New campaign to lure residents to Docklands

New campaign to lure residents to Docklands
Jack Hayes

In 1978, architectural commentator Norman Day described Melbourne as “an empty useless city centre.”

Fast-forward 14 years with Melbourne battered by the “recession we had to have”, the then Kennett state government and City of Melbourne drafted a piece of planning policy that would eventually transform the city into one of the world’s most liveable.

“Postcode 3000” encouraged residential development in the CBD aiming to bring the total number of city units from (then) just 600, to 8000 over the following 15 years.

The fruits of these efforts eventually spilled into neighbouring suburbs of Carlton, Southbank and eventually, Docklands.

Another three decades on and the City of Melbourne has dusted off the trusted playbook with a new campaign aimed at luring new residents into the city yet again.

​This is Your Local aims to showcase everything quintessentially Melbourne from our buzzing cultural scene, eclectic nightlife, harbour views, greenspaces and convenient amenities – all with the goal of encouraging new residents to make Melbourne “their local”.  

The campaign will promote a host of incentives for new home buyers including a full stamp duty discount of new residential properties valued up to $1 million within the City of Melbourne. 

A 100 per cent stamp duty exemption is available for new residential properties that have been on the market for more than 12 months.

Additionally, first home buyer’s purchasing an off-the-plan property will qualify for a duty concession if the home is valued at up to $1 million until June 30, 2022.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said with stamp duty savings in the tens-of-thousands, there had genuinely never been a better time to purchase a property in the city.

“Melbourne has a cultural heart like no other. It’s a wonderful place to live with everything you need within a 20-minute stroll from your home,” the Lord Mayor said.       

“When you live in the city, everything is at your doorstep. Your local shops are the Queen Victorian Market, your local park is the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the MCG is your local footy ground.”  

The campaign, which will be featured across varying forms of print, digital and social media, will see a partnership with REA Group and Domain to create an online hub with articles outlining the lifestyle and financial benefits of city living, as well as property listings eligible for Victorian Government stamp duty concessions. 

With border closures and restrictions putting considerable pressure on the city’s property market, the council is looking to stem the bleeding and open the floodgates for new generations of Docklands residents.

“The median price of units in Melbourne has fallen 7.5 per cent in the past year, while the average time properties are on the market has jumped by 24 per cent compared to pre-COVID levels across the CBD, Docklands and Southbank,” the Lord Mayor said.        

The campaign will also be targeted at next home buyers and investors looking to purchase in the next six months.    
As part of This is Your Local, Melbourne’s liveability will be promoted to renters who want to make the most of the city’s universities, events, public transport and shopping. 

The council’s Creative Melbourne portfolio lead and Docklands local Cr Jamal Hakim said the campaign emphasised what Melbourne did best, and that it would help drive an increase in buyers and renters flocking to the city. 

“My ‘local’ is the stunning Docklands precinct, where I enjoy making the most of the beautiful waterfront location, the iconic city views, and the shops that are just a stone’s throw away from my home,” Cr Hakim said.

“I can’t wait to welcome an influx of vibrant new community members looking to make Melbourne ‘their local’.”

A spokesperson from the Docklands Representative Group (DRG) told Docklands News the campaign recognised the crucial role residents played in the municipality’s post-COVID recovery.

“It’s a smart strategy to focus on the contribution of residents in the recovery – as it has been residents that sustained the City of Melbourne during COVID-19 – so acknowledging the importance of the resident-role is great,” they said.  


Informal reports are that many sales have been to owner-occupiers, rather than investors, so, having more people committed to Docklands is a great thing.


The DRG has three areas of focus where it would like to see community infrastructure improvements for prospective residents.

First, an increase in co-working spaces and facilities for community groups, sustainability services like repair café and tool libraries, and a safe cohesion between pedestrian and bike/scooter interfaces.

“The Library at the Dock is good for room hire but groups can’t leave resources there and dedicated spaces are great for fostering cross-group interactions,” the group said.  

“Sustainability services not only help reduce rubbish, but can be great at creating community connections and providing spaces for education and local skills development, and finally, being able to safely enjoy our spaces must be a priority.” •

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