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Montague Precinct inspires new VCE geography course

Brendan Rees

One of Australia’s biggest urban renewal projects – which incorporates parts of Southbank, South Melbourne and Port Melbourne – will become the focus of a new VCE geography study for year 12 students.

The state government has teamed up with the Geography Teachers’ Association of Victoria to deliver a new Fishermans Bend fieldwork guide with a focus on the Montague Precinct, which spans some 43 hectares.

Bounded by the West Gate Freeway to the north and City Rd to the south, Montague forms part of the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area, which is forecast to house up to 80,000 residents and accommodate 80,000 jobs by 2050, according to the state government’s planning framework for the precinct.

The new unit three VCE fieldwork resource, which focuses on changes in land use within the precinct, will see students use maps and data, geospatial technology tools, create field sketches, conduct land use surveys and face-to-face questioning, and present a traffic/transport count report.

One area of study will centre on the challenges the Montague Precinct presents including improving public transport links, and better connecting Fishermans Bend with the CBD, major city gateways, other urban renewal areas and successfully integrating with surrounding suburbs.

A Victorian Government spokesperson said the Montague Precinct had a “critical role in bringing industry, research and entrepreneurs together in Melbourne’s CBD and grow the Victorian economy.”

“Our collaboration with the Geography Teachers’ Association of Victoria is providing students with a real-time case study about land use while the significant urban renewal project at Fishermans Bend is currently underway,” the spokesperson said.

The Montague Precinct has been a focus of both state and local government investment, with the opening of South Melbourne Primary School in Southbank, Kirrip Park and the new City Rd tram stop in 2018 attracting investment from the private sector.

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