The long-awaited new planning framework for Fishermans Bend has officially been announced by the Minister for Planning. Minister Richard Wynne, along with Martin Foley, the Member for Albert Park, have rounded out 12 months of extensive public consultation with details for the new infrastructure.

An in-depth Planning Review Panel process which received over 250 submissions finalised the plans last week. Still to come, however, is an infrastructure funding plan which will further support the project.

Richard Wayne claims the panel is "fixing the mess" created by Matthew Guy's fast rezoning which was said to benefit a handful of landholders and has since been heavily condemned by an independent review panel. Wayne continued by saying the Framework aims to make Fishermans Bend a community that provides schools, public transport, and green, open spaces rather than another "concrete jungle."

Martin Foley echoed these sentiments by saying that Guy’s rezoning was "dodgy" and "an absolute disaster." Foley claims that the planning changes will protect Fishermans Bend by law to the benefit of the community.

As Australia’s largest urban renewal project, Fishermans Bend is well positioned for substantial growth. It is an attractive prospect for potential residents and investors due to its proximity to the CBD, Docklands and Southbank and is projected for significant population expansion. Projections indicate that the population will sit around 80,000 by 2050 with a similar number of jobs created in the area which crosses over two municipalities, Melbourne and Port Phillip.

The considerable open space that will be created in Fishermans Bend means that we can expect a different skyline to some of its neighbouring suburbs with high-rises kept to a minimum. New developments must adhere to a six percent affordable housing target along with other controls including a Floor Area Uplift to ensure prices remain within a reasonable bracket.

The area will not be without its large new apartment developments, as twenty-six proposals for high-rise living are currently being reviewed. A Standing Advisory Committee will use new planning controls as a guide for assessment to ensure that any approvals meet the community focused plan for the region.

Schooling, both primary and secondary, open areas with walking and cycling provisions and significant public transport options are just some of the improvements scheduled for Fishermans Bend. The focus is on supporting the growing community with a development plan for the next 30 years. The South Melbourne Primary School is one of the initial stages, and the first of the schools to see completion. Following this, a new secondary school, which is in the final planning stages, is set to begin construction soon.

The Fishermans Bend Development Board was created to guide the planning and development of the Framework and Planning Controls, ensuring that the vision for Fishermans Bend stays on track. The board is responsible for reviewing all major decisions for the precinct, including the affordable housing and high-rise controls. Ms. Meredith Sussex AM leads the board in the position of Chair along with a team experts across the planning, industry, finance and transport sectors.

The framework can be viewed via with providing continued analysis as the planning develops.