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Media moment for pier

03 Sep 2019

Media moment for pier Image

By Rhonda Dredge

Central Pier is the centre of life for several businesses and a 100-year-old heritage structure; one of the last of its kind in Docklands.

So, when it was closed dramatically last month voices were raised in the media.

Prominent among them was Jeff Gordon, skipper of the Lady Cutler, which berths at the pier.

The Lady Cutler has 25 cruises booked for next month, some of them weddings, and the phone was running hot with queries from concerned customers.

So, it was not surprising that Mr Gordon grabbed a soapbox opportunity with all of the media present to express his concerns.

“There are not many opportunities as a businessman to get media attention,” he told Docklands News. “I want to see the last heritage in Docklands remain.”

Mr Gordon said that the closure was part of a “structured removal of boats and businesses off the pier.”

“We don’t know who is talking to Development Victoria. Somebody has made a decision. They’ve told us we have to get off. We’re in negotiations for a solution.”

A redevelopment plan for the harbour will be released in October, he said, and he expects the pier to be part of that.

The pier was under close scrutiny from the media following its dramatic closure on safety grounds, with one news crew being on the spot when the decision was announced.

More than 100 diners were told to finish their meals in 15 minutes then leave the Woolshed restaurant, including Channel 7 reporter Jodi Lee.

Ms Lee was back at the pier the following day filing a news report. She made light of her experience as a victim of a night on the town gone wrong, denying that she’d been forced to wolf down her meal.

“We didn’t eat anything,” she told Docklands News. “I had a drink.”

Media and members of the general public were denied access to the pier so The Age and Channel Nine sent out drones to capture close-up footage of the piles.

“It was blowing around a bit out there,” said Travers, a Channel Nine cameraman, when the drone returned. “It moved around in the wind.”

Channel 10 had a van on the site and was filming from a mast camera. Even the AFL sent a photographer to document the fact that the AFL flags were still flying on the pier even though their event had been cancelled.

Closure of the pier will affect many businesses and movers and shakers on the harbour are concerned about its future.

 

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