Leadership, unity, and a vision for Melbourne: the 2024 election

Leadership, unity, and a vision for Melbourne: the 2024 election

The City of Melbourne stands at a pivotal moment as we approach the 2024 local government elections.

Our city faces significant challenges and opportunities that require immediate attention and decisive action. It’s time for leadership that embodies discipline, unity, and a forward-thinking vision.

At the 2020 City of Melbourne election, only 67 per cent of eligible voters in the municipality cast their ballots. This low turnout reflects a troubling disconnect between the electorate and the political process, a gap we can no longer afford.

The business community needs to step up and ensure that the City of Melbourne is composed of representatives who deeply understand the needs and aspirations of our capital city from a commercial and social viewpoint.

Our iconic Central Business District is under threat. The CBRE CBD Return to Office Indicator reveals a stark reality: Melbourne’s office occupancy stands at 62 per cent, significantly lagging behind Sydney at 77 per cent, Adelaide at 88 per cent, and Perth at 93 per cent.

This is a clear signal that our businesses are struggling, and that the vibrancy of our CBD is fading. The heart of Melbourne is beating slower, and it needs vision, action, and unity to get us back on track.

One radical yet necessary idea is for the Victorian Government to consider shrinking the size of the City of Melbourne.

Allocating areas like Port Melbourne, Fishermans Bend, Kensington, and Flemington to neighbouring councils could allow the City of Melbourne to focus more exclusively on the CBD and immediate surrounds.


This would enable more targeted and effective governance, free from the distractions of managing areas outside the City of Melbourne’s core expertise of the CBD.


Our business community must stand up and be counted in the 2024 election. We need a council that understands our city, has a vision for our CBD, comprehends the dynamics of business, and has a proven track record of driving results. The future of Melbourne as a financial services hub, a vibrant place to work, and a city that cares for its people will be determined at this election.

Ten years from now, we should look back with pride on a city that has realised its full potential. A Melbourne that is not only a financial powerhouse but also a place where people can live, work, and thrive in an environment of care and opportunity. Achieving this vision requires commitment and active participation, especially from those who operate businesses, large or small.

It is time for leadership, unity, and a shared vision for the Melbourne we all love and are proud to call our capital. It’s time for businesses in the City of Melbourne to roll up their sleeves and elect a team that will work for our city, not themselves.



Marcus Pearl is a Melbourne-based CEO, and is a current councillor, and former Mayor, of the City of Port Phillip. •

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