Demolition of Central Pier progresses

Demolition of Central Pier progresses
Sean Car

The presence of an excavator alongside Central Pier in January came as a welcome sight for Docklanders, as Development Victoria (DV) ramps up its efforts to carefully remove the heritage-listed structure from Victoria Harbour.

Central Pier was permanently closed in 2020 due to safety issues and has sat idly deteriorating ever since while its owner (DV) has sought necessary permits through Heritage Victoria.

Last year, DV appointed Fitzgerald Constructions Australia – the same contractor which removed Central Pier’s disparate western tip in 2022 – to lead the removal of the remainder of the structure.

But given the pier’s heritage status, the process to demolish, as well as remove various elements for repatriation in a rebuilt structure, is a delicate one and is expected to take several years to complete.

DV told Docklands News that in order to achieve this safely, equipment and cranes would work from barges anchored in the water, carefully positioned alongside the structure, with the process being to remove the buildings first and then the pier itself.

“Development Victoria is progressing plans to remove Central Pier from Victoria Harbour. To date, specialist marine contractor Fitzgerald Constructions Australia Pty Ltd, has removed the external awnings on Shed 9 and 14, as well as the internal strip out of Shed 9,” DV’s group head precincts Niall Cunningham said.

“In the coming months, works will continue on the removal of Shed 9, and the concrete area around Shed 14. We expect that Shed 9 will be removed by later this year.”

DV also completed its first stage of engagement with the community in late 2022 into what it would like to see in the reconstructed Central Pier, and released a report into its findings last year.

It has yet to announce any further plans for community engagement or any proposals for Central Pier. •

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