Business group forms for the Bend

Sean Car

The business community in Fishermans Bend came together last month to officially launch the Fishermans Bend Business Forum (FBBF).

The forum has been established to assist government and the two councils involved in the redevelopment of Fishermans Bend as well as provide business with a stronger voice in shaping the urban renewal project.

A steering committee has been working since late 2017 on the formation of the forum, which was officially launched on March 15 at Pier 35 in Port Melbourne.

“There has been a lot of coverage of issues around developers and the height and density of development, however, many of the businesses currently operating in the area were not becoming engaged with the process,” FBBF chair Stephanie Fayd’herbe said.

“Like my business, operators do not have the time to attend forums, read consultant reports and respond.”

“Our focus is on delivering products or services to our clients, managing costs and meeting the compliance requirements of the modern business environment. That leaves very little time to engage with planners.”

The FBBF will seek the views of businesses on issues that they foresee coming from increased population and increased employment in the area. These views will be assessed against the future plans being put forward by the Fishermans Bend Taskforce.

The steering committee has already built a database of some 330 businesses out of the estimated 400 that government estimate to be in the area.

According to the forum, the area is largely home to highly-specialised companies in the creative industries, defence industry contractors, technology companies in the road and rail sector and specialty food importers and distributors.

Construction companies, civil engineers and materials testing businesses also feature prominently, while many of Australia’s leading date centres are also based in the area.

The FBBF has already made a submission to the Fishermans Bend Planning Panel, highlighting the close connection with the Port of Melbourne activities, road linkages and the economic importance of current industrial uses.

For more information contact FBBF executive officer David Weston [email protected]

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