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On Tuesday, the Victorian Government announced $1.46 billion to fund the first phase of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation – Australia’s largest cultural infrastructure project.  

Development Victoria is excited to deliver this bold, city-shaping vision to transform the Melbourne Arts Precinct into one of the world’s great creative and cultural destinations. 

Situated in Southbank, the Melbourne Arts Precinct already has one of the highest concentrations of arts, cultural and creative organisations anywhere in the world – and presents up to 3000 performances and exhibitions in a typical year.

It’s home to the most visited art gallery and busiest performing arts centre in the country, the best arts education and training institutions, iconic architecture, galleries, theatres, music venues, studios, creative co-working spaces and more.

However, most of this activity happens behind closed doors, the precinct is disjointed and difficult to navigate, there is limited outdoor public space, and our major cultural institutions are bursting at the seams.
Phase One of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation will deliver: 
  • A unique new 18,000 square metre immersive public garden in the heart of the precinct, including space for outdoor art and performances
  • NGV Contemporary, a new gallery dedicated to contemporary art and design – set to be the largest of its kind in Australia
  • New connections and improved access into and through the precinct 
  • Underground shared services infrastructure that will ensure the seamless and sustainable operations of the precinct and its venues, as well as foundational works for Phase Two. 

The project will create 5000 jobs during construction, 200 ongoing jobs in the creative industries, and cement Melbourne’s status as one of the world’s leading creative and cultural destinations. 

Public consultation will commence in 2021. Early works are scheduled to commence in late 2021. 

Updated on 13 May 2024