Development Victoria to repair Shipping Control Tower

Development Victoria to repair Shipping Control Tower
Sean Car

Development Victoria (DV) has announced plans to restore Docklands’ historic Shipping Control Tower at North Wharf as part of a maintenance program to “ensure the structure can stand tall for years to come”.

According to DV, works will include re-rendering of the external control tower, concrete repairs, and replacement of external windows as well as improvements to electrical safety and lighting.

Development Victoria Group Head Precincts Niall Cunningham said the essential repair works to this “historical gem” would ensure the tower continued to have its place in Docklands for many more years.

“As one of the largest urban renewal projects under construction in Australia it’s great we can preserve and celebrate some of Docklands rich maritime heritage while we continue to transform the precinct for a prosperous future,” Mr Cunningham said.

The current tower was built in 1966 to coordinate shipping, towage pilots and emergency services in the busy port and was decommissioned in 1994 when the port facilities at Docklands were relocated further west to the Port of Melbourne.

Designed by architect C J Smith, the structure once housed a lift, stairs and two decks – one for observation duties containing radar and communication equipment, the other being for amenities for its 24 hours daily operation.

While its future use is yet to be determined, the tower has been the subject of many ideas for a new tourism attraction for Docklands, including a high-end restaurant and art gallery.

DV said the maintenance works were expected to be completed by September 2024. •

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