Brighter days ahead for Docklands
The Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network (MMHN) is optimistic about the Docklands Precinct in 2023.
Firstly, our optimism, in part, rests upon the long-anticipated outcome of the Development Victoria community consultation process about Central Pier, which is due, as we understand it, early in the new year.
MMHN staunchly argues that the Docklands community deserves compensation for the loss of Central Pier in the form of an inspiring iconic structure. MMHN board members visiting the Queenscliff Maritime Museum during January came upon an exciting and cost-effective “model” – a structure which may be appropriate on a floating pier once Central Pier is demolished.
It is the new Queenscliff Ferry Terminal building. MMHN finds this Australian design exciting – low-rise, suitable for the salt-water environment and its dimensions deliver the amount of space that the MMHN proposes for the Maritime Experience Centre.
The state government and its agency Development Victoria may well find this newly constructed Queenscliff Ferry Terminal an interesting and expedient “option”, with known costs and the design work completed – “ticks a lot of boxes”?
Secondly, we feel optimism igniting the recent and rare coverage in the popular press describing Melbourne’s attractive waterways – that means the entire Docklands Precinct – pointing out that waterways deserve greater recognition and investment.
MMHN has until now been the “lone voice” advocating to government that ignoring Melbourne’s marvellous waterways, is simply a waste of a prime public asset. Journalist Jon Faine writes of his recent “exploration” by ferry of Melbourne’s waterways, “Yarra ferry trip tells a tale of Melbourne’s development, some grand, some awful”. See here.
Thirdly, we are optimistic about this article which also highlights the marvellous role ferry transportation can play on Melbourne’s waterways, if only it was equitably funded by the state government. Privately-operated ferry services would grow if awarded the same public subsidies as other private public transport e.g. trams and buses. MMHN will continue its advocacy to the new Andrews Government Ministry in 2023.
Imaginative investment in Melbourne’s maritime assets makes good economic sense in 2023. •