Site Acquisition Paves Way for Fishermans Bend Water Plant


The Victorian government will buy a Fishermans Bend site for a water recycling plant to supply developments in the precinct. 

South East Water requested an amendment to the Melbourne Planning Scheme, Amendment C434Melb, for a public acquisition overlay for the site at 10-28 and 21-51 Sardine Street, Port Melbourne.

It would allow it to acquire the land to develop and use as a water recycling plant to provide potable water for laundry, toilets and irrigation for all private and public developments in the urban renewal precinct

Demand for water in Fishermans Bend will increase as the precinct population expands—it is expected to have 80,000 residents and at least 80,000 jobs by 2050 with 68,000 residents within the City of Port Phillip’s Montague, Sanridge and Wirraway Precincts. 

South East Water’s liveable water solutions group general manager Charlie Littlefair said the project was about sustainably solving demand issues.

“Using life-size innovation and proven technology, we’ll be solving local challenges with local solutions that reduce demand on drinking water supplies,” Littlefair said when it was first announced in 2022..

“Through the use of [a] precinct water recycling plant, smart rainwater tanks, network sensors and digital meters we’ll harness all sources of water available—drinking, recycled and rainwater.”

The 1046sq m site at 10-28 Sardine Street last changed hands in November 2021 for $37 million, according to CoreLogic property records and now consists of a warehouse and parking space next to an elevated portion of the West Gate Freeway. 

▲ The Sardine Street site of the proposed water recycling plant at Fishermans Bend.

Across the street, the 1.98ha site at 21-51 Sardine Street with warehouses and a carpark was also sold at the same time, according to CoreLogic property records, with the same $37 million price tag listed. 

No buyers or sellers were listed for each site. 

DARMS Property helped run an expression-of-interest campaign to identify a suitable site for the facility.

Consultation on the amendment proposal occurred with the City of Melbourne council, the City of Port Phillip council, the Fishermans Bend Taskforce, the Fishermans Bend Development Board, the Victorian Department of Transport and Planning, the Port of Melbourne, Environment Protection Authority Victoria and Melbourne Water all generally supportive.

Fishermans Bend is the largest urban renewal precinct in Australia, covering 480ha and five precincts across two municipalities.


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