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What's on City of Melbourne

Manufacturing sector overview

The largest proportion of the advanced manufacturing sector in the City of Melbourne is concentrated at Fishermans Bend on the south-western edge of the central city. For example, 40 per cent of Australia’s aerospace activity occurs in Victoria, the majority based at Fishermans Bend.

Fishermans Bend is the birthplace of the Australian aerospace industry with the development of the Commonwealth Aircraft Factory in the 1930s. The strong association with the industry continues to this day, with a number of major organisations present in the area.

Advanced manufacturing industries

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Marine
  • Defence
  • High-precision sheet metal work

Industry strengths

  • Strong research and development (R&D) capabilities
  • Access to world class infrastructure
  • Manufacturing centre of excellence
  • Freight and logistics hub
  • High level of collaboration between organisations

Sector highlights

  • The Black Box Flight Recorder was invented in 1957 by Dave Warren at the Aeronautical Research Laboratory in Fishermans Bend.
  • The Aeronautical Research Lab became Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) – it researches and evaluates aerospace, marine and defence technologies.
  • Boeing Aerostructures Australia is the sole supplier of select components for the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft – the 787 is said to be the world’s most advanced new aircraft.
  • Thales Australia Air Systems’ centre of excellence manages around 50 per cent of the world’s passenger aircraft movements, including every civilian flight in Australian airspace – the systems were developed in Australia and the technology is exported to more than 50 countries.
  • Fishermans Bend is home to Holden and became the birthplace of the Australian car industry when the 48/215 FX Holden rolled off the production line in 1948 – Holden’s head office, design centre and manufacturing base for its V6 engines are located at Fishermans Bend.
  • Melbourne has particular capabilities in lightweight composite materials technology, which save weight thereby saving fuel and reducing pollution.
  • Melbourne has considerable expertise in research into extending the life of airframes.

Major players


Council continues to support the biennial Australian International Airshow.


View across water to Bolte Bridge, with ship in foreground