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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Fishermans Bend – the past and the future

Victoria-Australia Port Phillip Henry L. Cox, State Library of Victoria

PMHPS’s head is spinning with thinking about its submission to the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area Draft Vision, so this week’s post is about …. Fishermans Bend! PMHPS will argue that an understanding of the environmental/natural history of Fishermans Bend is fundamental to planning for its future.

So lets look at this 1864 map before the Coode Canal went in and altered the course of the river. See the swamps and sandy terrain, the relationship to the Yarra River, the emerging city and the Sandridge township.

This is how one resident, writing in 1935, recalled the area:

“Fishermans Bend was a fine place, almost in its primitive state, a great resort for sportsmen, rabbits, wild duck and other game being plentiful. Thick tea tree scrub grew on the south side of the Yarra from the present timber dock almost to the mouth. Three prison hulks were moored in a backwater since reclaimed half way over to Spotswood. A jetty ran some distance in to deep water on the south side, and the prisoners would row over to get supplies brought from the city. The Bend was a fine grazing ground: hundreds of cows and horses were grazed there paying so much a head to the local council, which employed a herdsman. the position was held by Mr Anthony Rodgers. Fishermens houses occupied he beach frontage almost to the mouth of the Yarra.”


Sandridge recalled The Age 9 February 1935


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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.