Work set to start on Victoria’s $180m innovation precinct


Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

The Victorian government is set to kick off work on a $180 million innovation precinct at the site of the former General Motors Holden car manufacturing site just out of the CBD.

The Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct was announced in last year’s state budget, with $179 million in state government funding for the advanced manufacturing, engineering and design hub.

The state government has now issued an advanced tender notice for a contractor to begin the early construction work on the site in Port Melbourne, which will begin by the end of the year with plans for the innovation precinct to be up and running by 2024.

An artist’s impression of the Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct in 2050

The precinct will be a “centre of innovation”, situated at the former General Motors Holden car manufacturing site at Port Melbourne, 4km from the Melbourne CBD. The 32 hectare site will play home to the University of Melbourne’s new School of Engineering campus, along with a number of startups, tech firms, investors and industry partners.

The project has been allocated $179 million over four years, including $23 million in the 2021-22 financial year. The state government wants the precinct to be a “world-renowned centre for innovation by 2051”, with up to 30,000 jobs housed there.

“Transforming a 20th century icon of traditional manufacturing in the shadows of Melbourne’s CBD into a future-focused hub of innovation, design and new jobs tells the story of a state on the path to recovery,” last year’s state budget paper said.

The Victorian government purchased the Fishermans Bend site in 2016.

The state government is initially looking for a contractor to undertake an early works civil construction package at the site, which has variable soil conditions due to its industrial history.

The contractor will be getting the site ready for the construction of roads and parks, and will be tasked with removing, crushing and stockpiling existing concrete slabs, impact rolling the existing uncontrolled fill and bulk earthworks to import and place clean structural fills.

The government expects to officially list the tender by mid-May, with a minimum of three bidders to compete for the work.

“The Innovation Precinct will ensure Victoria remains a powerhouse in manufacturing and support thousands of high value jobs in defence, aerospace, clean energy and transport sectors,” the state government said.

“The Fishermans Bend Innovation Precinct will drive private sector investment into Victoria and see key industry players and education and research organisations work together to grow our advanced manufacturing capacity and create thousands of high value jobs.”

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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