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Revitalising Docklands after the pandemic

By Ellen Sandell - State Member for Melbourne

Melbourne is such a unique and special place, and I love raising my family here. But as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic it’s so important to remember what makes Melbourne so special and to support the local small businesses that make Melbourne great.

For me, what makes Melbourne great is our vibrant arts, cultural and hospitality scene. From the bustling city streets with laneway cafes to the established institutions like local independent bookshops or family restaurants that have been a cornerstone of the community for decades.

While Docklands has been the beating heart of Melbourne’s industry for hundreds of years, the next page of its history is relatively new and has been defined by waterside hospitality, arts festivals and a growing community of locals who live, work and learn at the edge of our central city. But with the exodus of office workers from the city, Docklands has been one of the places hardest hit by lockdown restrictions.

That’s why this week I ventured out to cut the ribbon to re-open the Melbourne Bay Restaurant, an amazing local place on Harbour Esplanade.

This place serves up authentic Chinese dumplings and noodles, handmade on site from a generations-old family recipe. Next door the cafe serves coffee, hot chocolate and chai all sourced from local Melbourne producers.

It’s small businesses like these that collectively weave the fabric of our community together and tell the stories of our shared history.

It was devastating to see that booked-out restaurants and busy retailers during Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year in Melbourne were so affected by the most recent snap lockdown. I was proud to call for more support for casual workers and small businesses affected by this lockdown. But as things go back to COVID-normal, we need to look out for our local small businesses that make Melbourne great.

So, if you can, get out and support your local businesses, especially in the CBD and Docklands.

And if you’re a local business who needs support or a shout-out, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email ([email protected]) or calling us on 9328 4637 •

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