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Boating - Boat Show may leave Docklands

11 Feb 2014

Boating - Boat Show may leave Docklands Image

Docklands is at risk of losing the Melbourne Summer Boat Show unless the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIA) can gather more support for the event.

The BIA has held the event in Docklands for the past eight years, but CEO Steven Gill says the organisation is facing challenges at the current site.

MAB’s plan to build a hotel on the Waterfront City Piazza, where the event’s land component is currently held, has put question marks over the likelihood of the event returning to Docklands next year.

Mr Gill said MAB had been great supporters of the event and that the BIA would be speaking to the developer to determine if the boat show can coexist alongside the planned hotel.

According to Mr Gill, the BIA hoped to grow the event and was looking to City of Melbourne to provide further support.

He said the BIA was talking to council about increasing funding for the event.

“We see ourselves as doing a great job activating that space while we’re there and bringing people into Docklands,” Mr Gill said.

Mr Gill said it was hoped the event would stay in Docklands, as “it is a beautiful spot”.

However, the organisation is considering alternative sites for the event and has looked at options on both the western and eastern side of the bay.

“These issues need to be resolved quickly because we start planning for the February 2015 event now,” Mr Gill said.

The 2014 Melbourne Summer Boat Show was held in Docklands between Friday, January 31 and Sunday, February 2 and, according to Mr Gill, numbers were slightly down on previous years.

He said approximately 3000 people had purchased tickets to the event while it was estimated passing traffic reached the 15,000 people mark.

“Although numbers were down on the Sunday we think the high temperature forecast might have kept some people away,” Mr Gill said.

He said the marina itself looked spectacular and, all in all, he still considered that the event was a success.

The event featured a range of exhibitions, including a 13,000-litre fish tank on wheels, which allowed bystanders to see the underwater action as the fish were caught, a professional fishing tournament, come-and-try sea kayaking, street performers and tours of the port.

Alongside the interactive exhibitions a range of yachts, power vessels, trailerable boats and personal watercraft were also on display.

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