Fishy Business13 July 2017
The University of Melbourne is currently considering purchasing a site at Fishermans Bend, a large urban renewal project site located south of the Yarra River, a 20-minute drive away from the Parkville Campus.
Currently, the University will not provide a proposed timeline for Fishermans Bend purchasing or information on the prospective development there.
As it is an industrial site, Fishermans Bend is primarily used for manufacturing and development.
There has been much speculation regarding what exactly the University wishes to relocate to Fishermans Bend if they are indeed able to purchase a site there.
According to a University spokesperson, the University is in discussions regarding the possible purchase of a site at Fishermans Bend to provide more space and more opportunities for industry engagement for researchers and students.
The University is pushing recruitment for the School of Engineering in order to expand the faculty. The University predicts the Melbourne School of Engineering will grow to over 6,000 students by 2020, for which the current Parkville campus might not have enough room. Rumours are circulating that the Engineering Faculty could be moved to the Fishermans Bend site, especially considering its current large drain on the CBD’s energy grid.
A University spokesperson has however clarified that facilities and space to accommodate the growth in Engineering students and staff numbers will be developed on the Parkville campus.
They will also be developed on the new innovation precinct on the former Royal Women’s Hospital site, which was recently purchased by the University.
It has already been announced that the old Women’s Hospital site is set to become the STELaR (Science Technology Engineering and Leadership and Research) Lab. This will be a joint $13 million project between the University, RMIT, the Defense Institute and Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is a military research and weapons manufacturing company from the United States, and has been the target of several student protests since its partnership with the University was announced.
Some speculate that the University may wish to relocate the STELar Lab to Fishermans Bend. As it is an industrial site, engineers would be able to test fluid dynamics and aerodynamics in the space with Lockheed Martin.
The University would not confirm or deny speculation at the present time.