Value of the CBD cannot be overlooked as we learn to live with the virus

The Property Council of Australia has today reminded policymakers of the critical role our CBDs play as we learn to live with the virus.

NSW Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said decisions to extend restrictions should not be taken lightly by governments. Extended mask wearing requirements in indoor settings is a direct detractor from a return to office and as a result, economic recovery.

“There is no doubt the decision to extend the mandatory mask-wearing in offices will have a material impact on CBD activity including the foot-traffic much needed by small business,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“These measures are not without direct cost to the economy and people’s livelihoods.

“It is critical the role of our CBDs as economic engines and as great places to live, work and play is not overlooked, otherwise the recovery is put at risk. Pre-COVID Sydney generated over 7% of Australia’s economy providing over half a million diverse jobs and supporting diverse communities.”

Extended restrictions that act as a detractor from people returning to our CBDs put the economy and jobs further at risk.

“Ultimately learning to live with the virus requires a re-embracing of our CBDs – from Sydney and Parramatta to Liverpool, Newcastle and Wollongong – as key elements of our social fabric and the generators of thousands of jobs.”

Mr Achterstraat noted it had been two years two years since the first case of COVID was detected in Australia and warned against polices that enable shadow lockdowns to be felt.

“Our high vaccination rates provide a safety runway for a strong return to office which will rejuvenate our CBDs, along with further sensible easing of restrictions.”

Media contact: Luke Achterstraat | 0417 194 935 | [email protected]