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Chamber wants to light up Docklands

02 Aug 2018

Chamber wants to light up Docklands Image

By Shane Scanlan

The Docklands Chamber of Commerce (DCC) is embarking on another attempt to bring a permanent light and sound show to Victoria Harbour.

The chamber is about to issue an expression of interest (EoI) to engage consultants to prepare a business case for the proposal.

Two years ago, the chamber was forced to abandon its advocacy for a “Fountains and Flames” installation at the end of Central Pier after the proposal failed to attract any significant government or private backing.

Chamber president Joh Maxwell vowed at the time to keep trying to bring a world-class permanent attraction to Docklands. And the latest move shows she is true to her word.

“The chamber has always believed that a permanent activation of the waterways with a free-to-public show running daily will bring a different vibe to Docklands – fountains, light shows and sound,” Mrs Maxwell told Docklands News.

“The chamber will be seeking EoI for preparation of a business case to take to City of Melbourne, state government and private enterprise to bring a light show.”

In 2016 the chamber championed the Fountains and Flames show, which would have seen a large-scale fountain, capable of being transformed into a floating stage. The fountain would have been programmed to music and also incorporate flames, pyrotechnics, video projection and lasers.

However, the council declined to fund a trial, saying: “The City of Melbourne regularly receives funding requests from companies for events and public installations. In this particular case, we felt that the business case was not convincing and that the significant public funds required to deliver this project did not represent good value for our ratepayers.”

On that occasion the bid was led by a private company, FCT Flames, which offered its show to Docklands as an exclusive, permanent installation.

In April 2016, the company announced it was looking elsewhere after local stakeholders failed to commit funding. Around $10 million was needed to build the installation and annual operating costs were expected to be around $600,000.

The time, the chamber is undertaking its own business case to take to government.

Mrs Maxwell said documentation about the EoI would soon be available on the chamber’s Visit Docklands web page. She said consultants would be given full details and documentation after registering on the website.

She said: “The business case will initially be targeting an activation for a single event or series of events. The aim of this is to showcase what Docklands delivers.”

“The chamber will provide the ‘outline’ of what we believe is feasible, however we will be open to suggestions.”

“Once the business case has been prepared, delivered and signed off – there would be a tender opportunity for the provision of this activation.”

Mrs Maxwell said the chamber would be seeking consultants with a proven track record in delivering successful business cases to state government, the City of Melbourne and private investors.

She said proposals would need to include, but would not be limited to:

  • Testimonials;
  • Overview of unique opportunity for Docklands;
  • Economic impact of single events versus permanent installation;
  • A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis;
  • Return on investment;
  • Environmental impacts/health and safety analysis;
  • Precedent of these types of activations and benefits; and
  • Pathways forward.
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