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Fishermans Bend to prioritise walkability and sustainability

The Victorian government has made sustainability central to its Fishermans Bend Draft Framework with blueprints for tram alignments and a possible metro as the neighbourhood grows.

It also includes a strong focus on developing better cycling infrastructure and cycling links, and sets a walk score target of 90 per cent for all residential dwellings. Yet relatively high car parking allowances of 0.5 per dwelling may undermine that target, set at when driverless cars look like being a realistic part of the future.

The government has also set targets of 80,000 jobs by 2050 for the expected 80,000 residents.

It last year purchased the former Holden manufacturing site, with plans to turn it into a showcase innovation, engineering and technology hub that will be a catalyst site for the development and activation of the Fishermans Bend employment precinct.

The proposal also aims to retain and repurpose as much of the original buildings and infrastructure on the Holden site as possible, in a move similar to that made by the South Australian government with the Tonsley precinct.

Height limits have been put in place in strategic areas, with several pockets designated as low-rise family-friendly housing including townhouses and apartment buildings no higher than four storeys.

Towers of 20 storeys or higher are proposed only around transport hubs.

Victorian minister for planning Richard Wynne and member for Albert Park Martin Foley launched the consultation draft while visiting the construction site for the Montague Community Park in Fishermans Bend.

“Proper planning is all about creating blueprints today for tomorrow’s communities,” Mr Wynne said.

“Matthew Guy made his developer mates rich but ignored the needs of a growing community at Fishermans Bend.

“We’re getting the planning right to give families the neighbourhood that they deserve.”

Mr Wynne said the “ambitious and innovative project” would create thousands of jobs, new parks, sports ovals, schools and public transport.

Sustainability goals

The framework’s vision is anchored in eight sustainability goals based on the requirements for the projects Green Star – Communities rating.

One is to be a water-sensitive community. South East Water is proposing a precinct-wide sewer mining and water recycling initiative that will provide recycled water to replace potable water use. A “third pipe” system is also on the drawing board.

All new buildings will be required to achieve 4 Star Green Star standards, or equivalent as a minimum. There will also be clearly indicated future increases to performance requirements. The rating requires a building to be at least 10 per cent more energy efficient than a building that meets the Deemed-to-Satisfy requirements of Section J of the National Construction Code.

Climate change resilience is another focus, including planning for impacts such as flooding and storm surges, and managing the urban heat island effect by setting a target of 50 per cent tree canopy coverage for all public spaces including streets by 2050.

Green walls and roofs will also be promoted for buildings, and community gardens potentially created to encourage interaction between residents.

A precinct-scale low-carbon energy approach is also being considered, including maximising renewable energy generation and installation of storage.

This was welcomed by the Green Building Council of Australia.

“The draft Framework demonstrates how sustainability can act as a multiplier for better economic and social outcomes across the community,” GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said.

Ms Madew said it was important to achieve jobs, growth and housing in parallel with a high quality, resilient built environment.

“The growth is also being supported by long-term infrastructure planning that builds connections, fosters diversity and respects local heritage.

“The exploration of precinct-wide sustainable energy generation and distribution reflects a 21st century vision for energy security that meets our international commitments.”

The Property Council of Australia also welcomed the framework and praised the ambitious targets for housing, jobs and non-car trips. It urged the government to provide more information and certainty about the funding to make the vision a reality.

“The industry is well placed to provide high quality community facilities and infrastructure as a part of a development, making them available when residents and workers first arrive rather than contributing to a pool of developer contributions that is spent later.”

Ms Capp said that to attract major institutional investment and employers there will need to be mass transit options in Fisherman’s Bend.

“With Melbourne Metro 2 on the horizon, industry and government must collaborate to release value, rather than impose further taxes and charges,” she said.

The next stage of the evolution of the plans for Fishermans Bend includes a number of public consultations over the next two months. Comments are also being taken on the draft framework.

  • Read the framework and have your say here

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