Outrage as Melbourne’s mayor says Covid was ‘GOOD’ for the city – even though it suffered through the world’s longest lockdown
- Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp set to claim Covid was ‘good’ for her city
- The comments are to be delivered in a TEDxMelbourne event on Friday
- Ms Capp argued the lockdowns in the city has led to a post-pandemic boom
The mayor of the Australian city that suffered through the most lockdowns during Covid-19 is under fire for arguing the pandemic was ‘good for’ her city.
Sally Capp, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, made her views clear in a speech due to be delivered in the city on Friday.
‘There aren’t many who will stand in front of a crowd like this and say Covid has been good for anything or anyone,’ Ms Capp is expected to say at the TEDxMelbourne event in pre-released remarks.
‘But I’m here to do just that.’
Sally Capp, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, will say in a speech on Friday that the Covid-19 pandemic was ultimately ‘good’ for her city
Ms Capp claims economic activity in Melbourne has recovered to pre-pandemic levels and will total $150billion by 2031.
‘Now that’s what I call lockdown to boomtown,’ Ms Capp will say in the speech.
‘Melbourne has emerged bruised, but bolder and braver because of it all.
‘It’s thanks to the debilitating impacts of Covid, the 262 days as a broken city and community, that we have achieved the seemingly impossible, pirouetted, taken risks, dreamed big and accelerated progress,’ she states in the speech.
The city’s residents experienced a record 262 days in lockdown across four lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, the world’s longest cumulative period of movement restriction during the pandemic.
People queue for a Covid-19 test in Melbourne in May, 2021 just after five million people in the city were ordered into a snap week-long lockdown
A deserted Bourke Street in Melbourne, July 17, 2021, during one of Melbourne’s 262 days in lockdown
But business leaders savaged Ms Capp’s comments.
‘There was nothing good that came out of Covid,’ Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Paul Guerra told the Herald-Sun.
‘I don’t think there would be a single business owner out there that would even remotely think that Covid has been good.
‘We couldn’t access the city for extended periods, hotels were basically at zero occupancy, restaurants and pubs closed, hairdressers and other specialty retailers closed, people lost their jobs.
‘There was nothing good that came out of Covid. People died, people got sick, our lives changed, business collapsed, it was bloody scary.’
Ms Capp is expected to cite Melbourne’s response in housing people in hotels to help them isolate as an example of the city’s achievement during the crisis.
‘It changed lives. I recently received an email from a gentleman who lived in a local hotel over lockdowns. Despite experiencing homelessness for some years, this hotel stay was the circuit breaker he needed to turn his life around. He now has a job and secure housing,’ her speech states.
The theme of the TEDx event is ‘Kintsugi: From Broken to Beautiful – explore how our scars, visible or invisible, make us, and the world, stronger and more beautiful.’
Contacted by Daily Mail Australia, a Melbourne city spokesperson said the lord mayor’s speech deals with how the pandemic affected Melbourne ‘for an international audience’.
‘She reflects on the devastation of lockdowns and restrictions, the pain they caused and how these experiences have made Melburnians more resilient,’ the spokesperson said.
‘The Lord Mayor details how Melbourne is bouncing back and explains the work being done to make Melbourne a more vibrant, inclusive and sustainable city.’