Skip navigation

Adjournment Matter Revitalising Our Shopping Strips

profile image
Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
15 October 2020

Mr. Hibbins (Prahran): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, and the action I seek is for the minister to establish a unit within the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions dedicated to revitalising our shopping strips across Victoria. Our local shopping strips need revival. They are absolutely essential to the economic and social fabric of many of our communities; they are such a big part of what makes those communities great places to live. Iconic shopping strips like Chapel Street in my electorate and iconic ones across Melbourne but also the smaller ones across Victoria-so many of them are important to not just the feel and the livability of our local community but the employment of so many people who work in retail, in hospitality and in the service sector, many of them young people and women, who of course have been hardest hit by the economic fallout of COVID.

 

When there are empty shops, when there is a downturn, it brings the whole community down. We are seeing so much of it during COVID, and the fight for survival and the battle will go on long after restrictions have eased. So I would like to see the state government play a proactive role and show leadership in setting up a dedicated unit to work with local governments, to work with traders associations and to work with small businesses to revive our local shopping strips, to help our high streets and to implement a range of measures that we believe will go a very long way to reviving our shopping strips, supporting our local traders and of course supporting the employment of so many people in our communities-for example, supporting artists to set up studios in empty shops. Artists can play such a strong role in reviving our local communities and really bringing so much more to the character of our local areas. Or supporting our pop-up shops to take out short-term leases to see whether they can test their product, to see whether they can then go on to have a long-term lease-to upgrade our high streets to make them great public spaces and to bring people to them.

 

It was really good to see the state government and local governments working together on the proposed outdoor trading in the post-COVID world. I think that sets an example of what can be achieved when state government shows leadership and works collaboratively with local government on our shopping strips. And of course there is working to lower rents and decrease vacancy rates; one of the big problems that traders tell me about is that rents are too high. So if, post-pandemic, landlords are unreasonably leaving their properties vacant, well, there should be scope for a vacancy tax. But certainly I would request that the government show leadership and help revive our shopping strips.

profile image
Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
15 October 2020
SHARE:

WHAT I'M FIGHTING FOR


LATEST NEWS

PARLIAMENT

Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Bill 2021

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): I rise to speak on the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Bill 2021. This bill puts in place essentially the same scheme we had last year, with much of the detail not in the bill but actually left to regulations to support commercial tenants. It will run until January...

PARLIAMENT

Question without Notice: Rental Support

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My question is for the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation. Minister, many people who rent their home are still facing financial and housing insecurity due to the pandemic, yet the government has not provided any specific measures to support them during the latest two...

PARLIAMENT

Members Statement: Homelessness Week

Mr HIBBINS: This week is Homelessness Week, and a wealthy society like ours should not have people without safe, secure places to call home. Yes, we need to build more homes for people in need. Yes, we need to end unfair tax breaks that lock people out of home ownership....

PARLIAMENT

Members Statement: Prahran Climate Emergency

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): I thank everyone in the Prahran community that has signed thePrahran climate emergency declaration so far. Our community’s voice is loud and clear. We are in aclimate emergency. We are already experiencing the devastating effects of climate change, and weneed our governments to go further and faster....