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Bad bridge ideas keep coming

30 Nov 2010

Docklands’ boating community has slammed the idea of a pedestrian bridge across the mouth of Victoria Harbour.

The boaties say that anything that will restrict boat traffic will destroy the very nature of Docklands as a water-based precinct.

The idea is being proposed by VicUrban and the City of Melbourne, who are claiming that it emerged from a recent round of public consultations.  VicUrban and the council is asking for opinions on which type of bridge the community would prefer – not whether the bridge is, in fact, a good idea.

The vice-president of the Melbourne Passenger Boating Association, Keith Rankin, said the only bridge that would be acceptable would be one as high as the nearby Bolte Bridge.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s opening, floating, pushing, shoving, fixed or whatever, we are vehemently opposed,” Mr Rankin said.

“And it’s not just a matter of inconvenience to us,” he said. “If it’s an opening bridge, they have a habit of breaking down.  And if it’s manned, who is going to man it and what is it going to cost?”

“A shuttle would work just as well. Or if the idea is to transport tourists around, then a rubber-tyred electric train would work well here,” Mr Rankin said.

“Many people come up with ideas which appear to have merit at first glance. But many of these ideas fail to take into account the negative impacts that they are imposing.”

Lady Cutler skipper Jeff Gordon also supports a ferry service.  “It could also take in Central Pier,” he said.  “They do it in Brisbane and they could do it here too.”

Docklands is united in its opposition to a low rail bridge proposed by the Port of Melbourne Corporation.  The boat operators say this new idea is just as threatening.

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