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Key details

Location
Fishermans Bend, Port Melbourne

Policy objective
Urban renewal
Economic Development

Client
Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Key partner 
University of Melbourne 

Overview

A $179.4 million funding package from the Victorian Government will kick start development in the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct, formerly known as the General Motors Holden (GMH) site.

The precinct will undergo a major transformation to put Victoria at the forefront of global innovation in advanced manufacturing, engineering and design.

Stage 1, being delivered by Development Victoria, will include remediation of the 32-hectare site and the installation of crucial infrastructure and services to create an investment-ready precinct.

The delivery of key roads through the precinct will also form part of Stage 1 works and serve to activate the precinct, in particular the establishment of an East/West boulevard through the site linking Salmon Street and Todd Road, and creating an interface with the delivery of a new public park.

The precinct will encourage collaboration between industry and academia, with the University of Melbourne leading the way. Fishermans Bend will house the University of Melbourne’s new engineering and design campus from 2025 and the innovation precinct is forecast to be capable of supporting up to 30,000 STEM jobs by 2051.

Development Victoria acquired the former General Motors Holden (GMH) site in Port Melbourne in 2017 when it was a vacant industrial site.

The Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct 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

$179.4m Invested in stage 1

Outcomes

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

As many as 300 people will work on the project at any one time, with close to 700 indirect jobs also supported. Stage 1 is expected to unlock developable land capable of supporting 2,000 jobs by 2024.

Progress to date:

  • Strategic site planning continues
  • Settlement of the University of Melbourne Land Sale contract. Stage 1 of the campus will be purpose-built for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) and the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning (ABP), and is expected to open in 2025. The campus is part of an almost $1 billion commitment to create a world-class engineering school at the site.
  • Development Victoria has delivered Phase 1 of a helicopter gearbox Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Facility (MROF) within the precinct.  Operated by Leonardo Australia under a long-term lease, the MROF will provide an Australian base for the maintenance and support of the Australian Department of Defence’s MRH90 helicopter fleet, and is the only site in the southern hemisphere with a sophisticated aeronautical gearbox dynamic engineering maintenance capability.
  • 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 Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct to accommodate a range of advanced manufacturing and research leaders, supported by a high-quality street and public open space network and public transport connections.


Location

The Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct 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 Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct site is less than 5 kms from the edge of Melbourne’s CBD and has good access to the West Gate Freeway and CityLink.

The site was formerly known as the General Motors Holden (GMH) site.

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

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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. 
  • Site renamed Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct
  • State Government announce funding commitment of $179.4 million to deliver Stage One of the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct
  • Completion of Phase 1 of a helicopter gearbox Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Facility (MROF) at the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct. 
  • Settlement of University of Melbourne Land Sale Contract for the delivery of the new campus, purpose-built for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) and the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning (ABP).
  • Commencement of design and statutory approvals phase for Stage One of the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct
  • 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