New Fishermans Bend Business Forum launches

A new organisation to represent the interests of existing businesses in Fishermans Bend has launched. 

The registered association, Fishermans Bend Business Forum, sees itself as the body for local businesses already operating in Fishermans Bend, and it has eight priorities it wishes to engage with both local and state governments.

According to the forum's rules of association, their  purpose for bring includes:

  • Providing businesses located in the Fishermans development precinct with a unified voice 
  • To engage with political decision-makers at the federal, state and local level to deliver real results for our members and the broader business community 
  • To provide opportunities for members to network and collaborate in improving individual businesses and the local economy 
  • To tackle issues that impact on members’ business and ensure that they are on the public policy agenda
  • To work with developers, transport authorities, planners and investors to ensure quality outcomes that are conducive to good business outcomes for the Fishermans Bend precinct

Speaking with Urban Melbourne, interim executive officer David Weston said the new forum was awarded a small grant to build a database of existing businesses - so far the forum has identified 338 businesses and they estimate there are another 100 in the wider Fishermans Bend Area.

Like many individuals and organisations who have made a submission to the Fishermans Bend planning review process, the Fishermans Bend Business Forum, is pushing for government to invest in the public transport initiatives sooner.

Of particular concern is the Employment Precinct - the forum believes there are many businesses already operating in the area that will require large amounts of car parking, regardless of a transitionary period and that without the heavy rail component of the integrated transport plan, the forum believes some of the mode share targets will not be achievable.

The cement terminal in Fishermans Bend is a highly strategic piece of state infrastructure as much of the state's cement passes through it and with each ship which docks there, that generates up 30 truck loads on Lorimer Street.

Lorimer Street is set to have a significant focus for cycling and the forum believes more work needs to be done in this area given the strategic importance of the cement terminal & the truck trips it will generate and the potential conflict this will have with an on-road cycling network.

The forum also would like to see an economic impact assessment completed with regards to businesses transitioning out of the area. The cement terminal is one of many pieces of infrastructure in the area that might come under pressure for transitioning and the forum believes it would be in the public interest to assess the impacts on a wider range of businesses possibly transitioning out of Fishermans Bend.

The Fishermans Bend Business Forum will be launched at Pier 35 tonight (March 15th) where the chair of the Fishermans Bend Ministerial Advisory Committee Meredith Sussex will also speak on the Government's vision for the area.

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