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“As Night Mayor, James would champion the needs and ambitions of the many sectors that make up our comprehensive nighttime offering,” said Cr Capp.
“It would help ensure that the City of Melbourne does everything possible to support entertainment, dining and retailing in bustling Melbourne after dark.”
One of his priorities would be to help night-time businesses, including pubs, clubs and concert halls, get up and running as quickly as possible as the restrictions disappear.
Cr Capp said Mr Young would also be responsible for removing “red tape,” including the City of Melbourne and licensing regulations, to help merchants reopen in a “COVID-free manner. “.
“Our city’s nightlife economy supports jobs and businesses and strengthens our reputation as Australia’s cultural and event capital,” she said.
“Hospitality and entertainment providers will need help getting back on track after the economic devastation caused by the COVID pandemic.”
A snapshot taken in 2018 showed Melbourne’s nighttime economy generated $ 3.52 billion in revenue, an increase of 9.6% from the previous year.
“Before this pandemic, Melbourne had the fastest overnight economic growth in the southern hemisphere and we were known worldwide for it. It was a huge tourist attraction, ”said Mr. Young.
“Right now, unfortunately, we’re like a wounded dog sitting in the corner of the room and we’re in crisis.”
Concert halls will be among the last businesses to reopen under the Victorian government’s roadmap, given the sheer logistical headaches presented by an industry defined by social proximity.
Yet in the midst of every crisis lies an opportunity. Like other concert halls, Cherry Bar has made a habit of doing deliveries, creating more merchandise, and planning outdoor concerts and dining.
Mr. Young said this year has been “devilish” for the entertainment and live music industry. But he urged the city’s arts and entertainment scene to hang on.
“I love Melbourne and Melbourne is struggling and it’s time for me to give back to Melbourne,” he said.
“I want to help Melbourne find its place. In some ways it’s actually an exciting concept, that Melbourne needs us, and we can come together for a journey through tough times and come back stronger than ever.”
Broadcaster and academic Sally Warhaft, who ran against Cr Capp in the 2018 by-election, has vowed to introduce a ‘night czar’ if elected, to tackle the economy flourishing from dusk to dawn in CBD.
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Bianca Hall is editor-in-chief of The Age. She previously worked as a senior reporter and at the Federal Political Bureau in Canberra.