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Get on with the Bend

08 Jul 2020

Get on with the Bend Image

By Meg Hill

The City of Melbourne wants to play a greater governance role in Fishermans Bend, and has called on the state government to prioritise the delivery of public transport to the precinct.

In a council report considered by councillors at the Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting on July 7, after the July edition of Southbank News was published, it called for a “greater role” in future governance and decision-making.

This motion was preceded by another at the same meeting which considered a planning scheme amendment that would pave the way for the development of the University of Melbourne’s $2 billion Fishermans Bend campus at the former GMH site on Salmon St.

Council planners support the new campus, but raised concerns in their report about heritage retention and built form.

The state government’s focus on Fishermans Bend has been largely squared on the delivery of the employment precinct in an effort to create a National Innovation and Employment Cluster (NEIC) centred on advanced manufacturing and design. The new university will be constructed in the heart of this precinct.

But while the government’s efforts to deliver 80,000 new jobs to the precinct by 2050 are backed by the City of Melbourne, it has called on a change to governance arrangements that will allow it to play a greater role in helping fast-track key projects like public transport.

The report by council’s management requested:

  • An immediate commitment to funding of the tram extension [over the Yarra River] in order to secure the future University of Melbourne campus.
  • Accelerate timeframes for completing the business case for the tram extension.
  • Commitment to medium-term delivery of rail to Fishermans Bend.

“The challenges posed in the current structure include role clarity across Government and lack of commitment to funding and delivery of critical, catalytic infrastructure projects (such as the tram, train and open space) potentially reducing investor confidence and adversely affecting development momentum,” the report stated.

“Success is underpinned by the delivery of the tram and rail extensions into and through the precincts to provide accessibility for the expected 80,000 residents and 80,000 jobs anticipated for the area.”

The report reasoned that, although the governance structure for Fishermans Bend was complex, the point of transition from planning to delivery raised an opportunity for reassessment.

It outlined a role for local government in an urban renewal governance structure to:

  • Be represented in the decision-making process at highest level;
  • Retain Responsible Authority status for development applications;
  • Provide input into community infrastructure briefs in the right locations.
  • Set standards for public realm;
  • Provide specialist planning, design and community engagement; and
  • Support future industries and business precincts.

Case studies cited in the report included the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Copenhagen City and Port Development Corporation, the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation in London and the Paris et Métropole Aménagement in Paris •

 

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