Construction has begun on the Birrarung Marr stage of Melbourne’s Greenline Project, which is set to create 450m of new boardwalks, promenades, native habitats and greening along the Yarra River’s edge. 

The $30 million transformation is the first stage of the Greenline project, and will take place along the Yarra between Batman Avenue and the eastern edge of Federation Square. 

The Birrarung Marr works are being delivered in partnership with the Federal Government, thanks in part to a $20 million grant funding agreement – made available through the Priority Community Infrastructure Program. 

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, celebrated the partnership at a sod-turning ceremony. 

The Greenline Project is a transformative vision for the northbank of the Yarra River – Birrarung, creating 4km of connected promenades, parks, open spaces, cultural activations, vibrant riverfront destinations and environmental renewal between Birrarung Marr and the Bolte Bridge.  

The City of Melbourne remains committed to delivering the Greenline project through a $22.5 million investment in the 2024-25 draft Budget. Council will also dedicate more than $30 million across the next four years to the project and continue to seek new partnerships and funding opportunities to complete the project. 

The project spans across five inter-connected precincts – Birrarung Marr, The Falls, River Park, Maritime and Saltwater Wharf, with each precinct highlighting its unique character and rich indigenous history. 

The Greenline Project will be guided by a cultural strategy developed in partnership with the Traditional Owners.

Along with improved green spaces for Melbourne’s growing population, the enhanced infrastructure will provide a better place for events like the Moomba Festival, the Australian Open, and New Year’s Eve.

A new Greenline Project Hub will open in the coming months next to Federation Square – becoming a space for key community engagement activities and the new home for the project team.  

The Greenline Project’s business case, prepared by Ernst & Young, estimates the project will deliver a benefit to cost ratio of $3.29 for every dollar spent – and attract an additional $1.9 billion of private sector investment. 

The Greenline Project is also expected to create over 3,400 jobs during construction, more than 6,400 ongoing jobs by 2042, and attract over 1.1 million more visitors to the city annually.  

This stage of the Birrarung Marr precinct transformation is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.  

Mayor Capp said that the Greenline Project will transform the underutilised north bank of the Yarra River to enhance Melbourne’s world-renowned liveability and will ensure Melbourne remains a beacon for global visitors and investment,” Mayor Capp said. 

“We’re delighted to partner with the Federal Government to get this exciting stage done – another significant vote of confidence in the Greenline project.

“The Greenline project has been backed by seven unanimous Council decisions and is reinforced by a business case that unequivocally shows the project stacks up, delivering $1.2 billion worth of economic and community benefits for Melbourne and Victoria.”  

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the government is getting on with the job of delivering on its election commitment to support the Greenline Project, which is a much-needed project for Melbourne.

“The Federal Government’s investment will build economic opportunity, while supporting people to enjoy the spaces and places they live in,” Minister King said. 

“This project is a demonstration of the government’s ongoing commitment to providing new and improved infrastructure that bolsters social inclusion and encourages communities to thrive, both economically and socially.” 

Image: Richie Chan/shutterstock.com

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