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Docklands Activation Strategy looming

The community is still waiting for the release of the Docklands Activation Strategy, as delays between Development Victoria and the City of Melbourne continue.

The strategy, commissioned by Development Victoria and conducted by events company Alto Cibum, was initially due in December last year.

With Docklands the worst affected postcode in the municipality from COVID-19 with the pandemic causing a near 50 per cent drop in the occupancy of street-fronting businesses, the strategy is considered the vital next step in guide the recovery.

But while the original hold-up was under- stood to surround a briefing to the newly-elected City of Melbourne councillors late last year, the ongoing delays continue to frustrate local stakeholders as talk of reviving Docklands limps along.

While the Docklands Chamber of Commerce (DCC) recently launched its Docklands Dollars initiative, permanent and sustained activation remains the key issue for local businesses in the area.

While the strategy is understood to have been signed off by Development Victoria, a City of Melbourne spokesperson said the council wanted to ensure “additional measures” were included to help activate the precinct in the short-term.

“Development Victoria recently provided the Docklands Activation Strategy to the City of Melbourne for feedback,” the spokesperson said.

“Although we’ve seen some improvement in recent weeks, Docklands remains the area of the city most impacted by COVID-19.”

“Given the enormous impact of COVID-19 on the Docklands precinct, we are keen to work with Development Victoria to ensure the strat- egy incorporates additional measures to help activate the precinct in the short term”

“The City of Melbourne will continue to provide marketing, events and activations to help draw people to Docklands over the coming months.”

“For example, we’ve supported the Docklands Chamber of Commerce with $100,000 in fund- ing that is being used for the Docklands Dollars initiative.”

A number of key initiatives are understood to be include within the plan, including accelerating the redevelopment of Harbour Esplanade, as well as more permanent events and connections which focus on Docklands’ key precincts, rather than the suburb as a whole.

The draft strategy is now expected to be releaased in May •

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