Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area

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Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area

Strategic Framework Plan Released

The State Government’s Strategic Framework Plan for Fishermans Bend was released on Monday 28 July 2014, and provides a framework intended to guide future development in Fishermans Bend.

Read the Strategic Framework Plan a work in progress media release to find out Council's response to the State Government plan.

Click here to visit the Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) website and download the Strategic Framework Plan.

Fishermans Bend Strategic Framework Plan – Mayor’s Statement

The State Government’s Strategic Framework Plan (SFP) for Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area (FBURA) was released on Monday 28 July 2014. The Plan is an important planning document that will be used to assess land use and development proposals in FBURA, as well as guide public and private investment in infrastructure.

From the beginning Council understood that we had an obligation to our community to be at the negotiating table and present a case that represented what we truly believed would present the best outcomes for our current and future communities.

The starting point in our negotiations has always been the Draft Vision for FBURA, released in September 2013. Council played a substantial role in developing this Vision, which was strongly supported by our community. We argued our case right up to the release of the Plan, even when it became clear to us that not all of our priorities were going to be adopted.

In the August / September 2014 issue of our Divercity newsletter we outlined Council’s key priorities for Fishermans Bend based on five themes:


These themes provided the basis for the City of Port Phillip’s extended, and at times tough, negotiations with State Government over the last six months have resulted in a number of things being included in the Plan that Council is pleased about, as well as those that require more work to ensure Fishermans Bend will be a fantastic part of Port Phillip and Melbourne that we can genuinely be proud of.

The outcomes of these negotiations with State Government over the last six months are outlined below.

The release of the Strategic Framework Plan is an important milestone for FBURA. Council will continue to work closely with both current and future state governments as we continue to advocate for our community’s priorities into the next phase of this 40-year urban renewal project.

Build transport and community infrastructure early and set aside open space

1. Inclusion of the Collins Street tram extension and better pedestrian and bike riding infrastructure

Council has consistently advocated for the Collins Street tram extension and is very pleased this vital piece of catalyst infrastructure is included in the SFP (pages 4, 5 and 17). The SFP also includes many of the strategic cycling corridors, pedestrian pathways and road upgrades recommended by Council in our efforts to facilitate a best practice approach to sustainable transport in Fishermans Bend.

We are continuing to work with the State Government on a short term funding and delivery strategy for the Collins Street tram extension, pedestrian and bike riding links.

Click here to read more about the concept design for the Collins Street tram extension bridge.

2. Explicit infrastructure commitments

The infrastructure delivery table contained in the SFP (page 43) is a direct result of Council’s sustained lobbying for explicit commitments to timely infrastructure delivery at Fishermans Bend. However, we are disappointed that delivery of the light rail tram service, including the Collins Street tram extension, has been pushed out from 2018 to 2023.

We must now work with the State Government to ensure that the documented commitments are honoured, and in some cases brought forward, so Fishermans Bend evolves as a sustainable and vibrant place that attracts a wide range of businesses, people and households.

Council is also working with the State Government on the Fishermans Bend Development Contributions Plan (DCP), which is due for release within the next 12 months. We will aim to ensure that the DCP includes the infrastructure program and funding strategy that will set Fishermans Bend up for long term success.

3. Increased public open space

Council has consistently emphasised the need for high quality public spaces and parks in Fishermans Bend to mitigate the impacts of high development densities. The open space network shown in the SFP is, in Council's view, the minimum acceptable, and a lot more work on open space is required (pages 18-19).

We have worked hard to supplement the proposed open space network with important links to existing parks and recreation facilities in Fishermans Bend, as well as to the Yarra River, Docklands, Port Phillip Bay, Westgate Park and surrounding open space destinations.

The green links and linear parks first contemplated in the Council’s Montague Precinct Structure Plan have been included as a major feature of Fishermans Bend, capitalising on the opportunity offered by the precinct’s existing wide streets.

All development is required to make an open space contribution equivalent to 8 per cent of site area – an increase from the State Government’s standard requirement of 5 per cent. This reflects the importance of public open space to the future Fishermans Bend community.

Sensible height restrictions and quality design for developments

4. Reduced building height and intensity at sensitive interfaces

Council worked hard to ensure the SFP included sensitive building height and intensity provisions around all established residential areas, where the preferred maximum height is shown as four storeys (page 25). Council also successfully lobbied for an eight storey height limit in the historic, fine grained parts of the Montague Precinct, to help that precinct evolve with a distinctive character that recognises its historic significance.

Greater development intensity is permitted around the proposed Montague Station, along the proposed Plummer Street Civic Boulevard and northwards towards Docklands and the CBD.

We are disappointed that the heights in the Montague Precinct are 30 storeys instead of the 18 contained in the draft Vision, which we consistently argued for.

5. Protection for established open spaces and recreation facilities

Council conducted detailed analysis to ensure the SFP prohibited overshadowing of any existing public open spaces in Fishermans Bend. This includes JL Murphy Reserve and the Port Melbourne Cricket Ground. Overshadowing of future major parks is also prohibited, and solar access to smaller parks must be maximised under the SFP design guidance.

6. Establishment of a Design Review Panel

Council first advocated for a joint Design Review Panel when the Fishermans Bend project was being managed by Places Victoria. We are pleased to see the concept has gained support and been included in the SFP. We are looking forward to the panel’s immediate establishment so that we can get on with the job of delivering high quality design and public realm outcomes for our community.

Business attraction and investment

7. A stronger emphasis on jobs and economic growth

Council is concerned that under the Capital City Zone, there is no formal method for controlling the land use mix in Fishermans Bend. While the market will deliver plenty of residential development, there is also a need to attract commercial development to ensure weekday activity, economic sustainability and jobs for Melbourne’s future.

Council has emphasised the importance of catalyst transport infrastructure at Fishermans Bend to attract commercial development and jobs. While the Montague Station is welcome as a longer term proposal, the Collins Street tram extension is required in the short to medium term to connect Fishermans Bend with the CBD, to provide a high quality business address and stimulate job-generating investment.

City of Port Phillip responsibility for developments

8. Control over development near established residential areas

Council has successfully lobbied the State Government to maintain our status as the responsible authority for all planning applications that impact established residential areas around Fishermans Bend (four and eight storey areas shown on the FBURA height map, as well as all development under four stories everywhere else). This includes sensitive interfaces along Williamstown Road, Boundary Street and City Road, representing a significant proportion of the Fishermans Bend precinct. This means Council can better manage development in sensitive areas to protect and enhance the amenity of existing and future residents.

Council will be notified of any planning permit applications in the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area and given 28 days to provide comments back to the Minister. Our comments will be considered at Council meetings prior to lodgement with the Minister.

Visit Planning Permit Register – on the Department of Planning and Local Infrastructure website for more information.

Download the map to see the Planning Approvals and Planning Applications within the City of Port Phillip (PDF, 368 KB). (updated Oct 2014)

We will continue to lobby the State Government to make us the responsible authority for all developments below 25,000 square metres (buildings approximately 18 storeys) in Fishermans Bend.

A place for all generations

9. Recognition of the FBURA Draft Vision

The Strategic Directions contained in the Draft Vision have been carried forward to the SFP, and the Key Moves have been translated into the final land use themes that will guide all future development.

10. Inclusion of sustainability goals

Council drafted the sustainability goals included in the SFP, as well as specific sustainability targets that were unfortunately omitted. We continue to advocate for the inclusion of specific targets, as well as further work on how Fishermans Bend can be a global demonstration of next generation buildings and infrastructure.

11. A commitment to affordable housing

Council’s view is that the affordable housing provisions in the SFP are weak. We are seeking further commitments from the State Government regarding the development of a detailed affordable housing strategy for Fishermans Bend.

Concurrently, we will continue to work with landowners, developers and community groups to proactively facilitate housing diversity in the precinct. As part of this, we have allocated funding in the 2014/15 financial year to a joint affordable housing research initiative with the University of Melbourne, focussed specifically on defining a new affordable housing delivery model for Fishermans Bend.

12. Better recognition of Fishermans Bend’s heritage

Council independently funded a comprehensive study of heritage significance in Fishermans Bend, to inform the State Government’s work. The study identified a number of buildings with heritage significance and Council is now proposing they be protected as part of a specific Planning Scheme Amendment.

The design guidance in the SFP has been informed by Council’s heritage study – however it is a starting point only. More work is required to protect and enhance the historic fabric of Fishermans Bend, as well as specific buildings and places.

Register online to receive Fishermans Bend project announcements and updates by email.


Concept Design for the Collins Street Tram Extension

Read Tram Bridge key to Fishermans Bend success media release to find out more about the proposed tram bridge to connect Fishermans Bend to the CBD.

Concept image showing proposed tram bridge over Yarra to Fishermans Bend

The Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area (FBURA) will consolidate metropolitan Melbourne’s position as one of the world’s most liveable cities with a highly creative and competitive economy.

Over the next 40 years FBURA is expected to be home to approximately 80,000 residents and 40,000 jobs. As one of the largest urban renewal projects in the world, Council is committed to ensuring FBURA is a great place to live, work and play.


Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area aerial shot 

Council’s priorities

Council will continue to advocate to:

  • Deliver a ‘city shaping’ opportunity for metropolitan Melbourne – an expansion of the Central City while creating distinctive and vibrant new places to live, work and play
  • Deliver catalyst transport and community infrastructure early
  • Set a new benchmark for an inner-city family friendly living environment, supporting a diverse and connected community
  • Capitalise on its strategic location to create high productivity ‘21st century’ jobs, maintaining Melbourne’s competitiveness in the global economy
  • Provide essential urban infrastructure to create certainty for investment attraction
  • Deliver best practice in smart social and environmental outcomes
  • Provide an urban renewal model which can be replicated in other Australian cities.

The delivery of catalyst infrastructure early is critical to the success of FBURA and Council is continuing to advocate for the early delivery of infrastructure including transport, community facilities and open space.


Community Conversation

On 27 February, community members were invited to have a conversation about Council’s role in FBURA.

The evening provided people with an opportunity to speak with officers around key themes that emerged during community consultation on the Draft Vision and to discuss next steps and timing, and included a presentation by representatives from the MPA.

A number of questions were taken on notice on the night. A summary of these questions and officer responses is available to download here.

Community Consultation on the Draft Vision and Interim Design Guidelines

From 16 September to 22 November 2013, Places Victoria ran a community engagement program, inviting the community to provide feedback on the Draft Vision and Interim Design Guidelines.

Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area Draft Vision
(PDF, 4.2 MB, 70 p)

Interim Fishermans Bend Design Guidelines
(PDF, 1.64 MB, 22 p)

Council ran a complementary engagement program to encourage and support our community’s interest and participation in the consultation process. The program included a series of pop-up information sessions, social media / online activity, site visits, and meetings with community organisations and groups.

Feedback at these events provided great insight and helped shape Council’s own submission to Places Victoria.

Council supports the Vision which represents an opportunity to reshape how Melbournians think about urban growth, housing, working and getting around. The submission explains Council’s key comments about the delivery of the Vision and contains suggestions for improvements to the draft, in addition to results from our community engagement activities.

Download Final Submission – Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal project (PDF, 650 KB, 32 pp.)

South Melbourne Market event    

Fishermans Bend rezoned by Minister for Planning

In July 2012, Minister for Planning identified the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area (FBURA) as an urban renewal project of state significance and rezoned the area as Capital City Zone (CCZ).

The rezoning of FBURA expands the CCZ by more than 50 per cent and has the potential to generate significant new business investment and employment and generate new housing supply. The renewal area is 248ha in size; approximately 217 hectares (or 90 %) lies within the City of Port Phillip. A smaller area of approximately 27 hectares, known as the Lorimer Precinct, is within the City of Melbourne.

Following the announcement, representatives of Places Victoria, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, Melbourne City Council and Port Phillip Council worked closely to develop a planning framework for the FBURA, including a Draft Vision and Interim Design Guidelines, that articulate the key strategic directions and key moves needed to realise this vision and transform Fishermans Bend into a thriving inner city environment.

For more information about the Planning Scheme Amendment C102 see the Explanatory Report - Port Phillip Planning Scheme Amendment C102 (DOC, 470 KB, 5 pp.)

Where is Fishermans Bend located?

Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area is located to the south-west of Melbourne’s CBD and covers an area of approximately 250 hectares. It is bound by Williamstown Road and Boundary Street in the south, City Road to the east, the West Gate Freeway and Lorimer Street to the north, and City Link and Todd Road to the west.

The area has four precincts:

  • Montague
  • Wirraway
  • Sandridge
  • Lorimer

This image illustrates where these four precincts are located.

 Zoning map of the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area

View a larger version of this map - Fishermans Bend four precincts map (Jpeg, 1.1 MB)


Montague Precinct in the City of Port Phillip

Council has developed a Structure Plan for the Montague Precinct that will assist Places Victoria in planning for the current and future communities of Montague. It will also provide a strong basis from which Council can continue to advocate for the development of Montague as a highly liveable and sustainable mixed use precinct.

The Montague Precinct Structure Plan is available to download on Council's website at

Download the Council Report here.

FBURA Guiding Principles and Strategic Directions - 2012

Following the rezoning to CCZ in 2012 council adopted FBURA Guiding Principles and Strategic Directions to inform Council's position on the rezoning, and to advocate for Council's position on the key outcomes for FBURA.

The principles include creating a child and family friendly place that prioritises sustainable travel and the movement of people, and a precinct which is vibrant, well serviced, with a diverse mix of land uses, and a local community that welcomes everyone. 

Download the Guiding Principles and Strategic Directions (PDF, 53 KB, 7 pp.)

More information

Visit for a summary of our consultation activities.