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Port Melbourne is a suburb in Melbournemarker, Victoriamarker, Australia, 5 km south-west from Melbourne's central business districtmarker. Its Local Government Area are the Cities of Port Phillip and Melbournemarker. At the 2006 Census, Port Melbourne had a population of 13,293.

The suburb is bordered by the shore of Hobsons Bay and the lower reaches of the Yarra Rivermarker. Port Melbourne covers a large area which includes the distinct localities of Fishermens Bend, Garden City, Montague and Beacon Cove.

The area to the north of the West Gate Freeway is in the City of Melbournemarker. The area to the south is in the City of Port Phillip.

Historically it was known as Sandridge and developed as the city's second port, linked to the nearby Melbourne CBD. The area has been subject to intense urban renewal over the past decade. As a result, Port Melbourne is a diverse and historic area, featuring industrial and port areas along the Yarra to open parklands, bayside beaches, exclusive apartments and Bay Street's restaurants and cafes. The suburb also forms a major transport link from east to west, home to one end of the West Gate Bridgemarker.


The area known as Port Melbourne was first settled in 1839 by Wilbraham Liardet, who established a hotel, jetty, and mail service. It was initially known as Liardet's Beach, though soon took on the official name of Sandridge, and finally Port Melbourne in 1884. The area came into prominence during the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s. With an increasing amount of ships looking to berth, Sandridge became a thriving transport hub. To alleviate the high costs of shipping goods via small vessels up the Yarra River to Melbourne, Australia's first railway line was built in 1854, connecting Sandridge to Melbourne. This became known as the Port Melbourne Line, which was eventually converted to Melbourne tram route 109 in 1987. The disused Sandridge Bridgemarker takes its name from this historic railway line.

In the early years of Port Melbourne, the suburb was separated from neighboring Albert Parkmarker by a large shallow lagoon. This was gradually filled in over the years, with the last of it completed in 1929. Today, the area is largely covered by the eponymous Lagoon Reserve, although the original extent of the lagoon was much greater.

As a transport hub, Port Melbourne had numerous hotels. Early industries included a sugar refinery, soap and candle works, chemical works, rice and flour mills, gasworks, a distillery and a boot factory. Station and Princes Piers were a major place of arrival to the country for immigrants to Australia prior to the availability affordable air travel.


Today, Port Melbourne still serves as a transport hub for passenger and cargo vessels. Many luxury liners, naval vessels and ferries arrive at Station Pier including the daily ferry service, the Spirit of Tasmania, to Tasmaniamarker. Cargo traffic takes place further west, near the mouth of the Yarra Rivermarker, principally at Webb Dock.

As the relative importance of the port has declined, and as manufacturing industry has moved out of the inner city area, Port Melbourne has increasingly become a residential suburb. The area where Port Melbourne originally developed, around Station Pier and the currently derelict Princes Pier, has been redeveloped with a mixture of apartment complexes and medium-density housing, the best known of which is the Beacon Covemarker development.

Houses in Port Melbourne range from single-fronted Victorian timber worker's cottages to new apartments and housing developments. Port Melbourne has undergone a major demographic shift in the past twenty years, from one of the cheapest and poorest suburbs in the city to one of the most expensive and wealthiest. Many large apartment developments in Port Melbourne occupy large blocks of land, taking over large factories and warehouses, such as HM@S project in Beach Street, ID Apartments in Pickles and Rouse Streets, Bayshore Apartments and Bayview Apartments in [Bay Street. Each of these developments comprise multiple buildings, and many of the redevelopments have preserved the heritage buildings. The Port Melbourne population now combines significant numbers of wealthy people with those who live in the local public housing, and other "old Port" locals. The area has many residents whose families came from Greecemarker in the 1950s, as well as more recent arrivals from Africa and Asia.

Port Melbourne is currently the home of Circus Oz, Australia's world-famous contemporary circus, which has its international headquarters on the corner of Bay Street and Rouse Street.

For many years Port Melbourne was a centre of Melbourne's criminal underworld, which operated smuggling syndicates on the docks. The old Ships Painters and Dockers Union was notoriously controlled by gangsters. The Waterside Workers Federation, on the other hand, was a stronghold of the Communist Party of Australia. Today the Maritime Union of Australia is still a strong presence in the area, though no longer controlled by gangsters or communists. In May 2002 the underworld figure Victor Peirce was shot dead in Bay St, Port Melbourne. The crime remains unsolved. Politically, Port Melbourne still votes very solidly for the Australian Labor Party, despite the influx of high-income residents.

The Port Melbourne Town Hallmarker is now a public library.


The Port Melbourne Football Club, known as "the Borough" is one of Melbourne's oldest Australian rules football sides, and plays in the Victorian Football League. Another local team is the Port Melbourne Colts, which plays in the Western Region Football League.


Image:Port Melbourne Bay St.jpg|Bay Street in Port MelbourneImage:Bay View from Port Melbourne.jpg|Bay View from Port MelbourneImage:Heritage Warehouse Apartment in Port Melbourne.jpg|Heritage warehouses converted to beach apartments in Port MelbourneImage:New Developments at Station Pier in Port Melbourne.jpg|New Developments at Station Pier Port MelbourneImage:Shapphire Princess at Station Pier-Port Melbourne.jpg|Sapphire Princess at Station Pier Port MelbourneImage:Spirit_ofTasmania_at_night_Sep_07.jpg|Spirit of Tasmania loads at Station PierImage:Beach_Rd_Pt_Melbourne_at_night_Sep_07_A.jpg|Beach Rd near Station Pier - up-market apartments where formerly factories and tank farms existed.Image:Bay_St_Pt_Melbourne_Sep_07.jpg|Bay Street in the early evening

Localities within Port Melbourne

Port Melbourne features three distinctive localities:

Garden City

Garden City is a locality within Port Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip. It started in the 1920s as a planned suburb similar to those built in Britain a few years earlier during the Garden City Movement. The early development was built as low-cost housing by the State Bank, with later additions of public housing by the Housing Commission of Victoria. It comprises semi-attached double-storey houses arranged around a series of public open spaces in a distorted Beaux-Arts layout. Contrary to popular belief the "Bank Houses" were never public housing and have always been in private hands, and the Bank Houses area later became known as 'nobs hill', a reference to relative wealth of their occupants compared to the residents of the clinker brick public housing that was added later, while the Housing Commission area was known as 'Little Baghdad'

Beacon Cove

Beacon Cove is a locality within Port Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip. It comprises approximately 1100 dwellings in a mixture of low-rise medium density and high-rise housing with a small supermarket, some commercial space, a small number of cafes, restaurants and a gym. It was developed over the decade from 1996 by Australian developer Mirvac, following the collapse of the 'Sandridge City' scheme for a gated community featuring canalside housing. The site was formerly an industrial facility. Beacon Cove features a waterfront promenade, palm-lined boulevards and a layout that allows the retention of two operational shipping beacons. Most of the low-rise housing is arranged around a series of small parks, in a postmodern scaled-down Beaux-Arts plan similar in layout to nearby St Vincent Gardens in Albert Parkmarker. Along the foreshore is a series of 11-14 storey high-rise apartment towers with a small amount of very upmarket low-rise housing at the western end directly fronting Sandridge Beach. The layout re-routed Beach Street away from the foreshore and the apartments along the waterfront have direct access to the promenade. The development was completed in stages, working west from Princes Street, and this is reflected in the different styles of architecture. This sub-suburb is fashionable and expensive, although controversial amongst some members of the Port Melbourne community as it is of a completely different style to the surrounding areas, with upmarket larger homes giving the area the name "legoland" in the Port Melbourne community.

Image:Port Melbourne Beacon Cove.jpg|Beach and apartments at Beacon CoveImage:Port_Melbourne_Foreshore_Near_The_Port_Melbourne_Yacht_Club.jpg|Port Melbourne foreshore near the Port Melbourne Yacht ClubImage:Leisure at Beacon Cove.jpg|Leisure at Beacon Cove Port MelbourneImage:Sea Change at Beacon cove.jpg|Sea Change at Beacon Cove Port MelbourneImage:Residential Developments at Beacon Cove.jpg|Residential Developments at Beacon Cove Port MelbourneImage:Beacon_Cove_of_Port_Melbourne.jpg|Beacon Cove & Station Pier New Development (Waterfront Restaurant) in Port MelbourneImage:Port Melbourne Beach Music Festival at Beacon Cove.jpg|Port Melbourne Beach Music Festival at Beacon CoveImage:Spirit of Tasmania at Port Melbourne.jpg|Spirit of Tasmania at Station Pier, Port melbourne

Fishermans Bend

Fishermans Bend, known originally as Fisherman's Bend, is a locality within Port Melbourne and the City of Melbournemarker. It is positioned immediately to the east of the West Gate Bridgemarker, on the south bank of the Yarra Rivermarker, adjacent to the suburb of Port Melbourne and opposite Coode Island on the north shore of the Yarra River.

The name Fishermens Bend originally included the area now known as Garden City, which was renamed in 1929.

The site was an early location for Bay fishermen of European descent, from the 1850s. Some thirty families lived on the Bend, frequently finding additional work in the docks and cargo ships. Ballast was loaded onto ships returning to Europe. Habitation was rough shacks along the Bend, made from corrugated iron, flattened kerosene tins or wood. There were no roads, shops, or sewerage. Water was collected from hanging out sail canvases and stored in iron tanks or casks, and milk came from a nearby farm. Fishing of course continues on the Bay, but today only two fishing licences belong to descendants of these early pioneer settlers. The last remaining shack on the Bend was demolished in 1970, to make way for Webb Dock. The new Surf Life Saving Club headquarters stand on the site (Meiers 2006).

The suburb of Fishermens Bend also has a significant place in Australian aviation history, being the home of several prominent historical Australian aircraft design and manufacturing companies including the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, General Motors Holden, Smorgon Steel, Government Aircraft Factories, the Aeronautical Research Laboratory and regional facilities for Boeing.

Fishermens Bend is a primarily industrial centre at the foot of the Westgate Bridgemarker which is the headquarters for Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Holden Australia, Hawker de Havilland, GKN Aerospace Engineering Services, the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures, Kraft Foods, Toyota Australia, port security and a campus of RMIT Universitymarker.

It also has a marina known as d'Albora Marinas Pier 35 and several container ship ports. Fishermens Bend has a single large reserve known as Westgate Park, a large natural wetlands.

See also


  1. Australian Places - Garden City

External links

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