We’re in very strange times

We’re in very strange times
Shane Wylie

The world has changed and nowhere is it clearer than in Docklands. It can’t be highlighted any more than the disparity between our hotels and our hospitality industry.

As I sit here writing this there’s barely a single room left in all of Docklands for the next week. Yes, there’s a confluence of the Grand Final and an unheard-of four-day long weekend, but our accommodation providers are finding themselves consistently at capacity.

Contrast that with our hospitality providers. Even our most successful and stable are taking days off each week to minimise costs.

People are loving to stay in Docklands, we have some of the best hotels in all of Melbourne, it’s an easy traverse into the city and, of course, it’s beautiful here. So why aren’t they spending in Docklands? I don’t have the answer.

I recently attended the Docklands Summit and there were some interesting ideas promoted. Clearly the highlight of everyone’s thoughts were that Central Pier and Harbour Esplanade are the key to Docklands.

On the note of the Docklands Summit – I personally had some queries about the representation there. Everyone is welcome to their opinions, and I saw a lot of well-known voices in attendance but what I didn’t see was the average Docklander.

Statistics from last year’s Census show that the average resident in Docklands is 32 years old of Indian or Chinese descent, a dual income household, paying rent. I can’t recall seeing one person who would be representative of that population and that reflects more than 70 per cent of Docklands residents.

I trust their thoughts were captured in the forum process. They are representative of the people moving to Docklands and calling it home and deserve a voice.

October looks like a huge month in Docklands. Following on from a packed school holidays with all accommodation providers at capacity we then have a cracking finish to the month. Reflecting back on the heydays of Docklands, the Melbourne Boat Show is calling NewQuay Promenade home from October 20 to 23. That merges with O’Brien Icehouse hosting the Australian Ice Hockey championships from October 18 to 23. Then the following Saturday we have our Indian friends celebrating Diwali on Ron Barassi Senior Park – all are welcome.

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