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Fountains and Flames extinguished

26 Apr 2016

Fountains and Flames extinguished Image

Docklands is likely to miss out on a major tourism booster after the company behind the Fountains and Flames project confirmed it was seeking new destinations for the installation.  

FCT Flames initially offered the Fountains and Flames show to Docklands as an exclusive, permanent installation but is now looking elsewhere after local stakeholders failed to commit funding.

Around $10 million was needed to build the installation and annual operating costs were expected to be around $600,000.

FCT Flames says the City of Melbourne, State Government and local developers had all been briefed on the project but none of the parties had committed funding.

“We would love to install this attraction in Docklands as it has perfect viewing locations and waterway but we cannot continue to invest our time and money in a venture that has no buy-in from local council or State Government,” FCT Flames CEO David Retallack said.

The Fountain and Flame show would have seen a large-scale fountain, which could also be transformed into a floating stage, installed in Victoria Harbour at the end of Central Pier.
The fountain would be programmed to music and could also incorporate flames, pyrotechnics, video projection and lasers.

“Docklands, we tried our best to bring something special to your world. An attraction that would be the envy of many cities and one that would be a significant tourist destination and driver of economic and entertainment appeal,” FCT Flames business development manager Mark Ryan said. “We will now be offering this exciting project to other cities in Australia and abroad.”

The Docklands Chamber of Commerce has been vocal in its support for the proposal since it was first announced in early 2015 and president Joh Maxwell said the chamber was disappointed by the outcome.

“Support from the business community, residents and visitors who have seen what was proposed was enormous,” Mrs Maxwell said.

“Victoria Harbour is the jewel in the crown for Docklands, Melbourne and can and should be a must visit venue when visiting the state of Victoria.”

“The benefits of this activation would return to Docklands businesses, City of Melbourne and the State of Victoria we believed would outweigh the expense and would deliver lasting benefits ongoing 365 days per year.”

“In terms of major event projects that happen in Melbourne already, the major upfront capital costs and relatively minor ongoing running costs make this option a win-win for everybody when you consider the overall benefit to the state.”

A City of Melbourne spokesperson confirmed the council had decided not to provide funding for the project.

“The City of Melbourne regularly receives funding requests from companies for events and public installations. In this particular case, we felt that the business case was not convincing and that the significant public funds required to deliver this project did not represent good value for our ratepayers,” the spokesperson said.

FCT Flames business development manager Mark Ryan said, while the company had not received a formal rejection from the State Government, conversation had stalled since a business plan was provided more than six months ago.

It’s understood the Victorian Government considers the conversation to be ongoing and is awaiting further information from FCT Flames.

“The Docklands precinct is a great location in Melbourne and we want to grow its appeal with visitors,” Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said.

“We’ll take a good look at any proposal that adds to our status as a leader for tourism, because it means jobs and a stronger state.”

If you want to share your opinion about the loss of the Fountains and Flames project contact the Docklands Chamber of Commerce at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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