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Demolition to begin

29 Oct 2015

Demolition of some of Docklands’ last remaining wharves will soon begin.

The dilapidated Wharves 20 and 21, near Ron Barassi Snr Park at NewQuay West, have been in disrepair for years.

Places Victoria will remove approximately 14,500 sqm of concrete and timber wharf along the 430 metre-long section of the waterfront over the next year.

The demolition is estimated to cost around $4 million.

Places Victoria general manager Simon Wilson said the enormous cost of removing Docklands’ wharves, let alone the cost to rebuild, has meant a long-term staged approach to demolishing and rebuilding the wharves.

Rebuilding of the wharves is expected to occur within the next 10 years, as development of NewQuay West continues.

At over 100 years old Docklands’ original wharves have been deteriorating and collapsing at a rapid rate over the last few years.

Sections of collapsing wharves at North Wharf were removed earlier this year, while the demolition of Harbour Esplanade’s four concrete wharves has also been completed.

“In the 1990s when the urban renewal of Docklands began, sections of its aged concrete wharves had already begun to collapse into the seabed below,” Mr Wilson said.

The wharves are some of the last original elements of heritage significance left in Docklands and elements of wharves 20 and 21, which are included in the Victoria Heritage Register, will be retained for incorporation in future developments.

Formerly known as Victoria Dock, the wharves were originally built in the late 1800s and handled a range of cargo including wool, coal, steel, animals and wheat as Melbourne’s busiest dock between the early 1900s through to the ‘50s.

By the 1960s containerisation was introduced, requiring different storage to the sheds lining Victoria Docks.

Operations at Victoria Dock ceased in the 1970s and the wharves and surrounding area fell into disrepair.

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