Fishermans Bend: A Fantastic Opportunity

“This is the start of the precinct rollout of Australia’s biggest urban renewal project.”
City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadette Voss

Australia’s largest urban renewal project is well on track on the doorstep of central Melbourne.

About 1km southwest of the city’s CBD, Fishermans Bend will provide a vibrant, well-designed place for 80,000 people to live, work and play over the next 40 years.

Its residents will live in neighbourhoods with access to schools, public transport, community services and open green spaces.   More than 40,000 jobs will be created in the precinct.

Fishermans Bend covers 455 hectares and is divided into five precincts. Two of these, the Lorimer Precinct and the Fishermans Bend Employment Precinct, are in the City of Melbourne.  The other three, Wirraway, Sandridge and Montague, are part of the City of Port Phillip.

The first project has already broken ground. Developer Blue Earth Group’s Gravity Tower, which fronts Montague and Gladstone streets, started construction in Montague last month.

The 31-storey development will boast 144 apartments and features such as an outdoor cinema and Teppanyaki grill.

At least seven more high-rises have been approved on the same block as Gravity Tower. Overall, more than 40 towers have been proposed or approved in Fishermans Bend, mostly within Montague Precinct.

Much of the housing will include apartments and townhouses. Victoria’s Planning Minister Richard Wynne said Fishermans Bend would provide “the space and comfort residents will want and the jobs and services residents will need”. Demand for property in the area would be great, he added.

“There is a huge appetite for people to live close to the centre of the city in a high-quality urban environment,” he said. Public transport links will be crucial to the area’s success, along with green space.

Just last month, the Victoria State Government and the City of Port Phillip announced the purchase of 3500m2 of land for the first park in the Montague Precinct.

City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadette Voss said it was a boost for future residents.

“Council has long advocated that Fishermans Bend will only become a vibrant, healthy community if its many new residents have access to open space to kick a ball around or sit and relax,” she said.

“This is the start of the precinct rollout of Australia’s biggest urban renewal project.”

Cr Voss said the park would be lush and green in time for the opening of South Melbourne Primary School in 2018.

The City of Port Phillip Council, Victoria’s Minister for Planning, Fishermans Bend Advisory Committee, City of Melbourne and the Metropolitan Planning Authority are all working together to make Fishermans Bend a world-class urban renewal area.

Plans to redevelop Fishermans Bend were announced in 2012. Back then, the project comprised just four precincts over 250 hectares of industrial South Melbourne and Port Melbourne land.

When the Fishermans Bend Employment Precinct was added in April this year, the size of the area almost doubled.

Height restrictions have been imposed to enhance the livability of the area.

Towers around Montague and Lorimer streets are capped at 40 storeys while those in other parts of Fishermans Bend will be limited to 18 storeys. There will be no interim height limits on the employment precinct.

“We’re not interested in simply rubber-stamping skyscrapers,” Mr Wynne said.

“Smart development thinks about residents and their quality of life.”