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Southbank

(3006, 1 km S, Melbourne City, Port Phillip City)

The land on the south side of the Yarra River, bounded by St Kilda Road, Montague Street and the West Gate Freeway, was identified by the State Government in 1984 as an 'action area' offering 'exciting opportunities for planned redevelopment'. Formerly part of South Melbourne, the area had become a centre for warehouses and manufacturers after the decline of the wharves. Over the last 30 years it has been transformed into an inner-city arts precinct, beginning with the Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Victorian College of the Arts. The Southgate 'arts and leisure precinct', with its shops, restaurants, caf├ęs and much sought-after office space, opened in 1992. Numerous apartment blocks have created a residential quarter. To the west, the Melbourne Exhibition Centre was completed in 1996. The controversial Crown Entertainment Complex opened amid equal measures of fanfare and public dissent in 1997.

Carly Millar