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Framework provides a bright future

06 Nov 2017

By Sean Car

Sustainable integrated transport and tougher planning controls are at the heart of the State Government’s latest framework for Docklands’ future neighbour Fishermans Bend.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley announced the much-anticipated release of the draft Fishermans Bend Framework on October 21.

Developed by the Fishermans Bend Taskforce and the Fishermans Bend Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC), the framework maps out the bold vision for Australia’s largest ever urban renewal project.

Consisting of five distinct precincts of Montague, Sandridge, Lorimer, Wirraway and an Employment Precinct, the renewed framework is underpinned by a desire for a connected and sustainable community.

Guiding this vision is the implementation of new density controls for all new developments, which have been introduced to manage the area’s population and employment targets (80,000 people and 80,000 jobs by 2050).

Buildings in each of the four residential precincts will now be subject to defined floor area ratio (FAR) controls, which will ultimately determine a new floor area uplift (FAU) scheme for developers wishing to build higher.

Mandatory height controls of four levels will be placed along interface zones along Williamstown Rd, while discretionary height limits ranging between four and 24 storeys will apply elsewhere.

Located on either side of the West Gate Freeway, Sandridge and Lorimer will see the most high-rise development with unlimited height controls placed in sites located closer to the freeway.

Fishermans Bend MAC member Helen Halliday told Docklands News that the FAR and FAU schemes had been aligned to deliver key strategic priorities for community including affordable housing and open space.

“The density in any case is about half of what CBD plot ratios are and it’s specifically targeted where there needs to be an uplift, which targets certain key social outcomes such as affordable housing,” she said.

“There’s a progression into high density towards the freeway, which has also been modeled to ensure that no new or existing open space will be overshadowed.”

Beyond development, the framework also clearly identifies sites for proposed community facilities including open space, new schools as well sports, arts and recreation hubs.

Mapping a clear plan for public transport has also been crucial to delivering the framework, which includes plans for new tram and rail networks connecting Fishermans Bend to Docklands and the CBD.

Despite Planning Minister Richard Wynne ruling out the previous government’s proposed tram bridge through Yarra’s Edge at the previous election, the framework includes plans for a new tram bridge.

While the design of the bridge is still subject to consultation, the government’s plan now sees a longer bridge connecting Collins St to Hartley St, avoiding Point Park in Yarra’s Edge.

MAC chair Meredith Sussex AM said that the increased length of the new bridge would lead to a higher trajectory, meaning the impact on the marina would be limited.

“The design of the tram bridge is such that the alternative proposal will be higher than the previous proposal so that the marina will be significantly less affected by that trajectory than by the earlier proposal,” she said.

“There was an enormous amount of work done on every single option but given we have to ensure transport into this area we’re confident that the proposal is the best available.”

Metro 2 is also identified as a catalyst project in the framework, which would see an underground train network run through Sandridge and the Employment Precinct and continue on to Werribee.

With the Government’s proposal to expand Webb Dock, the framework also sees the return of the controversial proposal for a freight bridge connecting Fishermans Bend with the Port of Melbourne (story page 1).

Ms Sussex told Docklands News that while the Government hadn’t committed to the bridge, it needed to reserve the possibility.

“If Webb Dock is to expand significantly as is one of the proposals in the Infrastructure Victoria work then there needs to be an alternative route,” she said.

“The existing routes are not going to cope so that’s an issue for government in the longer term.”

The framework also includes extensive plans for road networks and new cycling infrastructure, including a proposed cycling and footbridge aligning the Bolte Bridge.

The draft framework has been released for public consultation until December 15. To view the framework or for more information on how to participate visit

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