The Andrews Labor Government has purchased the first future park in Fisherman's Bend, a key move in its plan to create healthy and liveable communities and rescue Australia's largest urban renewal precinct.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the Labor Government is working to provide the open space the area will need, after the previous Liberal Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, failed to do so.
Mr Guy rezoned the industrial development overnight and without adequately planning for the more than 80,000 people that will call Fishermans Bend home. He also ignored expert advice that showed the Buckhurst St site would need to be public open space.
Mr Wynne said it is disappointing Victorians have been lumped with a $19 million bill as a result of not providing for the required land, which could have been bought for a third of the price before the rezoning.
Mr Wynne said the Labor Government’s plan, signed in partnership with the City of Port Phillip, followed months of negotiations.
“Matthew Guy botched Fishermans Bend. He ignored expert advice and failed to plan for the 80,000 people who will live there by not giving enough thought to building healthy places for them to live in.”
“Parks are invaluable and each new park is an extra lung for the city, as well as helping people live healthier lives.”
“The Labor Government is fixing Fishermans Bend. We want it to be a place where people can have some grass to kick a footy, have a barbecue and meet with friends.”
The Labor Government is responsibly preparing for the tens of thousands of people who will call Fishermans Bend home in the future, with work beginning on detailed neighbourhood plans in April this year.
Mr Wynne said much of the future Fishermans Bend housing would include apartments and townhouses and it was unfair, unhealthy and irresponsible for any government to ignore the need for parks in places where many people will not have a backyard.
The City of Port Phillip contributed $6.3 million to the purchase and Mr Wynne thanked the council for working together so residents can live in neighbourhoods with access to schools, transport and open space.
City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss said the new park would be grassed in time for the opening of South Melbourne Primary School in 2018 and council would engage with its community about their ideas for the long- term development of the park.