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Event fees dropped to boost Docklands

26 Feb 2020

The City of Melbourne has approved a plan to waive permit fees for public events in Docklands until the end of 2020 in an effort to counter the impact of Central Pier’s closure.

The decision to support more events in Docklands means the City of Melbourne will forego more than $71,000 in revenue from event fees.

The proposal went before councillors at a council meeting on February 25. Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the fee waive would apply to new and some existing events.

“It’s important we do everything we can to attract more people to Docklands,” the Lord Mayor said.

“There’s no doubt many local businesses are doing it tough at the moment and I would encourage everyone to rediscover Docklands and everything it has to offer.”

“We’ve listened to what local businesses have been telling us and we’re responding in a way designed to help them get back on their feet.”

Docklands Chamber of Commerce estimated the closure of Central Pier would result in a loss of between one to one-and-a-half million visitors to Docklands annually.

The council already waives some event permit fees for community and not-for-profit event organisers. The proposal would see this extended to all public events for Docklands for the remainder of 2020.

The proposal would not cover private event permits such as weddings and Christmas parties.

Chair of the Prosperous City portfolio Cr Kevin Louey said the removal of fees would help address the current downturn in the number of visitors to Docklands.

“This would help to drive new event business to the area by making things easier for event organisers,” Cr Louey said.

“We want to attract new events to Docklands to help activate the local area, particularly Victoria Harbour.”

“Docklands is a fantastic precinct offering the best in community events as well as shopping, business and entertainment.”

The plan would also see an increase in promotion support from Council for all public events in Docklands for the rest of the year.

Council will also investigate what additional programming and marketing event organisers can put in place to attract more people.

Events to be held in Docklands this year include the annual Firelight Festival, Lankan Fest 2020, Run 4 the Kids 2020, Under the Stars (Indonesian Film Festival) and the Vertical Village Living Waste Market.

In 2019, 15 public events were held in Docklands.

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