An artist's impression of a reimagined Buckhurst Street, Fishermans Bend.

The Victorian Government has purchased land for a new park in the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area. It is one of the first public space elements of the revised planning for the precinct, which has been underway since April this year.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the Buckhurst Street site’s new life as open space was essential to ensure liveability.

Because a substantial proportion of the housing planned for the area includes apartments and townhouses, Mr Wynne said 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.

“Parks are invaluable, and each new park is an extra lung for the city, as well as helping people live healthier lives,” he said.

“We want [Fishermans Bend] to be a place where people can have some grass to kick a footy, have a barbecue and meet with friends.”

The announcement is the culmination of months of negotiations with the City of Port Phillip, which has contributed $6.3 million of the purchase price of the site.

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. The council will be also consulting with the local community about ideas for the park’s long-term future.

“This is the start of the precinct rollout of Australia’s biggest urban renewal project and we want to work closely with the government to help set the standard for the vibrancy and liveability of the new neighbourhoods to come,” Ms Voss said.

The government expects the Fishermans Bend area will eventually be home to more than 80,000 people.

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  1. It’s not a very big lung for 80,000 people! The proposed park is about 4000 square metres, or about an acre in old terms. See the article by Clay Lucas in The Age for more details, including the fact that the Victorian Government paid $19 million for the site, which was bought for $4.4 million in 2008, as a warehouse. There are apparently other parks nearby (which is always used as justification for urban densification) but it appears to be yet another case of the provision of recreational parkland lagging seriously behind urban densification. As per the statement above, the people who go there to “kick a footy, have a barbecue and meet with friends” will just about fill up the available space!