Melbourne turns ‘Hellbourne’ as city bursts at the seams


This week, comedian and author, Simon Taylor, lamented that Melbourne has turned into a permanent construction site and asked “will this construction hell ever end”?

“When does the serenity of day-to-day life factor into the overall construction equation?”, Taylor asked.

“The new infrastructure in Melbourne will be great. No doubt. I’m glad we’re building a better future for our children”.

“But when does that future actually get here? Twenty years? Forty years? I’m beginning to think there is no real end goal for all this town planning and that the City of Melbourne is really just like a Boomer renovating every room in their house over and over so they have something to talk about to their friends”.

“All I’m advocating for is a better balance between progress and peacefulness”.

Demographic forecasting group, Informed Decision (ID), also warned that Melbourne is staring down the barrel of a massive housing shortage as the city’s population swells and housing supply stalls.

“Informed Decision’s (.id) forecasts… anticipate an increase in household sizes, with more sharehouse arrangements and kids living with their parents longer”, the Herald-Sun reported.


“The biggest thing we are pointing out in our forecast is that at the moment we are not building at a rate that would improve affordability”, ID chief executive Lailani Burra said.

“A Victorian government spokeswoman this week said they were expecting Melbourne’s population to equal London’s by the 2050s and their 800,000 homes target for the next decade must be reached”.

This follows City of Melbourne projections in September, which showed there was currently a shortfall of 5,500 affordable homes in the municipality – a figure that will balloon out to 23,200 by 2036:

Melbourne affordable housing shortfall

Meanwhile, recent analysis published in The Age showed that the proportion of social and affordable housing in Melbourne has collapsed as the city’s population has swelled:

Decline of public housing

Melbourne will never be able to build enough housing or infrastructure as long as its population continues to grow like a cancer cell through mass immigration.

Historical NOM

Following decades of high immigration, Melbourne’s population has increased by 1.7 million people since the 2001 Census.

Melburnians have witnessed first-hand the results, with the city transformed into a permanent construction site as it forever tries in vain to keep pace with the population deluge.


But is never actually succeeds, with traffic congestion, infrastructure bottlenecks and liveability worsening every single year.

Melbourne’s population is officially projected to hit around nine million people – similar to London’s – by mid-century.

The city simply cannot “plan” its way out of such extreme growth. And if it continues, residents’ living standards will continue to be crushed.


Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan should get on the phone to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and demand that immigration be cut so that infrastructure and housing supply can keep up with demand.

Allan should also demand that the federal government provide billions of dollars of funding to Victoria so that it can build the necessary infrastructure to support the bulging population foisted upon it by the federal government.

Otherwise, Hellbourne awaits.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.