The Victorian government will allocate $179.4 million in the upcoming state budget to begin work converting the historic Fishermans Bend site once occupied by GMH into an advanced manufacturing, engineering and design precinct.
The first stage will see remediation of the 32 hectare site – where Australia’s first Holden rolled off the production line in 1948 – and the installation of critical infrastructure to make the site investment ready.
A new road will ultimately link Salmon Street and Todd Road, with the site able to support 2,000 jobs by 2024.
According to the government: “The precinct will encourage collaboration between industry and academia, with the University of Melbourne leading the way.
“Fishermans Bend will house the University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering from 2024 and the innovation precinct is forecast to be capable of supporting up to 30,000 STEM jobs by 2051.”
The co-location of education facilities at the site mimics that of the successful Tonsley Innovation Precinct in Adelaide located at the former assembly plant of Mitsubishi Motors.
The co-location of TAFE and Flinders University at Tonsley has energised the precinct, increased research-industry collaboration and led to the creation of more jobs that existed previously when Mitsubishi was in operation.
In contrast the former GMH site at Elizabeth in South Australia is developing more as an industrial park.
The Victorian government said the new Melbourne precinct would support high-paid innovation jobs in defence, aerospace, clean energy and transport. It will also strengthen our state’s capacity to commercialise new ideas and foster new business ventures.
Minister for business precincts Martin Pakula said: “The old Holden factory is part of Victoria’s manufacturing history. This important first step will help transform it into Victoria’s manufacturing future.”
Picture: Victorian government
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