Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

Melbourne Water moving to Docklands
Read more >>

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
Read more >>

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

COVID-19 and the Chamber’s response
Read more >>

Docklander Image

Docklander

Empowering women locally and abroad
Read more >>

Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Conflicting speeds
Read more >>

Chinese

零工经济的灰色区域
Read more >>

Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Five strategies to get through coronavirus (COVID-19)
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

Bring on the lasers
Read more >>

Business Image

Business

New offerings at The District Docklands Market Lane
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Social distancing in apartment blocks is hard to do, but necessary right now
Read more >>

Maritime

Maritime matters
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Adorable therapy
Read more >>

Precinct Perspectives

A new perspective from Batman’s Hill
Read more >>

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

A chair’s perspective of vertical living in COVID-19 times
Read more >>

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios
Read more >>

Sustainability

Sustainability in a pandemic world
Read more >>

The District

Eat your way through our most delicious hot spots
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

We need a clear cladding policy – now!
Read more >>

Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

Slow down. The panic is coursing through all our veins
Read more >>

Push for local port authority

29 Oct 2012

By Bethany Williams and Shane Scanlan

Docklanders are united around a plan to declare the area a local port to overcome bureaucratic paralysis.

Locals want to see Victoria Harbour and the river between the Bolte Bridge and the MCG become a port so it can be managed by a single body.

The river is currently subject to about 20 different pieces of legislation so it is virtually impossible to introduce any reforms.

The issue has come into sharp focus from a push to introduce a dedicated and regular commuter shuttle service between Federation Square and NewQuay.

At the Melbourne Waterfront Forum on October 17, participants were unanimous in support of a single waterways authority.

Destination Melbourne CEO Chris Buckingham suggested a ministerial taskforce was needed at the highest level to cut through the current legislative and regulatory labyrinth.

Docklands Chamber of Commerce president Stephen Clement said the waterways' governance issues were the key to activating Docklands.

The president of the Yarra River Business Association, John Ahern, went further and pledged funds to put together a business plan which showed the need for a single governing authority.

Parks Victoria is the day-to-day regulator of activity on the river and in Victoria Harbour.  But proponents of the local port authority lament that Parks is an under-funded regulator without any mandate or incentive to champion reform.

They argue that Parks is merely a contracted service-deliverer, but what is needed is an authority with the vision, energy and capacity to return multi-million dollar value back to the community.

They point to other “local ports” around Victoria such as Port Fairy and Lakes Entrance where the local municipality runs things via a committee of management representing all stakeholders.

City of Melbourne officers say they need to be directed by councillors if they are going to pursue the idea.

The council’s city design director Rob Adams publicly supported the concept at the inaugural Docklands Community Forum last month.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said the management of Docklands’ waterways was cumbersome, with over 20 different authorities or pieces of legislation governing its use and environment.

“The City of Melbourne has no formal proposal for the establishment of Docklands as a port, although it does present a possible solution to streamline the complex governance arrangements that oversee Victoria Harbour,” the spokesperson said.

Docklands charter boat operator Jeff Gordon agrees that Docklands needs its own port authority because the current governance of Docklands waterways is not working.

“The current situation, with the State Government managing through Parks Victoria, doesn’t always work in the interest of water activation,” Mr Gordon said.

Mr Gordon said Parks Victoria’s interest was in cost recovery and that it had a “mean and green attitude” towards Docklands waterways.

He said Docklands’ waterways were an asset to Melbourne and needed to be managed by skilled people.

“The value of the waterways to the economy of Melbourne should not be underestimated,” Mr Gordon said.

Mr Gordon said a port authority for Docklands could work in the same way as the Port of Melbourne in terms of activating the water.

Along with being a container and general cargo port, the Port of Melbourne plays a role in supporting water activation through community activities such as the Port Heritage Trail and guided tours of the port.

Lord mayoral candidate and Docklands charter boat operator Keith Rankin also agreed that Docklands should be a port.

Mr Rankin said Docklands should have a port authority because it needed one single governing authority.

He said the Melbourne Passenger Boarting Association’s view was that this authority should be the city council.

Mr Rankin said the council was the only agency that could handle all the requirements of a port because they had staff who had knowledge of marketing, administration, events, marine environments and planning.

“Importantly, they are not business or tourism averse,” Mr Rankin said.

Share on Facebook

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.