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Docklanders in the dark on marketing

05 Jun 2014

Docklanders remain none the wiser about the success of Destination Docklands’ marketing and events campaigns over the past year.

The events and marketing body, which is funded by the City of Melbourne and local stakeholders, held its last event for the 2013-14 financial year last month.

When Docklands News asked the organisation to comment on what it had achieved over the past financial year, Destination Docklands CEO Anita Donnelly did not provide a response.

Instead she offered a “formal interview” with herself and chairman David Cochrane and has promised to share “exclusive research results”, but not until July.

Ms Donnelly also failed to confirm how much funding Destination Docklands received for the 2013-14 financial year, but Docklands News estimates it to be around $530,000.

The organisation last year secured a funding agreement of $300,000 per year, until June 2016, from the City of Melbourne.

A council report on Destination Docklands’ three-year funding proposal, presented at the May 28, 2013 council meeting, stated that the total level of 2013-14 funding committed from other partners (apart from the City of Melbourne itself) was $230,000.

The report lists the funding partners as ING Real Estate, Atlantic Group, MAB, Mirvac, Lend Lease and Medibank Private.

When asked how much of this $230,000 funding was allocated to events, Ms Donnelly said both the figure and partner list were incorrect.

When asked for the correct figure and partner list Ms Donnelly said: “DDL (Destination Docklands Limited) has a number of cash and in-kind partners, in addition to the City of Melbourne’s contribution, which enables DDL to manage marketing, PR, social media, the consumer facing website destinationdocklands.com.au and deliver and support for the precinct and employ staff.”

“These agreements and partnership contributions are confidential.”

However, the agreements for the 2012-13 financial year weren’t confidential when Destination Docklands submitted its funding proposal to the City of Melbourne last year.

The proposal states that the annual partner revenue for Destination Docklands in 2012-13 was $450,000 and provides a breakdown of the individual amount each partner provided.

The proposal even goes as far as breaking down how the some of the funds from particular partners were used.

It states that $10,000 of MAB Corporation’s $25,000 contribution was dedicated to market research, while $10,000 of Mirvac’s $25,000 contribution was allocated to a single event.

Ms Donnelly did not provide answers to questions about how many visitors or the amount of visitor spending Destination Docklands had attracted over the past financial year.

She also didn’t answer a question about the performance metrics Destination Docklands uses to measure its success.

However, she did make a presentation at the joint Destination Docklands and Docklands Chamber of Commerce Networking event on May 19, outlining the organisation’s activities.

She advised guests that a copy of the presentation would be emailed the following day but did not provide a copy to Docklands News when requested.

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