Chat with us, powered by LiveChatMelbourne's 'Latte Line' moving further west

Melbourne's 'Latte Line' moving further west

Melbourne may pride itself on its reputation for the arts, restaurants, fashion and for its love of sport. But according to social commentator and demographer Bernard Salt, the nation’s fastest-growing metropolis had become unbalanced.

‘‘For 160 years, Melbourne pressed east ... resulting in an urban form that by the end of the 20th century, was seriously lop-sided,’’ Mr Salt said.

The good news for the southern capital is that the situation is being redressed with the relocation of the so-called Latte Line.

According to Mr Salt, Melbourne’s milky, middle class border has leapt the Yarra and is pushing west at a record pace thanks to unprecedented growth in the city’s west.

‘‘The western edge of Melbourne has pulled well clear of the Gold Coast, outstripping population growth in any comparable region of Australia,’’ Mr Salt said.

‘‘It started a decade ago and has gathered momentum ever since.’’

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that the two fastest growing areas in Australia are the adjoining western Melbourne regions of Wyndham and Melton.

In 2010 the two areas added almost 20,000 residents, compared to a little over 14,000 for the traditional high-growth region of the Gold Coast-Tweed.

Mr Salt says the figures show that Melbourne is undergoing a reorientation.

‘‘Melbourne developed a middle-class belt that embraced the inner east roughly on a line between Kew in the north and Brighton in the south."

The rebalancing of Melbourne means that the Latte Line, the boundary of an aspirational and professional inner-city middle class, has been pushed west.

The Latte Line, he said, is now drawn from Essendon south to Williamstown. The new demographic has more to it than being able to find trendier cafes, Mr Salt said.

Figures suggest Melbourne’s west will maintain its rapid growth for at least the next decade, creating tremendous business, commercial and professional opportunities.

Source: The Age Domain