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10 years on

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Health and Wellbeing

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We Live Here

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Local port is a priority

02 Jul 2013

City of Melbourne is working to establish Docklands as a local port.

At the May 29 Docklands Community Forum, City of Melbourne city design director Rob Adams said council was progressing the concept of a local port with State Government.

The comment was made in response to discussion about the difficulty in activating Docklands’ waterways and waterfront due to the involvement of multiple authorities.

As it stands, around 16 pieces of legislation govern Docklands’ waterways, making it difficult to cut through the red tape when trying to introduce new initiatives on the water.

At the Melbourne Waterfront Forum last year, attendees agreed that a single waterways authority that governed Victoria Harbour and the lower Yarra would overcome the current stalemate.
According to a council spokesperson, City of Melbourne’s waterways unit has been researching waterways governance for the past 15 months, with the aim of finding a more effective management model for Victoria Harbour and the lower Yarra.

“Numerous studies, dating back as far as 1999, have been commissioned by various government departments. The subsequent reports have been unanimous in recommending fundamental reform and the majority promote a single management authority,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the research had shown limited options for a single management authority, but one option sits within existing legislation and involves the declaration of a local port.

According to the spokesperson, there are 14 local ports in Victoria and councils manage for of these.

“The local port management structure is considered worthy of further investigation due to the legal precedence, relative simplicity and the ability to study operating models. The waterways unit is currently preparing a report for Council,” the spokesperson said.

“The City of Melbourne believes that the streamlining of governance in the lower Yarra and Victoria Harbour will provide certainty for the community, government and business, while delivering significant economic and environmental benefits.”

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