 80 and 84% in Hobart and Darwin respectively. The east coast still has a way to go, however Melbourne saw a 11 point increase to 35% in the past month, showing encouraging signs.

Reactivation of the CBDs and providing cities and workplaces that employees want to return to are key elements in policy and program design for industry and governments alike. The Property Council is working with local, state and federal government across the country to help inspire thinking and shape our cities.

The Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald says the NSW Government, in partnership with the City of Sydney, has commendably undertaken a wide range of CBD activation projects across the city.

“Lots of great projects are happening at an employer, landlord, city and state level to encourage people back to the city. There is still however a lot of work to do to reach a pre-pandemic level of city activity, shaped in a post-pandemic outcome,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

“Sydney CBD is the beating heart of our state and is Australia’s global city. We need people to come together to embrace the city for all that it offers, a chance our international friends could only dream about in their current lockdowns.

Sydney’s CBD represented seven per cent of Australia’s economy and generated around $130 billion in economic activity in 2018-19[1], and hosts 14.5% of the entire workforce of NSW[2].

The Property Council welcomes the work being undertaken by the NSW Treasury to bring their workforce back to the CBD at least three days a week, and looks forward to other state departments making the same commitment.

“The NSW Premier and Treasurer continue to show great leadership throughout the handling of this pandemic and the ensuing rebuild. The prosperity of the city is of critical importance and continued investment in vibrancy, in partnership with CBD stakeholders must continue.”



Figures are based on responses from Property Council members who own or manage CBD office buildings and cover occupancy for the period from 23 to 29 March 2021.

Media contact:Lauren Conceicao | M 0499 774 356 | E lconceicao@propertycouncil.com.au