Port Phillip council buys Australia Post site for community use

Port Phillip council buys Australia Post site for community use
Brendan Rees

A large commercial site in Port Melbourne is set to be turned into a sport and recreation hub after it was snapped up by the City of Port Phillip for $38.8 million.

The purchase of the 15,000sqm site at Williamstown Rd was described by Mayor Heather Cunsolo as a “future-proofing investment” that would help the Fishermans Bend community, Australia’s largest urban renewal area, to “live up to its amazing potential”.

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

While the announcement is hailed as a strategic move, the purchase did however come after tussle with the state government, which had hoped to buy the site for a new school, despite open space having been earmarked for the site by the council and the government’s planning framework for the area.

According to the council, it was an opportunity missed to work in partnership of creating a vital community space in Fishermans Bend, which is projected to be home to 80,000 residents and 80,000 workers by 2050.

Gateway Ward Cr Marcus Pearl said while the purchase price was a significant amount, it was one “that reflects our dedication to creating lasting, positive change in our community”.

“We are thrilled to reach this milestone, yet it's unfortunate that the state government chose a different path rather than joining us in this vital community project. Their cooperation would have greatly enriched this initiative,” he said.

Cr Pearl said 100 per cent of the purchase was paid for from council's cash reserves with no funds from the state or federal governments. 


“This acquisition, made possible through prudent financial management and clearing council debt, demonstrates the council's dedication to sustainable community development.”


With a new open space, the council said the precinct could expand from the existing North Port Oval to include the Australia Post site and eventually the adjoining Bunnings and DHL sites.

The vision for the precinct and council’s purchase of the site aligns with the state government’s draft Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area Development Contributions Plan (DCP).

The draft DCP was recently released for community consultation, which sets out how developer contributions to the government will be allocated to Fishermans Bend for infrastructure including open space at the new site.

A preliminary submission was endorsed at the December 6 Port Phillip council meeting with residents invited to have their say. An independent committee will consider submissions on the DCP when the government’s consultation ends in February 2024.

An independent valuation was undertaken as part of the council’s due diligence before the purchase, with the council noting it was less than half the price paid about seven years ago for land to develop Kirrip Park in South Melbourne.

The Australia Post facility will maintain operations for its customers for the next one to two years until it transitions to a new location.


Caption: The North Port Oval and Australia Post site.

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