MPA initiates two further National Employment Clusters

Victoria's Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) is readying two additional National Employment Clusters that will look to build upon the already robust local economies surrounding both La Trobe University and Sunshine.

Both Clusters maintain a mixed-use employment base underpinned by health, manufacturing, services and education. Designated National Employment Clusters, the MPA intends to allow for the creation of new employment opportunities within both Clusters via enhanced policies, amenities and transport links.

La Trobe Cluster which is the more advanced of the two includes the business and industrial areas surrounding Heidelberg, Bundoora and Preston. Key areas earmarked for change include La Trobe University, the Heidelberg/Austin Hospital medical precinct, Heidelberg West industrial precinct and the Northland Urban Renewal Precinct.

The latter site overlaps with Darebin City Council's earlier plans to create a high-rise residential zone abutting Northland.

The La Trobe Cluster. Image: Metropolitan Planning Authority

Key ideas behind the La Trobe Cluster include modernising employment areas, providing a ‘turn-up-go’ bus service for people to get around the cluster, attracting additional allied health services to the precinct and rezoning current industrial land for future mixed-use developments, including a diverse range of housing. 

Whilst controversial at the time of its approval, Bundoora's Parc Vue development seen below looks to be the template for many higher density developments that will invariably call La Trobe Cluster home in the future.  

Parc Vue presents as the first of many. Image: Future Estate

To Melbourne's west and the Sunshine National Employment Cluster is taking shape. Including neighbouring St Albans, the Sunshine Cluster is set to receive a massive boost in jobs, following on from the recent $2 billion in investment in the area.

Among recent projects are the Sunshine Station upgrade through Regional Rail Link, the creation of the Victoria University Construction Futures facility and what shapes as the $200 million Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital. These are in addition to projects such as ABD Group's Foundry complex which has given Sunshine its first taste of high density living and the new $52 million Brimbank Community and Civic Centre.

The MPA has been working with Council to create a series of key ideas that will underpin the Sunshine Cluster. Rezoning sites to promote commercial uses, greening the suburb and increased services are all on the agenda.

The MPA will now initiate a period of community feedback in order to create the principles that will underpin the Sunshine Cluster.

Foundry and the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's Hospital. Images: ABD Group and Western Health

We are confident the Sunshine Cluster has and will continue to attract significant development and be a focus of healthcare services, research, education, transport business and retail services for Melbourne’s West.

Brimbank City Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Metropolitan Planning Authority and the State Government on this important project.

Chair of Brimbank Administrators, John Watson

Both the La Trobe and Sunshine Clusters follow in the footsteps of the Monash National Employment Cluster which was outlined previously on Urban Melbourne. Visit Shape Victoria to view further information on the Clusters and provide feedback.

1 comment

Peter H's picture

They want inner city density, but they won't provide inner city transport like trams. Parramatta, Homebush, Carlingford and Westmead (30km from Sydney) will have trams in 3-4 years. Imagine a tram, built as light rail, replacing the SmartBus route. Imagine a light rail network (maybe 3-4 lines) connecting Point Cook, Williams Landing, Werribee, Wyndham Vale & Tarneit? One E-Class tram holds the same as 5 buses: 210 people. That's up to 200 cars off the road and no parking areas required at railway stations (which are magnets for car thieves, costing our economy a fortune).

Back to top

Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

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.


Transport & Design

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

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.