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August 09 Edition Cover

Docklands Dragon slain

02 Dec 2015

Docklands Dragon slain Image

The much-loved Docklands Dragon is dead.

The 100-metre internally-illuminated drawcard was stripped of its spectacularly-coloured silk lining and its metal frame was crushed for recycling in March after completing its Chinese New Year (CNY) duties on Docklands’ waterfront.

Its owner Red Rock Leisure says it is hopeful that funding for a new dragon can be found but that the original dragon had passed its “use-by” date after just two years.

Red Rock Leisure, with support from World Trade Centre and the City of Melbourne, originally commissioned the dragon for the 2014 CNY celebrations in Docklands.

Red Rock Leisure executive general manager John Forman explained that, after being assembled and deconstructed twice, the dragon had sustained too much “wear and tear” to be used again.

Local stakeholders were only made aware last month that the original dragon had been recycled and would not be returning to Docklands.

City of Melbourne contributed $140,000 towards the 2014 Docklands CNY event and a spokesperson confirmed the council was aware the body of the dragon had been recycled.

“However, the dragon head has been retained and it is anticipated that it may be used again in 2016, along with a new range of lighting installations and decorations,” the spokesperson said.

“The City of Melbourne will provide sponsorship for two Chinese New Year events in 2016, through the Event Partnership Program.”

Mr Forman said construction of another dragon would be dependent on securing government funding.

“The Melbourne CNY Marketing Advisory Committee is awaiting feedback from State Government if they will contribute funds to support this significantly important cultural, tourism event.”

“The good news is I’m confident that CNY is continuing to grow momentum and 2016 will be the biggest CNY celebration that Melbourne has ever seen,” Mr Forman said.

The advisory committee includes Mr Forman along with representatives from the City of Melbourne, the Chinatown Precinct Association, Destination Melbourne and various Chinese groups.

The 2016 CNY event is expected to include activations from Chinatown to Federation Square and along the Yarra to Docklands.

Exactly what form Docklands’ celebrations will take is yet to be decided or funded, however Docklands News understands there have been discussions of a night Noodle Market on Harbour Esplanade, supported by lighting installations and entertainment.

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