Melbourne’s Current Economic Situation
The economy of Melbourne City is very diverse. The city is a centre all types of transactions. Many business persons specialise in manufacturing, information technology, academics, research, finance, logistics, tourism and transport (Brain and Hylands 14). This city houses the main offices of the four largest companies in Australia. The sizes of these companies were determined basing on their market capitalisation.
Melbourne has the country’s largest port, which handles close to 40% of the country’s containers. The approximate value of goods at the port is $ 75 billion per year. The city also houses one of the country’s busiest airports, the Melbourne Airport. It serves as the main point of entry for both national and international flights (Brain and Hylands 14).
In the financial sector, Melbourne is a very crucial. The NAB and ANZ Banks have their head offices in this city. It is also the country’s centre for all pension funds. 40% of all pension transactions in Australia take place in Melbourne (Burton and Costello n.p.).
Recently, researchers carried out a worldwide study that ranked Melbourne 41st in financial transactions. The study involved fifty financial cities from different parts of the world. Among Australian financial cities, Melbourne was second.
Melbourne is the second largest industrial centre in the whole of Australia. Among the items that industries in Melbourne manufacture are Boeing, Iveco, and Bombardier. It also houses industries that manufacture drugs, petrol products, garments and food products. There are other automobile centres such as the Ford Australia Development Hub and the General Motors and Toyota centres (Burton and Costello n.p.).
Melbourne also boasts of being the headquarters of Sigma Pharmaceuticals and CSL. These two organizations are the largest pharmaceutical companies in Australia. The ICT industry in Melbourne employs more than 30% of Australia’s ICT personnel (Burton and Costello n.p.). It produces a turnover of approximately twenty billion dollars.
Tourism is also a major contributor to Melbourne’s economy. In 2004, it recorded more than 7.5 million local visitors and approximately 1.9 million foreign visitors (Burton and Costello n.p.). Four years later, the city’s expenditure on domestic tourism surpassed what Sydney spent on local tourists. Melbourne spent close to $ 15.8 billion in one year.
Many of the tourists, usually, visit the Federation Square, Crown Casino, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Arts Centre (Burton and Costello n.p.). The city has hosted many local and international conferences due to its modernized hotels.
Key Spatial Economic Issues Facing Melbourne
Population growth. Melbourne is one of the two cities with the largest number of people in Australia. In 1901, it had 501, 580 residents. The number rose to 2.8 million by 1981. These figures imply that the population growth rate was 1.2% per year (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics par. 9). Between 2001 and 2006, the city’s density per square kilometre rose from 1455 to 1566 people.
The biggest part of this increase occurred in Southbank and Carlton. Research indicates that close to half the working zone population resides in the middle region while 42% of them live in the outer region. Only 7% live in the Inner region of the city (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics par. 15).
Between 2001 and 2006, research indicated that Melbourne’s working zone population increased by 283, 000. This growth raised the total population in this zone to 3.9 million.
On average, the growth was 1.5% per year. This figure exceeded the national growth rate, which was 1.3%. Between 2006 and 2010, the growth rate increased by 0.7%, raising the number of residents by 347, 000 (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics par. 18).
Inadequate provision of physical infrastructure. Transport around many of the growth areas around Melbourne is a very big problem. There is a great disconnection between these areas, which has led to extensive dependence on cars. The roads around these regions are in a deplorable condition.
This situation has greatly interfered with trade in this region. Worse still, the entire transport system is inadequate (Melbourne’s Growth Areas par.4). Critics have blamed the government for not accomplishing its plans to improve the transport sector. However, the main cause of the inadequacy in the transport sector is the increase of the population and industrial activities (Melbourne’s Growth Areas par. 7).
The infrastructure around Melbourne has yielded to the pressure resulting from an increase in the number of people. In addition to the human population, the industrial growth has led to a massive increase in the number of vehicles transporting raw materials to the industries. These activities have rendered the existing transport infrastructure inadequate (Regional Development Australia 8).
Congestion. The working zone population in Melbourne rose by 630, 000 people from 2001 to 2010. Therefore, the total population rose to 4.2 million. The majority of these people live in the outer regions of Melbourne, mainly in Hume, Casey, Melton and Wyndham (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics par. 20). When these areas had taken enough people, other people moved to the inner parts of the city.
Melbourne is a city with a fast growing economy. It is among the largest financial, industrial and tourist attraction centres in the world. However, its population growth is alarming. It has been increasing at a very fast rate over the years. This increase has put an extensive amount of pressure on the facilities around the city, rendering them insufficient and inadequate.
Brain, Peter, and Peter Hylands. “Melbourne’s North: The New Knowledge Economy.” National Economic Review 66 (2011): 14. Print.
Burton, Mark and Robert Costello. “The Economy in Space: Melbourne’s Growth Areas-Fulfilling Their Economic Potential.” Royal Australian Planning Institute, Victorian Division (2007): n. pag. Print.
Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. Population Growth, Jobs Growth And Commuting Flows In Melbourne. Canberra: Department of Infrastructure and Transport, 2011. Web.
Regional Development Australia 2012, Inquiry into Local Economic Development Initiatives in Victoria. Web.