The Victorian Government has announced that it plans to significantly expand Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend development on the Yarra River, making it the largest urban renewal project of its kind in Australia.

First proposed by the Baillieu Coalition Victorian Government in 2012, the proposed expansion of Fishermans Bend from the new Andrews Labor Government will see the addition of a new “Employment Precinct” that will take up the riverside area bordered by the Princes Highway/Westgate Freeway and the Yarra River.

The addition will take the total area of development from 250 hectares to 455 hectares and to what Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne calls the largest urban renewal project in Australia, bigger than Sydney’s Green Square that is 278 hectares. 

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 The Government says they will draw on best planning practice to find the right locations for new housing, public transport, schools and community services within the precinct. Additionally, Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne says that new measures, including maximum building height in some precincts, will be put into place to ensure smart development in the area, not just an influx of skyscrapers.

“We have a plan that puts people first – providing the space and comfort residents will want and the jobs and services residents will need,” says Wynne.

“A community can only be as tall as it is deep. We’re not interested in simply rubber-stamping skyscrapers. Smart development thinks about residents and their quality of life.”

New measures include the extension of the Planning Minister’s responsibility for determining applications for projects greater than 25,000sqm into the Fishermans Bend, and a 40-storey interim height limit for buildings in the Montague and Lorimer areas.

Images: The Office of Premier of Victoria