Maribyrnong Defence Site (MDS) is a 128 hectare disused Commonwealth Department of Defence (DoD) former ordnance manufacturing facility in the City of Maribyrnong. It’s situated 10kms from Melbourne’s CBD and bounded by 3kms of frontage to the Maribyrnong River. The former ordnance factory site contains 400 buildings considered by DoD to be of varying heritage significance.

While at Places Victoria/VicUrban, NAVIRE’s Dominic Arcaro and Andrew Iles worked on the master planning of the MDS project over a period of approximately 3 years.

The task

The master planning of MDS sought to:

  • Improve housing supply, diversity and affordability in the inner west
  • Provide significant employment opportunities on the MDS
  • Implement innovative ESD / utility services on a whole of site basis, including co/tri-generation (see PEP Case Study), vacuum waste system, black / grey water treatment, solar energy
  • Provide new open space and public access to the riverfront for the first time in over 100 years
  • Manage traffic impact and optimise public transport connections
  • Restore and re-use significant heritage buildings and physical forms (such as rail tracks and blast mounds) on the Site
  • Deliver a range of community facilities
  • Provide opportunities for partnering with the private sector in the development and delivery of the project

The responsibilities

Master planning activities undertaken included:

  • Development of the Project and Regional Transport Business Cases including full development feasibility for the project
  • Development of an integrated Site masterplan, remediation, infrastructure procurement and communications strategy plans
  • Development of a cultural and built form heritage retention strategy
  • Leading the research and investigation into the delivery of innovative precinct wide energy, waste and water sensitive urban design technologies
  • Liaison with DoD, numerous Government departments and agencies (including the Environmental Protection Agency), local Councils, community focus groups/ stakeholders and potential private sector development partners

Where it’s at

In May 2017, the Federal Government announced it had ceased discussions with the Victorian Government for MDS to transfer to Development Victoria and would instead be brought to the market for sale to the private sector.