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August 09 Edition Cover

Boating - Lord Mayor pushes for local port

01 Apr 2014

Boating - Lord Mayor pushes for local port Image

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle wants Docklands and the lower Yarra River to be declared a local port.

Speaking at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on March 11, Cr Doyle said a local port would remove the “plethora of state bodies, ministers, pieces of legislation and statutory authorities that currently govern the lower Yarra and even Docklands.”

“I believe personally it would be a better outcome if we were the manager and particularly since the burden of cleaning up Docklands and the lower Yarra after very heavy rainfall following a dry spell falls to us anyway,” Cr Doyle said.

Cr Doyle said he would continue to press for the area to be declared a local port on behalf of the city.

The public declaration of support for a local port was made in response to a question posed by Yarra River Business Association executive office Tim Bracher.

Mr Bracher asked if council had given serious consideration to assuming governance for the lower Yarra, between the Bolte and Swan St bridges.  

Mr Bracher said the business community had experienced nearly 10 years of frustration dealing with an on-water governance organisation that was “inflexible, doesn’t communicate, has no understanding of the private sector, and especially how to engage with it, and has no real desire to see the river activated.”

According to Mr Bracher, the city had proven its capability as a waterways manager in Docklands, and said the YRBA believed council had the staff and expertise to take over the Yarra River.

“This would not only result in a uniform treatment of our waterways and its operators but would also help to boost the Melbourne waterfront marketing message, better unite the Docklands and Yarra River precincts and unlock the considerable private sector investment in the river’s activation,” Mr Bracher said.

Councillor Aaron Wood, also expressed his support for the proposal at the Future Melbourne meeting highlighting the fact that many of the impacts on the river are occurring on land also.

“If you look at storm water management, management of water as it runs off our roadways and the like, I think there’s something like nine different land managers just along the section of the Yarra that’s in our municipality,” he said.

“So seeing the City of Melbourne become a local port manager for that section of the Yarra, I think that would be hugely exciting.”

The concept of a local port has been gaining momentum for the past few years and was highlighted at the Melbourne Waterfront Forum in October 2012.

 

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