Advertisement

Richard Wynne on Fishermans Bend: we have to get urban renewal projects right

Melbourne doesn’t remain the world’s most liveable city by standing still.

Just ask any overseas or interstate visitor returning to Victoria and they’ll tell you, Melbourne is ever moving and always growing. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Cranes in the sky and shovels in the ground on every street corner indicate that Melbourne is forever a moving feast, but it’s only so often we have the opportunity to truly transform the shape of our city.

That’s why urban renewal projects are so exciting – and why we have to get them right.

At Fishermans Bend, a 480-hectare parcel of potential just five kilometres from the CBD, we have a chance to build a thriving neighbourhood complete with local schools, parks and places for the community to get together.

The Fishermans Bend urban renewal project is the largest of its kind in Australia. In fact, it’s bigger than every other urban renewal project in Victoria combined.

But while Fishermans Bend has an exciting future, it’s been plagued by a murky past.

The former industrial land became a political point of conjecture when a mere penstroke made it become some of Melbourne’s hottest, wealthiest property.

Overnight, land spiralled in value as lucky owners reaped the benefits of the extraordinary upzone to capital city.

Permits flew thick and fast as derelict factories or disused sites became lucrative land soon to be multi-million dollar skyscrapers.

It was great news for the lucky few, but a growing postcode was beginning to be deprived of a neighbourhood – and a community was about to be left behind.

Concrete jungles of skyscrapers surrounded by not much else don’t make great cities – they make an urban blight.

Our recast vision for Fishermans Bend is taking a different approach. It’s a vision for 80,000 residents and 80,000 jobs. It’s all about making Fishermans Bend a benchmark for environmental sustainability, connectivity and innovation.

We want Fishermans Bend to be a water sensitive community, a biodiverse community, a low carbon community and a low waste community.

Above all, we want Fishermans Bend to be as good a community as any to live, work and raise a family.

It starts with open space. We’ve already pressed ahead with plans for the Montague Community Park – and now we’re going further. The Framework earmarks the equivalent of two thirds the size of Docklands for open space, or 50 MCGs. 

Four new AFL-sized ovals, six soccer pitches and eight outdoor courts will give local kids badly-needed space to blow off steam and embrace healthy and active lifestyles.

And plans are afoot for four primary schools – including the South Melbourne Primary School nearing completion – and a public secondary school is also on the list.

Proper planning is all about earmarking services today so that they’re ready for the communities of tomorrow. Fishermans Bend won’t thrive overnight, but we’re putting the chess pieces in place now so that as the community grows, we’re ready to grow with it.

Improved walking and cycling connections and improved bus services are immediate priorities that can’t wait.

In the longer term, future tram networks and a metro rail connection will ensure we’re perfectly positioned to add the major transport infrastructure by the time it’s required.

As is so often the case with poor planning, it begins with heights.

Unfettered approvals and a free-for-all approach to permits meant Fishermans Bend was in danger of becoming an architectural disaster.

It’s why we’ve established new planning controls that reign in heights, improve setbacks and better protect open space from overshadowing.

We want more than just the select few to enjoy everything a Fishermans Bend life offers, so we'll ensure a diverse mix of housing options that cater for individuals and families of all shapes and sizes. 

A target of six per cent affordable housing is a cornerstone of the Framework.

When we came to Government we could see that Fishermans Bend wasn’t quite right, so we got the independent experts on the case to work out what had gone wrong.

Even we were stunned by the shortcomings.

The committee's investigation found that the decision to allow unfiltered high rise developments didn't include plans or funds to accommodate essential services that make communities tick - and labelled Fishermans Bend's failed renewal "unprecedented in the developed world".

Well, we're fixing that mess. We're building a flagship community residents can be proud to call home.

It's a big job, but getting the planning right at Fishermans Bend will leave a long-lasting legacy - and that's exactly what we're going to do.

The Hon Richard Wynne is the member for Richmond and the Minister for Planning.

 

Read more: Fishermans Bend draft framework released.

Walking, bikes and public transport the big focus in Fishermans Bend's integrated transport plan.

37 comments

3000's picture

"Unfettered approvals and a free-for-all approach to permits meant Fishermans Bend was in danger of becoming an architectural disaster."

Sounds like Southbank to me.

Back to top
pdoff's picture

FB needs a catalyst to get going, just like Docklands did with the stadium, because at the moment all the residential proposals there cannot compete with the pipeline of developments in the CBD, Southbank and Docklands and all the amenity that goes with them.

The Government’s support for the Melbourne Metro 2 is encouraging, but at best it won’t be operational until well into the 2030’s. So one possible quicker catalyst would be to invest now in extending the tram network and even consider extending the free tram zone to this area, since it is after all an extension of the central city zone. Even after the MM2 is delivered, FB will need a solid support PT network to move around within it because of its size, foreshadowed jobs and population density and to improve the sense of connection given the dividing effect of the freeway.

On the residential population, FB may be large, but when you take away the employment precinct, I do wonder how it’s expected to achieve a residential population of 80,000 in just the remaining 2.4 square kilometres. That’s an average residential density of 33,333 per square kilometre and much of it will need to be more than that to allow for all this recreational space.

I applaud Mr Wynne's best practice urban objectives which is why the precincts partially inherited from the previous government need to be revisited. Having a separate employment precinct is urbanism out of the 1950’s playbook and recreational areas, residences and jobs should be spread more evenly.

Back to top
zenith's picture

And Matthew Guy wants to be premier ...

Back to top
cityshades's picture

I accept locking in the height profiles is important, but the biggest challenge for FB future is connectivity to CBD and its immediate surrounds. FB is effectively 2 isolated islands, one between river and freeway, and other to the south cut off by the freeway. This creates an even more disconnected zone than Docklands with the barrier of the railway lines, Wurundjeri Way, and Etihad Stadium. Planning focus must be on solving the connectivity of FB to the rest of Melbourne. If you have ever tried to walk, cycle, or commute into the FB areas, you will quickly realize how difficult and uninviting it is via the current limited under planned and already overstretched access points.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Its important to get the tram and train lines in first before more building as well as any road realignment if needed. Building need to be planned and not ad hoc as each developer decided. Southbank near the Yarra is a good example of what to do while Docklands is not for the most part.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Social housing is fine but the occupants, if not retirees, should be working not on the dole. We dont want this new development turned into another drug and alcohol enriched precinct like much of central St Kilda.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Its a pity that the late Evan Walker (Southbank) and Rob McClellan (Agenda 21) are not available to get this project moving. Talk, talk, talk and lines on maps for years but not much action so far.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Zenith - But what is your point about Fisherman's Bend.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

3000 - Yes I agree we they have to be careful that we dont end up with another Docklands which initially had so much potential.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Strip shopping streets with angle parking for customers shopping and going to cafes is a priority. No cars equal no life in the precinct.

In nearby Port Phillip consistently for the last 3 ABS Census's the cars ownership per residence is 50% own 1 car, 25% own 2 cars, 6% own 3 or more cars (probably a share house or adult children living at home), 2% dont know if they own a car (some having trouble filling in a census form) and 17% dont own a car. Fisherman's Bend is likely to have similar car ownership stats as established parts of Port Phillip.

Back to top
3000's picture

Adrian:
Docklands and Southbank are similar yet also rather different in their respective approaches and subsequent outcomes.
Docklands has been the butt of many jokes about poor examples of urbanism and planning, and to an extent, it is deserved.
If Docklands is the private war waged between the idea of public benefits and the free-for-all model then Southbank is what happens when they are forgotten.
Docklands, unfortunately, has a static feeling; one which will manifest itself in the language people use to describe it, usually in terms of "Oh, it's not finished", "It's a work in progress" or "When they finish Docklands..."
This implies that once all the usable land has been built upon the suburb is done and dusted. Compare that with the ever-changing nature of the CBD (for better or worse) and you are left with a suburb that, although much more promising than the naysayers would have you believe, lacks a sense of self.
To be fair, Docklands was never designed (envisioned, perhaps?) to be a bustling 24/7 metropolis and people seem to constantly expect that it should be.
Docklands still has the potential that people so often speak of but it will come of the idea that it is not some static suburb never to be changed or made better as we learn from previous planning mistakes.

The sense of self lacking from Docklands is multiplied tenfold in Southbank, where the suburb has only the typology of modern high-rise resi towers to create an identity. An identity which is quite literally, based on the planning outcomes that neglected how the public should ideally interact with an urban environment.
Instead of asking the important questions of amenities and public space the powers that be chose the easier and more damaging route of letting developers dictate the terms of how the suburb should be built.

Back to top
Nicholas Harrison's picture

Docklands was first developed in a time when Melbourne was considered a 'rustbelt city' and was losing jobs and population. Some thought this would be a long term trend and the government was desperate to encourage any development to stimulate the economy and revitalise Melbourne. This was also the case for Southbank.

The lack of controls and encouragement given to private developers at the time reflects these concerns.

Regardless of how well you rate the urban design outcomes this approach was incredibly successful at attracting and retaining jobs in the Melbourne CBD. Jobs that may otherwise have gone to suburban office parks, other cities in Australia or other cities in the region.

Fishermans bend is being redeveloped in the midst of a population and jobs boom in Melbourne. Melbourne is now the fastest growing city in Australia and the problem has gone from how to prevent stagnation and decline to how to manage an unprecedented level of growth.

Back to top
Nicholas Harrison's picture

So did anybody else notice the new elevated freeway proposal including a duplication of the Bolte Bridge that will cut through the middle of Fishermans Bend?

Blink and you will miss the one paragraph mentioning it in the Framework Plan and it is not included in a majority of the maps.

You have to delve into the back of the transport plan to get the details:

The corridor will consist of a four lane elevated road and rail structure crossing over the Yarra River to the west of the Bolte Bridge and rising to a similar height to the Bolte Bridge. The road will cross over the Westgate Freeway to the west of the Bolte Bridge on-ramp and continue along the southern boundary of the Westgate Freeway reserve (within the Wirraway precinct) and connect into Webb Dock close to the current road access.

Back to top
theboynoodle's picture

No cars equal no life in the precinct.

Really? Tell that to the likes of Richmond, Fitzroy, Prahran etc.. all of which are pretty poor places to visit in a private vehicle. Hell.. I reckon they'd close the likes of Chapel St and Brunswick street to private traffic if there was a way to make that work.

I think you're going to be disappointed if you want cars given a starring role in the design of the commercial/social parts of FB. It's more likely that you'll see shopping strips that don't allow cars at all. In any case, I think you ask the impossible.. Melbourne has lots of lovely wide shopping strips with parking space etc.. but I've never found them to be anywhere near as lively as the narrower streets (Brunswick, Smith, Lygon etc). I don't think those wide car-friendly streets are at all conducive to urban street-life

Port Phillip has huge swathes of low density, high wealth housing. FB will likely have a population more skewed towards the younger and the poorer, so car ownership will be lower and, probably, car *use* lower still.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

TheBoyNoodle - we are talking about Fishermans Bend not the suburbs you refer too.

I live In Port Phillip were there is plenty of parking spaces with mostly wide residential streets that can accommodate 90 degree and angle parking.

Recently Port Phillip Council surveyed residents about 2hr parking permits in residential streets and most residents rejected the proposal so it did not happen. free for all parting works best and increased car visit turnover too.

Times parking restrictions are only needed in shopping strips to again increase car turnover.

Most council parking restrictions and permits are really about revenue raising for non core function projects our cities dont need or want (eg) The St Kilda Triangle farce.

Back to top
3000's picture

I guess Sydney road must have too much life with all the cars there right?

Back to top
Nicholas Harrison's picture

Fishermans Bend will be more like St. Kilda where 25% of people don't have car rather than Middle Park where only 8% of people don't own cars.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Nicholas Harrison - May be, but 75% in Fisherman's Bend will still own a car or two. St Kilda is not a good gauge to judge Melbourne on either

Back to top
pdoff's picture

Adrian - you seem to be missing the point.

With strong public transport links and infrastructure, 80% of trips are intended to be made by sustainable transport modes - increased car turnover is pretty much the antithesis of the FB objectives. It may be in Port Phillip, but the planned population density in FB is incomparable to elsewhere in that municipality and wont suit wide roads for diagonal strip parking.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

PDOFF - We have plenty of public transport in Port Phillip, particularly tram everywhere, but some use tram, others use cars and people like me use both depending on the destination and reason for the trip.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Skyrail, overground or underground railways?

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Fisherman's Bend planners should consider building service lanes at the rear of the developments for access to garages and for rubbish removal out of sight of the front street like in Port Phillip.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

When Fisherman's Bend is nearing completion will the parts currently in Port Phillip be excised and given to Melbourne as Southbank was a few decades ago when the Crown complex was built?

South Melbourne Council and later Port Phillip Council lost a lot of rates revenue from this odd decision. The Yarra River is a natural municipal boundary.

Port Phillip should manage Fisherman's Bend when completed and Melbourne Council can have Docklands.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Lets hope Fisherman's Bend does not become an o-bike (yellow peril) dumping ground.

Back to top
3000's picture

“My points are valid and don’t need to be questioned”

Come off it.

Back to top
Jules's picture

What a load of rubbish. Sadly there is nothing honourable about Planning Minister Richard Wynne who I fear has put the nail in the proverbial coffin in Moonee Ponds allowing 4 towers, one 30 stories in the heart of Moonee Ponds PAC where Council recommended that nothing over 16 stories be allowed. An d the independent advisory committee that was supposedly appointed, again rubbish. I heard from reputable sources that approval was given for the 30 story tower MONTHS before the advisory committee made their recommendation. And yes, I am making untoward allegations that I'd welcome seeing investigated as I think it appalling how our suburbs are being decimated for the sake of politicians like Richard Wynne making happy wealthy developers and only thinking about their careers and bank accounts. How dare he only allow 10 stories in his electorate of Richmond and put so much into Fisherman's Bend yet allow Moonee Ponds to get stuffed as our electorate is meaningless for his personal agenda.

Back to top
theboynoodle's picture

TheBoyNoodle - we are talking about Fishermans Bend not the suburbs you refer too.

Yeah. FB. A suburb that doesn't exist. I think that citing examples from suburbs that do exist is probably helpful. You're the one that brought up 'life' in the precinct. Aren't Fitzroy and Richmond good examples of lively suburbs?

I live In Port Phillip were there is plenty of parking spaces with mostly wide residential streets that can accommodate 90 degree and angle parking.

And how lively are they? I love Melbourne's wide streets.. as ludicrous as they seem in these congested times. But they are not lively. They are, almost by design, the opposite.

Recently Port Phillip Council surveyed residents about 2hr parking permits in residential streets and most residents rejected the proposal so it did not happen. free for all parting works best and increased car visit turnover too.

Residents in suburb with ample parking room (ref. you) are not going to support permits. Why would they? Residents only support permits when there isn't ample parking and, thus, they need the preferential treatment that permits provide.

But that's got nothing to do with what we're talking about.

Times parking restrictions are only needed in shopping strips to again increase car turnover.

We were only talking about shopping strips.

Most council parking restrictions and permits are really about revenue raising for non core function projects our cities dont need or want (eg) The St Kilda Triangle farce.

That has nothing to do with all of this. Nobody was talking about parking charges. That you see fit to mention it demonstrates your bias on matters of parking. We're talking about urban design, and you just want to rail against parking restrictions.

Back to top
pdoff's picture

"And yes, I am making untoward allegations that I'd welcome seeing investigated as I think it appalling how our suburbs are being decimated for the sake of politicians like Richard Wynne making happy wealthy developers and only thinking about their careers and bank accounts."

Jules - You make some good points about the transparency of the approvals process which can appear inconsistent at times. The motivation behind targeting suburbs like Moonee Ponds is to draw as many of the 100,000 additional Melbourne residents each year away from the fringe into areas that are better placed in terms of infrastructure. The challenge of course is to do this whilst still retaining the character of those areas.

The same goes for Richmond. You may be surprised to learn that, height limits aside, Mr Wynne's electorate is actually absorbing more of this population growth AND constructing more apartments than Moonee Ponds.

I'm not meaning to turn this into an anti-population growth free-for-all, so apologies if the figurative cat was just thrown amongst the pigeons.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

The Lord Mayor of London besides having a congestion tax on car he is now introducing a further tax on cars and trucks over 10 years old that travel through London.

His rational is the tax will fight air pollution but the cars will still travel through London. This is really revenue raising so lets hope Melbourne does not try this one on us too.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Recent ABS data show that Melbourne is growing the fastest in Australia with people getting out of places like Sydney to come to Melbourne.

Only Gold Coast in Qld is expanding like Melbourne is but on a smaller scale. Australians want to live in Melbourne and soon it will be a larger city than Sydney.

Fisherman's Bend after thoughtful planning should develop quickly so get on with it Government and councils.

No wasteful and pointless bike lanes only roads for cars and public transport are needed.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

Fisherman's Bend needs new houses and flats that can accommodate two cars per residence as well as wide streets with 90 degree on street parking for visitors and residents to park were they want.

Back to top
3000's picture

“No wasteful and pointless bike lanes only roads for cars and public transport are needed”

Yeah, fuck cities that do that. Most of Europe and Asia? They got it all wrong.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

See the article in today's newspaper (24 Oct 17) . Over 75% of daily commuters travel by car. Cars Rule OK.

Back to top
3000's picture

"Conclusion?
Cars Rule OK."

Cars may rule in the sense that they are a majority but let me direct your attention to Sydney Road.

Is that a good outcome?

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

We lived in a house off Sydney Rd, in Florence St, from 1952-58 after I was born and later as an adult from 1978-79 in a flat off Sydney Rd in Tinning St. Later from 1993-95 I drove north along Sydney Rd at about 6am commuting to Puckapunyal on Monday returning on Friday late afternoon to my home in Port Phillip. I know Sydney Rd well.

Back to top
3000's picture

Right, then you would know just how bad the situation of excess vehicles and parking on Sydney Road has contributed to its current condition.
To be fair, there’s not really much you can do in terms of rerouting the traffic given it’s major route.
To claim that vehicles somehow make a suburb better is a huge lie.
Remember Swanston Street before they finally decided to do something?
Now it’s a place you actually want to be.

Back to top
Adrian Jackson's picture

I forgot, I was in a rented house in Blyth St near Sydney Rd in the late 1970's too and had no trouble parking my car in the street.

The reason I moved to Tinning St was the teacher next door used to come home at 11pm and turn on loud Bob Seeger music. I did not have a phone then so to complain to the police about the late night loud music I once drover to Brunswick PO to use a public phone.

I could always find a car park in Sydney Rd as well to do the shopping or eat at a cafe at any time.

Swanston St used to be vibrant with cars passing and parking as well as pedestrians before they put the so called "walk " in. Now its full of tacky shops selling trinkets and takeaway food but many of which are being removed for the new underground railway

Back to top
Advertisement

Development & Planning

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 00:00
The City of Melbourne earlier this week agreed to provide conditional support for MAB Corporation's NewQuay West Development Plan via its Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee. The revised development plan prepared by DKO Architecture and Aspect Studios was driven by the development of the Ron Barassi Senior Park which necessitated a revisiting of the precinct layout and urban structure.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Advertisement

Transport & Design

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 00:00
Leslie A. Martin , University of Melbourne and Sam Thornton , University of Melbourne Road congestion in large Australian cities is estimated to cost more than A$16 billion a year . Economists have long argued the best way to improve traffic flow is to charge drivers for their contribution to road congestion.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.