Central Pier afloat? Brooke Street Pier engineer to visit Docklands

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209-Central-Pier-Vision.jpg
Sean Car

The engineer behind Hobart’s renowned floating Brooke Street Pier will be hosted at an event in Docklands in July, fuelling speculation of what could be coming to the precinct following the demolition of Central Pier.

The Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network (MMHN) has invited the designer of the “immensely successful” floating pier Jim Gandry to an event being hosted at AFL House this month “to share his insights and expertise”.

MMHN chair and former City of Melbourne councillor Jackie Watts said Brooke Street represented an “exciting concept” and “potentially a solution on a number of levels for the Docklands precinct. Also, a first for Victoria!”

The event has attracted interest from many notable figures within government, including Development Victoria (DV), which has responsibility over redeveloping Central Pier once the current demolition is complete in “several years”.

Brooke Street Pier has helped transform Hobart’s waterfront since it was officially opened in 2015, providing a gateway to some of Tasmania’s most unique experiences, including the popular MONA gallery.

According to its website, it remains Australia’s only multi-storey floating pier and the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, measuring 80 metres long by 20 metres wide.

The structure’s foundation, consisting of 4200 tonnes of floating concrete, much of which sits below the waterline, was built locally and towed into place by two tugboats. The project’s total cost was around $13 million.

Since completing public consultation into the future of Central Pier in December 2022, DV has yet to reveal any further plans following the release of its engagement summary report in August last year.

DV’s head of precincts Niall Cunningham told Docklands News in August that it would release a Place Principles and Vision Strategy “in coming months” reflecting the feedback from community and the input from experts in tourism, heritage, place making, sustainability and design.

“This strategy will guide us through the redevelopment to create a special place we can all celebrate,” Mr Cunningham said.

As the community still awaits the release of the strategy, could information gathered from Mr Gandry’s presentation this month be about to inform its direction in a significant way? Whatever the direction, Docklands News cartoonist Michael Lindell believes it must “create a heart”. •

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