The crippling impact of Melbourne's Stage Four lockdown has been laid bare by a photo of one of the city's shopping streets turned into a ghost town.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, pubs, cafes and bohemian fashion shops lined Brunswick Street, which runs through Fitzroy and Fitzroy North in Melbourne's inner-north.
But Premier Daniel Andrews' much-criticised Stage Four lockdown - which initially included a curfew and a one-hour limit on exercise - hit Melbourne hard when it was already reeling from the first raft of restrictions announced in March.
The City of Melbourne alone is expected to lose as many as 75,000 jobs in 2020 and a Brunswick Street business owner said the image of closed stores showed only the beginning of the economic pain being felt in the area.
An image of a desolate Brunswick Street in Melbourne's inner-north has shown the crippling reality of the city's Stage Four lockdown
A business owner who worked in he area said the image of closed stores showed only the beginning of the economic pain being felt on the usually busy shopping street
A near-empty parade of shops is pictured on Brunswick Street during social distancing restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic
The resident who took the photo said between Gertrude Street in the south and Alexandra Parade in the north they counted 38 stores that were empty.
Reacting the photo posted on Reddit on Tuesday, the business owner said many other commercial tenants on the street still operating were on the verge of collapse.
'It's worse than it looks. A lot of businesses (mine included) are already dead, but haven't/can't exit their lease yet,' they wrote.
'They are just running the clock down until the rent concessions mandated by the government run out or JobKeeper finishes up, and then will start insolvency proceedings.'
JobKeeper wage subsidy payments will continue at a reduced flat rate of $1,200 until March, while the Victorian Government is offering $3,000 rent relief payments of up to $3,000 to struggling tenants in the state.
'I would conservatively suggest 20-30 per cent of business premises on Brunswick Street will be empty come Easter,' the business owner said. 'It's grim.'
Brunswick Street is pictured during a normal day before the pandemic. The area is filled with pubs, cafes and fashion shops catering to Melbourne's bohemian types
Premier Daniel Andrews introduced a much-criticised Stage Four lockdown in August to stem the spread of Victoria's second wave of COVID-19 cases
Brunswick Street during the lockdown. The City of Melbourne alone is expected to lose as many as 75,000 jobs in 2020