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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 08:07 
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http://theage.domain.com.au/baillieu-pl ... 1ay6t.html


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AN AREA more than twice the size of Docklands is to be opened up for inner-city housing under an ambitious plan to be launched within months by the Baillieu government.

About 200 hectares of land around Fishermans Bend - now a light-industrial area of factories and vacant lots near West Gate Bridge - is to be transformed into a suburb housing tens of thousands of people.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy has told The Age he will establish an Urban Renewal Authority in the next four months to oversee a 20 to 30-year plan for the area.

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''The Kennett government had a vision for Docklands, the Cain government saw [a vision for] Southbank - and now the Baillieu government has a vision for Fishermans Bend,'' Mr Guy said. ''It's a big challenge and it will be a big legacy, but it's one I think we have to get right now.''

He said it would be ''a suburb of high-density accommodation that is unlike anywhere we've seen in Australia''.

The project fits in with the government's stated policy of refocusing some urban growth from Melbourne's fringes to its heart - a policy that state-owned developer VicUrban is to be involved in implementing.

Naming urban renewal as the new government's biggest planning challenge, Mr Guy said Fishermans Bend would evolve as ''Australia's first inner-city growth corridor'', exceeding the nearby Docklands development in size and scope.

''This is a revolutionary concept,'' Mr Guy said. ''In the past governments have only viewed growth corridors through the prism of outer urban growth.

''The Baillieu government sees the opportunity to strategically place Melbourne as being the first city to have an inner-city growth corridor and that [Fishermans Bend] is an area with a large enough parcel of land to do that.''

Unlike the Docklands project, which placed large commercial buildings with tenants such as the ANZ and NAB banks alongside residential apartment towers, the Fishermans Bend project would focus on more affordable housing, he said.

He said it was too early to give a figure on the number of houses to be built. The style and density of development would be determined in the planning stage, with precinct structure and development plans to be finalised in the next four years.

Land would be rezoned and incentives provided to encourage residential development.

Property Council of Victoria chief executive Jennifer Cunich said if the government managed to redevelop up to 200 hectares, depending on the density of the buildings, as many as 10,000 to 15,000 dwellings could be built.

''Fishermans Bend, the whole precinct there, is the most obvious next phase … but we need to start talking about how many homes we are putting into the marketplace,'' said Ms Cunich, adding that Victoria was delivering 6000 fewer homes than needed each year.

Mr Guy said development of the area would take up to three decades. It would not encroach on the Webb Dock facilities at the end of Williamstown Road but it would include the E- Gate precinct opposite.

''We don't have a vision for a suburb of multimillion-dollar apartments,'' Mr Guy said. ''We have a vision of a suburb that is a genuine growth area for Melbourne which can offer people a higher-density style of accommodation closer to the city that is different to an outer urban growth market, but one which might have a broader spectrum of people living there.''

Andrew Macleod, chief executive of the Committee for Melbourne, said it made sense to develop underutilised light industrial land so close to the city for housing.

The cost of decontaminating the land would be a critical factor, as would providing better public transport, possibly a myki-integrated water-borne system, to serve new residents, he said. ''We need to be very careful about how we relocate the light-industrial stuff that is already there … The Boeing factory is the second largest Boeing factory in the world.''

Fishermans Bend would benefit from an honest scrutiny of the strengths and weaknesses of the Docklands renewal project, Mr Macleod said.

Mr Guy said the project was an opportunity for growth in an area of the city similar to the urban renewal that took place in Vancouver, Canada, and some other North American cities. ''We have the opportunity to get this right, to put in place long-term structures that will outlast me as Planning Minister and run into successive governments in 20 to 30 years' time.''


They speak about homes in this article which sound suspiciously like quarter acre blocks, the Aussie dream etc. And considering that Fishermans Bend is larger than Docklands, 15,000 people seems a small number for that kind of area. Also the new residents would find themselves worse off than Docklands. The connection between this site and the city is very weak indeed and there is too much industrial land between. Residents would feel isolated on a very artificial development.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 08:19 
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Agree completely topahend quarter acre block is certainly not right for Fisherman's Bend. While this area is a no-brainer as far as urban renewal goes I was envisaging something more like the Hudson River communities in New York with rows upon rows of housing commission style towers separated by open parks which would give Melbourne a bit more of the beef of a big city and save some of the older suburbs at the same time.

The Greens had this vision and had planned a light rail system to connect it to the city. I see no mention of transport policy for Fishermans Bend yet, but it should be planned first if you're going to do something of this scale. That was the case with Docklands at least, although in practice many of the light rail lines are being built after the fact which is probably the wrong way around.


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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 08:36 
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I agree with both of you. I envisaged all the land west of Todd Rd being used to expand Westgate Parklands so that there would be a massive Botanic gardens style openland parkland area, while the land parcelled between Citylink, Westgate freeway, Todd Rd and the River would be a big highrise area, with the aim of holding around 150,000 people if not even higher than that. This area of land is the size of the CBD, so if highrise buildings were used (ala Eureka tower, Rialto etc) then the ammount of people that could be put in this area is huge.
The article does mention public transport to the area in the way of a new river transport system that could be integrated into the myki system. I like this idea, but feel that proper light rail connections should be made, connecting to Spencer Street, a link through to Sturt ST and into St Kilda Rd, and another heading down towards the Bay to connect into Albert Park and St Kilda. Possibly another link through to South Melbourne would be good, so that this new suburb is properly connected, rather than the more likely solution of just one tram link, most likely just to Spencer St. Regardless of how many people there are in the area, whether just the proposed 15,000 or more, if just a single tram link is made, it will be overwhelmed from day 1. This new development must be done right. If it were to be a much larger ammount of people, a rail link would be whats needed, however since the railway to Webb dock is no longer there, this would be a near impossibility in my eyes.

:P so much for this area being the spot for Melbourne Airport

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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 11:25 
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drbuc wrote:
:P so much for this area being the spot for Melbourne Airport

That pesky Westgate Bridge is a real obstacle to low-flying aircraft - unless they go under it.

I agree that the public transport infrastructure must be decided upon and in place before people move in. Unfortunately VicUrban haven't proved at all reliable where that's concerned; maybe the proposed public transport authority will see a change for the better.

VicUrban's Aurora estate north of Epping is still being touted as a "flagship sustainable housing development", but the one-station rail branch to it from the Epping line, proposed by VicUrban, is unworkable and will never be built. Instead of the rail line, a typically unusable bus service from Epping station has been provided, which runs every 40 minutes and finishes at 8:30 pm on weekdays.

I note that the "Features and Benefits of Aurora" on the relevant webpage no longer even mentions public transport - how could it? Yet car use generates half of a household's greenhouse gas emissions - so much for sustainable development.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 22:15 
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An aerial photograph of Fishermans Bend as it is now:

Image
From The Age.

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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011, 18:03 
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What about a tram link connecting Fisherman's bend with Southbank using an as yet unbuilt tram link? It is certainly possible (even if raised sections of tramline above the road were needed) to build this link which would make a lot of sense, as Southbank as a whole has no sense of continuity. All trams flow into the city and no one has any concept of utilizing any part of Southbank, other than the river section. Therefore with a tramline all down Southbank and into Fisherman's bend one would have a very easy to navigate route which would logically follow the course of the river.

Does anyone else see this as a possibility?


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