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Population boost for Docklands

03 Sep 2015

Docklands’ population has grown by 164 per cent since 2004, a council report revealed last month.

The growth was the largest percentage increase across the Melbourne municipality, followed by the CBD (142 per cent) and Southbank (106 per cent).

The City of Melbourne’s Daily Population Estimates and Forecasts 2015 report attributed the growth to high-rise apartment living.

The report estimated that in 2014 approximately 854,000 people travelled to or were in Melbourne on an average weekday, representing a 2.9 per cent growth since 2012.

This growth is attributed to a combination of factors including employment growth, increased visits from interstate and overseas and residential population growth.

According to the report, the council’s November 2015 development activity monitoring report estimates that more than 9270 apartments were constructed between 2012 and 2014 within the Melbourne municipality.

And the growth is expected to continue, with the report forecasting an approximate 13,480 high-rise apartments to be completed within the next five years.

Of those currently under construction, Melbourne’s CBD will gain the biggest share, with 6000 apartments (44.7 per cent) under construction.

A further 2740 apartments (or 20.3 per cent) are currently under construction in Southbank, while 1570 (or 11.7 per cent) are under construction in Docklands, according to the report.

Residential towers currently under construction in Docklands include Hiap Hoe’s Marina Tower at NewQuay, MAB’s Promenade and Aqui developments, Mirvac’s Forge tower, Lend Lease’s Concavo and 888 Collins St and Capital Alliance’s M Docklands.

With the vast number of new residential developments under construction, Docklands population is expected to grow.

According to the population estimates report, between 2012 and 2014 Docklands’ population grew by 1713 or 26.6 per cent.

This puts the suburb within the top five growth areas within the Melbourne municipality, along with Melbourne (up 29.2 per cent), Southbank (up 24.3 per cent), Carlton (up 12.2 per cent) and North Melbourne (up 9.9 per cent).

Overall, the report found that more than 122,000 lived in the Melbourne municipality in 2014, marking a 15.9 per cent increase since 2012 and the equivalent of 16,788 additional residents.

The report notes that the high-rise living momentum is likely to continue, with the residential population likely to grow around 3 per cent annually between 2015 and 2036.  It’s estimated that around 202,000 people will live in the municipality by 2030.

At the same time the demand for Docklands’ office space is also set to continue.

More than 70 per cent of new office space constructed in Melbourne between 2013 and 2014 was in Docklands, with 155,000sqm made available.

Docklands has seen an influx of new office space over the last few years, with new NAB, Medibank and AGL headquarters, new commercial space at Collins Square and construction of the Lifestyle Working Collins St building.

The CBD had the second largest share of new office space, with 57,000sqm, or 26.4 per cent, constructed during the same period.

The report also estimated that the vast majority of the 329,000sqm of office space currently under construction is being built in Docklands. Some 149,000sqm of office space is currently being built in Docklands, equating to 45.2 per cent of the Melbourne total.

The remainder of the new office space is being built in the CBD, with 125,000sqm under construction (or 38.3 per cent) and Southbank with 51,000sqm under construction (or 15.5 per cent).

As the amount of office space built and currently under construction illustrates, Docklands is one of three employment clusters in Melbourne municipality.

According to the report, the CBD, Southbank and Docklands account for 68.6 per cent of total employment in the municipality.

The report estimates more than 386,000 people travelled in to the municipality for work on an average weekday in 2014, and that this number is set to reach between 645,000 and 650,000 by 2030.

According to the Daily Population Estimates and Forecasts report Melbourne’s daily population, including residents, workers and visitors, is expected to grow by 2 per cent annually between 2015 and 2030.

If this occurs, the report predicts that daily population in the city will reach one million by 2022.

Accordingly, the report highlights the need for stakeholders to continue to adopt a long-term strategy to ensure this growth can be catered for, particularly in terms of:

  • Open space, gardens and parks;
  • Enhances public transport;
  • Greater pedestrian flow management;
  • More entertainment, cultural and sporting activities
  • Maximising safety at night time; and
  • More office, residential and retail floor space.
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