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Heat mounts on Development Victoria

04 Dec 2019

Heat mounts on Development Victoria Image

Development Victoria (DV) will submit its defence to the Federal Court on December 6 as a petition circulated by tenants of Central Pier attracts growing support from the community.

More than 2700 signatures had been added to the petition via the website savecentralpier.com.au at the time when Docklands News went to print as new revelations regarding engineering works at the pier emerged last month.

In conjunction with the U2 concert at Marvel Stadium on November 15, tenants also organised a series of projections onto the side of Shed 14 to continue shining a light on the issue. The installations read: “The future of events was here … but now Development Victoria … has shut down Central Pier.”

CEO of Central Pier’s anchor tenant Atlantic Group Hatem Saleh emailed tenants in November summarising a phone conversation between heimself and Development Victoria’s group head, precincts Geoff Ward.

In the email, Mr Saleh alleged that Mr Ward provided him the following updates regarding current rectification works by DV’s engineers KBR on Central Pier:

“Following the evacuation on 28 August, KBR did not begin its inspections on Central Pier until four weeks later on 25 September - this was one day after the closure was extended until January 6, 2020,” Mr Saleh said.

“The current focus is on a thorough inspection of Shed 14 and random inspections of Shed 9. Underneath Shed 14, they have found that 28 per cent of the piles inspected have some form of defect.”

Mr Saleh added that he was also informed that previous bi-monthly inspections undertaken prior to the pier’s closure had focused on Shed 9, because engineers had “assumed” it was in worse condition than Shed 14 (Peninsula).

“Repair works on the piles can be completed by January 6, however if work needs to be done on the deck then this will be after this date.”

“Development Victoria has no intention to extend any further support to the tenants or staff on Central Pier.”

Mr Saleh said the conversation only raised more questions that tenants were “desperately” seeking answers to; mainly, why KBR only begun inspections one day after the closure was extended after a four-week shut down from August 28.

“What information was used to justify the extension of the closure if no further inspections had taken place?” Mr Saleh wrote to tenants. “How did Development Victoria’s “expert” KBR not know about the condition of Shed 14 despite undergoing inspections every two months for the past year?”

Tenants of Central Pier launched legal action against DV in October.

 

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