Fishermans Bend to gain new primary school in fast-growing area

Fishermans Bend to gain new primary school in fast-growing area
Brendan Rees

A new primary school is set to be built in Fishermans Bend in what will form another critical part of Australia’s largest urban renewal project.

The state government announced the acquisition of land on Williamstown Rd in Port Melbourne for a new primary school, with the temporary name of Fishermans Bend Primary School.

The new school is expected to open from the beginning of 2026, accommodating places for up to 650 students from Prep to Grade 6 at the centre of Fishermans Bend, Australia’s largest urban renewal project covering 480 hectares that will be home to 80,000 people by 2050.

Minister for Education Ben Carroll made the announcement on May 27, saying it was exciting news for current and future families, and would help meet the needs of the growing population.

However, the state government did not confirm the exact address of the acquired site, instead, stating the “site is located within the Wirraway Precinct of Fishermans Bend and is not the Australia Post site”.

The 15,000sqm Australia Post site on Williamstown Rd was acquired by the City of Port Phillip for $38.8 million in December last year, with the council proposing to develop a sport and recreation hub on the land.

The site is currently occupied by Australia Post’s Port Melbourne Business Centre, which would be relocated nearby.

The state government initially had intentions to buy the Australia Post site for a new school.

City of Port Phillip Gateway Ward Cr Marcus Pearl said he welcomed the acquisition of land for a new primary school in Port Melbourne, but added it was “very unusual” the government had not publicly disclosed the exact location of the site to the community, noting community transparency was important.

He also believed, given the site’s proximity to Port Melbourne Primary School, that the new school could form part of a new campus for Port Melbourne Primary, specifically for Grades 5 and 6, which “would create a seamless educational pathway for local students and maximise the use of our existing educational resources”.

Cr Pearl also called for the state government to consider the design and construction lessons learned from the experiences with Port Melbourne Secondary College, and that it “must work with Port Phillip Council to get good outcomes for our community”.

“It is imperative that the education Department prioritises community road safety and ensures that the planning and construction of this campus addresses these critical concerns from the outset,” he said.

Cr Pearl said several schools in the municipality were awaiting funding for building upgrades, and urged the state government to not only focus on new projects but also to “provide the necessary support to our existing schools, ensuring all students have access to the best possible educational facilities”.


The City of Port Phillip has always been committed to working with the state government to enhance educational opportunities for our community and ensure that all developments serve the best interests of our residents.


Minister for Precincts Colin Brooks said the government was proud to be contributing to the community’s growth with a new primary school, which “will add to the area’s vibrant and expanding community and be a place for education, care, and social connection”.

The Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Association (BCNA) welcomed the announcement but noted more school and transport infrastructure were “critical elements to achieve the proposed population increases in coming years” as outlined in the Fishermans Bend Framework released in 2018.

“With the government proposing a total population of 80,000 residents in Fishermans Bend by 2050 and assuming the ratio of primary school children remains consistent with the wider Port Phillip, this anticipates roughly 2900 primary school students,” the BCNA said.

“Assuming 650 students per school, this means another two to three schools of similar size will be required. The BCNA recommends the state government take a proactive approach to acquiring land for these schools and other social facilities such as medical centres, community hubs, and dedicated transport facilities.”

The BCNA added that given open green space was at a premium, it “strongly cautions against allocating existing parkland” for the new school building.

“We also caution against assuming that a new school can be constructed adjacent to existing parkland with an expectation that parkland be used for school recreation. Junior school children require significant recreational space and concentrating 650 students into existing parkland for their primary recreation will rapidly render the grounds unusable for the wider community.” •

Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor said the new school was vital in “giving young families confidence to settle down and make a home in this new community with all the services they need nearby”.

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