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Key details

Location
Fishermans Bend, Port Melbourne

Policy objective
Urban renewal

Client
Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Key partner 
University of Melbourne 

Overview

In 2017, Development Victoria acquired the former General Motors Holden (GMH) site in Port Melbourne.

This vacant industrial site will be redeveloped as a centre of innovation for advanced manufacturing, engineering and design.

The GMH site is part of Fishermans Bend, Australia’s largest urban renewal project, consisting of five precincts across two municipalities – the City of Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip.

By 2050, Fishermans Bend is expected to be home to approximately 80,000 residents, and provide employment for up to 80,000 people.

32ha project area

New Centre of Innovation

New School of Engineering Campus

Outcomes

Redevelopment of the GMH site will act as a catalyst to drive additional private sector investment and development within the Fishermans Bend Employment Precinct. 

Progress to date:

  • Strategic site planning underway
  • Planning for the University of Melbourne’s new School of Engineering campus
  • The campus is part of an almost $1 billion commitment to create a world-class engineering school at the site, with site works expected to commence in late 2020
  • Development Victoria has progressed a range of early works at the GMH site including the demolition of vacant plant and equipment and works related to site operations, maintenance and safety

Approach

Development Victoria is developing a master plan for the site. When complete, this will align with the Employment Precinct Structure Plan being prepared by the Fishermans Bend Task Force.

The master plan will guide the redevelopment of the GMH site to accommodate a range of office and warehouse type uses, supported by a high-quality street and public open space network and public transport connections.

Location

The General Motors Holden site is strategically located at the centre of the Fishermans Bend Employment Precinct, which in turn forms part of Australia’s largest urban renewal precinct at Fishermans Bend, Port Melbourne.   

It is bound by Salmon Street and Todd Road.

The former General Motors Holden site is less than 5 kms from the edge of Melbourne’s CBD and has good access to the West Gate Freeway and CityLink.

Who to contact about this project

Customer service
Ph: 03 8317 3400
contact@development.vic.gov.au

Media
Ph: 03 8317 3700
media@development.vic.gov.au

Timeline

  • Development Victoria acquire the 32 hectare General Motors Holden site in Fishermans Bend.
  • The University of Melbourne announces it will purchase land at the GMH site to develop its School of Engineering Campus. 
  • Strategic planning for the GMH site scheduled to be completed

1
  • University of Melbourne School of Engineering Campus scheduled to open

History of Fishermans Bend and the GMH Site

The Fishermans Bend landscape was used by local Aboriginal people for around 40,000 years prior to European arrival. Members of the Kulin have strong connections to this area.

During the early Colonial period, the lower reaches of the Yarra River known as 'Humbug Reach' and 'Fishermen's Bend' were occupied by both Aboriginal people and European settlers.
  • 1830s: Port Melbourne became the main arrival point for ships visiting Melbourne
  • 1930s: Location of early aviation development, where from the 1930s the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation manufactured aircraft in its Lorimer Street factory 
  • 1936: Fishermans Bend site acquired by Holden for new headquarters and assembly plant
  • 1945: General Motors Holden open Social Centre – built as a dining hall seating 580 employees
  • 1946: After the war ended and when the Australian government was looking to take advantage of the manufacturing capability built up during those years, Holden engineers at Fishermans Bend began work on the new sedan
  • 1948: First Holden car rolled off the line at the Fisherman’s Bend plant
  • 1956: Car manufacturing ceases at the site after Holden opened other plants in South Australia and Victoria
  • 1964: Plant 3 is redeveloped, and Salmon Street frontage replaced by the Technical Centre
  • 2016: Holden ceases engine production at the GMH site
  • 2016: The Minister for Planning establishes the Fishermans Bend Taskforce, which released the Fishermans Bend Recast Vision for public consultation, setting a framework to guide the redevelopment of Fishermans Bend
  • 2017: Development Victoria acquire the 32ha General Motors Holden site in Fishermans Bend
  • 2018: The Fishermans Bend Framework is released, containing the long-term strategic plan for the development of Fishermans Bend up to 2050
  • 2018: The University of Melbourne announces it will purchase land at the GMH site to develop its School of Engineering Campus