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Derelict Victoria Harbour wharves likely to go

29 May 2012

Derelict Victoria Harbour wharves likely to go Image

Places Victoria (PV) wants to demolish Harbour Esplanade’s derelict raised wharf areas.

The old wharves are not useful, as engineers have warned that they are safe only for pedestrians and can’t be used for events.

But with no budget to repair them or any current plans to upgrade Docklands’ premier boulevard, PV wants the wharves to go.

Places Victoria would prefer that gaps be left between the sound, lowered areas, such as the area around the Cow up a Tree sculpture.

It says the wharves are likely to go in their current form anyway in any final Harbour Esplanade redevelopment.

In any event, PV is going ahead with a program to activate the lower wharf areas, starting soon with a “glass house” installation which it is describing as an “indoor and outdoor backyard”.

Places Victoria’s Docklands manager Simon Wilson said: “Harbour Esplanade’s first temporary activation project is planned to start soon and will see the creation of a new indoor and outdoor backyard along Docklands’ waterfront for visitors, workers and residents to enjoy – further details about this new addition to Harbour Esplanade will follow shortly.”

“Places Victoria is currently working with the City of Melbourne and State Government agencies to develop a masterplan for further redevelopment of Harbour Esplanade.”

“The community will be asked their views as part of this process,” Mr Wilson said.

The Shoal Fly By sculpture on two of the wharf areas has already been demolished and the pieces handed back to the artist.

The sculptures had been fenced off to the public for more than a year, with the authorities claiming they needed repair and presented a public danger.

Shoal Fly By had a chequered history in Docklands, with only two parts of the three-piece sculpture ever being publicly erected.  The third piece of the sculpture never made it out of storage.

Places Victoria has only recently finished repairing parts of Central Pier under Shed 9 and the roadway between the sheds.

The western tip of Central Pier has similarly been labelled “zero weight bearing” and vehicles are banned from this area.

The area features in the City of Melbourne’s Docklands Public Realm Plan as a site for a “potential landmark”.

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