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    We're one step closer to a vision for Fishermans Bend

    Nathan Johnson

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    A new vision for Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend has been unveiled by Victorian planning and includes plans for a new 205 hectare Employment Precinct that will almost double the previous size of the urban renewal area.

    Prepared by a taskforce of city planners and officers, the Fishermans Bend Recast Vision builds on the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area Draft Vision of 2013 which the Andrews government promised to recast back in April 2015.

    A major change is the addition of a new 205 hectare Employment Precinct which will be situated between the West Gate and Bolte (City Link) bridges and bordered by Lorimer Street and the Westgate Freeway. The government is planning to attract world-leading research, engineering, technology and products companies into the precinct with “world-class transport and IT infrastructure”.

    What that transport infrastructure will look like however isn’t clear and we’ll have to wait until results from feasibility studies and community feedback has been collected before it is.

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    The new Employment Precinct adds 205 hectares to the Fishermans Bend.

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    Above: Former Victorian Premier Denis Napthine (right) and Planning Minister Matthew Guy (left) in front of the Fisherman's Bend urban renewal masterplan in 2013. Photography by Penny Stephens/Fairfax
    Below: The new zones with the addition of the Employment Precinct.

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    Other changes include an upgrade to the expected amount of people to be working in the region to 60,000 and a removal of the majority of references for a metro rail for the area.

    Interestingly, the document also expresses the government’s commitment to extending the newly reformed building height restrictions for the Melbourne CBD into Fishermans Bend. This has potential to result in backlash from for developers who purchased land in the area when it was first rezoned and geared to the premium of high-rise residential development.

    It might also make for an unbalanced skyline considering there has already been a string of approvals for high-rise buildings, including three multi-residential projects by Rothelowman architects and a massive 103 metre residential tower by Plus Architecture, in the area that will be taller than the limits.

    The total area of the Fishermans Bend will be 455 hectares and the plan is to have 80,000 people living there by 2050.

    PROPERTY COUNCIL AND GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL ON BOARD

    The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the Property Council of Australia have endorsed the Victorian government’s commitment to working with the Green Star – Communities rating tool, developed to guide the planning of sustainable communities and precincts.

    The GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew and the Property Council of Australia’s Acting Victorian Executive Director Asher Judah applauded the  decision to pursue a Green Star – Communities rating.

    “This is something industry has been calling for over a number of years, and we are delighted that the Andrews Government has responded so positively,” said Madew.

    “The significance of the site, the scale of the project, and the far-reaching implications of ‘getting it right’ make achieving a Green Star – Communities rating an essential component of smart, sustainable planning.”

    “Three years ago the Property Council urged the Government to endorse the Green Star – Communities rating tool at Fishermans Bend to support sustainable, resilient and liveable communities,” said Judah.

    “It is exciting to see the Government commit to this important sustainability reform.”

    “Fishermans Bend will be Australia’s largest Green Star community, and this rating will give the people of Victoria independent proof that this massive investment is not only environmentally sustainable, but also liveable, resilient, prosperous and healthy,” Madew concludes.


    Along with the new Employment Precinct, the old neighbourhoods of Lorimer, Wirraway, Sandridge and Montague are still part of the new plan and are described briefly below:

    MONTAGUE

    A diverse and well-connected mixed-use precinct celebrating its significant cultural and built heritage, and network of gritty streets and laneways

    montague.jpgmontague2.JPG


    LORIMER

    A vibrant, mixed use precinct close to the Yarra River and connected to Melbourne’s CBD, Docklands and emerging renewal areas

    lorimer.jpgLorimer2.JPG


    SANDRIDGE

    One of Melbourne’s premium office and commercial locations, balanced with housing and retail

    sandridge.jpgSandridge2.JPG


    WIRRAWAY

    A family friendly inner city neighbourhood close to the Bay and Westgate Park

    wirraway.jpgWirraway2.JPG



    The full report can be downloaded here.
    Submissions are also being welcomed by the state government which can be done here.

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