Tens of thousands of Melburnians ditched the city after the first wave of COVID-19, new figures have revealed.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Monday showed 25,000 people abandoned Melbourne in the June quarter before a second wave of coronavirus intensified across Victoria.
The mass exodus marked Melbourne’s largest change in net internal migration on record.
“There was a net loss of 8000 people for Greater Melbourne in the June 2020 quarter compared with 2200 in the previous quarter. Melbourne had a net loss of 5900 people to the rest of the state compared with 3000 in the previous quarter,” the ABS said.
“In net terms, Victoria only gained people from Western Australia (+100) and lost most to Queensland (-2100). Victoria had a net loss of people to NSW for the first time since the June 1997 quarter.”
More people also moved from Victoria to NSW (6900) than from NSW to Victoria (6100) – the first time that trend had occurred since the June 1997 quarter.
Melburnians emerged from a 112-day lockdown last week after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Ian CurrieSource:News Corp Australia
The internal migration came ahead of Victoria’s second wave of coronavirus, where harsh lockdown measures again came into force.
The rules were slightly stricter in Melbourne, where the city was cut off from regional Victoria and a citywide 9pm-5am curfew was put in place.
Melburnians could only leave their home for four essential reasons and could not travel beyond 5km without a valid reason or permit.
Melbourne’s 112-day lockdown came to an end last week after the state recorded consecutive days of no new daily infections.
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