Up And About: Revitalisation Push Backs City and State Recovery

The Andrews Labor Government is backing Victoria’s jobs recovery with a new investment of more than $260 million to rejuvenate Melbourne’s much-loved CBD and attract visitors to the state from across the nation.

Acting Premier James Merlino and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula confirmed on the weekend that the upcoming Victorian Budget 2021/22 would contain a $107.4 million injection to continue the boom in outdoor dining in the heart of Melbourne, attract events to bring visitors from near and far, and bolster city businesses.

As an inner-suburban electorate, this is great news for Hawthorn as well, as it drives people towards the city, reacquainting them with Melbourne and surrounding areas, ensuring they fall back in love with our city after some time away.

It also provides Hawthorn constituents the opportunity to benefit from the scheme and head even further inwards.

Following the success of the Melbourne Travel Voucher Scheme, an allocation of $7.4 million will provide for a new voucher scheme to entice Melburnians and visitors to support city cafes and restaurants. The City of Melbourne will provide a further $1 million for the scheme.

Rebates of 20 per cent – from a minimum of $10 returned to a maximum rebate of $100 – will be available for spending on dining with the City of Melbourne to open the CBD Dining Experiences Scheme in coming weeks.

The Fund will finance CBD arts and cultural events and support CBD small businesses to recover and thrive as more Victorians return to the city to work, watch sports and enjoy our world-class cafes and restaurants.

The Government and the City of Melbourne created the original $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund, which provided 1,200 grants of up to $10,000 to businesses to convert spaces for COVIDSafe dining, supported cultural events like Melbourne Fashion Week and Melbourne Music Week and financed streetscape works such as widening footpaths and installing planter boxes.

Attracting tourism dollars from interstate will benefit all parts of Victoria, which is why the Budget will provide $55 million to Visit Victoria for crucial campaigns to draw visitors to Melbourne and our diverse regions, supporting jobs and local businesses.