Port Phillip City

Port Phillip City was formed on 22 June 1994, by the union of the former Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and St Kilda cities and a small part of Prahran city. It was named after Port Phillip Bay, which ships must enter en route to Melbourne by passing between Queenscliff and Point Nepean.

Port Phillip Bay was named after Captain Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales. The name was given by Governor King, shortly after the bay had been named after him in 1802.

The three former municipalities all had foreshores to Port Phillip Bay or more particularly, to Hobsons Bay at the head of Port Phillip Bay. They comprise a mixture of maritime/industrial (particularly Port Melbourne), industrial/residential (Port and South Melbourne) and residential (St Kilda).

Port Phillip City’s area is 20.6 sq km. Its western boundary is the Yarra River from the river’s mouth to the Westgate bridge crossing; the Westgate Freeway is its northern boundary, separating it from South Bank. Passing through Albert Park and St Kilda, the municipality ends at Elwood.

During the 1990s residential dwellings in Port Phillip City became increasingly sought after, set among Housing Commission high rise estates and private sector flats and apartments. From the Station Pier area to St Kilda the area is well serviced by fixed rail public transport.

There are substantial shopping areas in Bay Street, Port Melbourne, Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, Acland and Barkly Streets, St Kilda and Carlisle Street, Balaclava. The council is headquartered at the St Kilda town hall and has cashier/enquiries offices at Port Melbourne and South Melbourne town halls.

The maritime industry has facilities at Webb Dock, Hobsons Bay, in Port Phillip City. The other docks, Appleton and Swanston, are accessed from the Yarra River and are in Melbourne City’s area.

Port Phillip City’s census populations have been:

census date population
1996 73,092
2001 78,227
2006 85,096
2011 91,372

The increasing population reflects the tempo of flat and unit construction. At the 2011 census, occupied dwellings in Port Phillip City were:

Type % of occupied dwellings
  Port Phillip City


Separate house 15.5 75.6
Row house 20.5 9.9
Flat, unit 63.5 13.6

Further Reading

Ian Breward, South Port Parks parish mission, South Melbourne, 2003

Port Melbourne, St Kilda and South Melbourne entries