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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Extra rate for Collins Wharf

26 Apr 2016

Extra rate for Collins Wharf Image

Future Collins Wharf ratepayers will be hit with an additional rate by the City of Melbourne to fund the continued maintenance of the wharf their homes will be built on.

It’s estimated the cost of maintaining the wharf over the next 50 years will be around $51 million, with ratepayers to collectively contribute $450,000 per year towards the maintenance program.

The move to introduce an additional rate is a rare occurrence in Melbourne, with the Lord Mayor commenting it was “new territory” for the City of Melbourne.

Lend Lease is currently awaiting ministerial approval for the Collins Wharf master plan, which maps out a new mid-rise residential and low-rise commercial precinct along the wharf.

The six-hectare wharf is expected to become home to around 2700 new residents and construction of the continuation of Collins St and rejuvenation of the wharf structure is planned as part of the development.

Places Victoria currently owns the land but it’s expected the wharf will be vested by the Crown to the City of Melbourne as committee of management following development.

The decision to introduce an additional rate in this particular area of Docklands is due to the unique situation where a finger wharf will support future residential and commercial properties.

“That supporting structure and the road will provide the only access to the proposed housing and the developments and, therefore, it is recommended that the owners of those apartments and business areas should contribute to the long-term maintenance of that structure,” City of Melbourne engineering services manager Geoff Robinson explained.

Cr Stephen Mayne said future purchasers of apartments at Collins Wharf would be made aware of the obligation.

“It’s an upfront charge so everyone is clear before this proceeds that there is a liability, that there is a long-term maintenance question and that there is a contribution to that from the private owners and operators on that finger wharf.”

Another issue complicating the Collins Wharf proposal is that owners of the proposed low-rise commercial properties planned for the harbour side of the wharf cannot be given freehold status because they will depend on the public wharf.

A Lend Lease spokesperson said the company was unable to comment as Collins Wharf was still subject to planning approvals.

Alongside the commercial and residential developments, the Collins Wharf project will also include new public facilities and parks including a health and wellbeing centre and an “Eco Park” at the western tip.

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