Walking Melbourne


1990 - 1999

Melbournes property boomed in the early 1990s.

Large projects sprang up everywhere. Many were corporate modernist structures, although the biggest statements were made by large, post-modernist structures. Many of these introduced new planning principles that did much to restore some of the city's character that had been dealt a savage blow by the modern era. Podiums were introduced, and a sensible planning policy of the 10 metre rule saw historic buildings restored without the farcity of the facadism that occured in Brisbane and Sydney in the late 1980s.

From a glance at the skyline, with its multitude of cranes, Melbourne appeared to boom. However financial mismanagement by the Cain-Kirner Labor governments saw the Victorian economy collapse. By 1993, it had become the basket-case of Australia. By modern standards, it wa a localised depression, unemployment was at an all time high and business was collapsing. While the rest of the country continued to grow, Melbourne floundered. During this time, Melbourne lost the status of financial capital to Sydney, which was able to attract more companies in a time of globalisation. 1996 saw the peak of a 10 year exodus of Victorians to Queensland which is only now beginning to be reversed.

Under the bold direction of new Liberal premier Jeff Kennett, a series of major urban projects, privatisations and re-structuring saw the most remarkable economic turnaround in Australias history take place. By 1998, Melbourne was once again the countrys leading economy, cultural, sporting, and the city re-established itself as a boutique financial centre. The confidence of its people had returned. New developments, such as Docklands, Southbank, Crown Casino and the CityLink system and the genius of architects such as Nonda Katsalidis and Daryl Jackson paved the way for a brand new city to emerge in the 21st century.

Important buildings of the period were 333 Collins street (arguably Australias finest and grandest example of post-modern architecture) , ANZ World Headquarters, 101 and 120 Collins Street, Telstra Corporate Tower, RMIT Building 8, Crown Casino, Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the Melbourne Museum.

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