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No sustainability metrics the catch for Fishermans Bend?

How will the 80,000 residents of Fishermans Bend, close to Melbourne’s CBD and currently being touted as ‘Australia’s most significant urban renewal project’, know that their community is efficient, healthy, productive or sustainable?

As Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy approves the final master plan for the development of the 250 hectare Fishermans Bend project, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) calls on the Victorian Government to ensure the project meets best practice benchmarks for sustainability.

“Minister Guy has called Fishermans Bend ‘Australia’s most significant urban renewal project’ – one which is expected to create investment, jobs and commercial opportunities,” says the GBCA’s Chief Operating Officer, Robin Mellon.

The 40-year project is expected to generate 40,000 jobs, create billions of dollars in economic benefit, and provide homes for at least 80,000 residents.

“How we plan, design and build a precinct of this size – one that will double the size of central Melbourne – will have an enormous impact on more than the Victorian economy.  It will also have an enormous impact on the environment and on people’s lives, health and wellbeing,” Mr Mellon explains.

“Other significant urban renewal projects around Australia such as Barangaroo South and the Parramatta Square in Sydney, Caloundra South and Ecco Ripley in Queensland, Bowden and Tonsley in Adelaide, and Alkimos Beach and Waterbank in Perth, not to mention the University of Melbourne's Parkland Campus in Melbourne, are applying the Green Star – Communities rating tool to ensure they meet best practice benchmarks for governance, design, environment, liveability, financial prosperity and innovation.

“Meeting these benchmarks does not need to cost more, but will deliver massive long-term benefits.  How will the people of Victoria know that their community – one that will one day be home to 80,000 residents – meets Australian benchmarks for sustainability, leadership, transparency and efficiency?”

Green Star – Communities is an independent, national rating tool developed by the GBCA to support the design and delivery of more sustainable, productive, resilient and liveable communities.  The Victorian Government, notably Places Victoria, worked closely with the GBCA to create the Green Star – Communities framework.  More than 30 projects, including large-scale renewal projects being led by state and territory governments across the country, are registered to achieve ratings.

“The Victorian Government has the opportunity to lead the way in setting world-leading social, economic AND environmental benchmarks at Fishermans Bend – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we cannot afford to waste,” Mr Mellon concludes.