Economic forecasters say Melbourne is likely to eclipse Sydney as both a residential and employment hub before 2040.
Victoria’s minister for planning, Matthew Guy, says the city’s status as Australia’s largest job centre could be achieved even earlier as major urban renewal precincts, including Fishermans Bend, E-Gate and Arden Macaulay come online and Docklands is completed.
"Driving the growth of the city of Melbourne as Australia's largest jobs hub by 2040 will be a key direction of the upcoming metropolitan blueprint, Plan Melbourne," says Guy.
"We are on track to achieve this outcome by 2040, or earlier, with nearly 90,000 jobs added in the city of Melbourne between 2006 and 2011 compared with less than 30,000 in the city of Sydney.
However, Guy says the city’s growth is not just about jobs, but about building a new labour force that lives and works in one central location.
"The key to a productive and competitive Melbourne is a reduction in the cost and time it takes for the labour force to travel to work. That is why the Victorian Coalition Government is unlocking residential and mixed use development opportunities in and around the CBD," he says.
"Every resident that lives and works in the central city saves Victorian taxpayers money in regard to road and public transport costs. In building the nation's largest jobs hub we also need to build the largest residential hub.”
The city of Sydney includes the North Sydney employment area. As at the 2011 census, Sydney (which includes the North Sydney employments area) accommodated a total of 530,000 jobs, compared to 450,000 in Melbourne.