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Vision to put Docklands on the map

28 Jan 2020

Vision to put Docklands on the map Image

By Sean Car

A new permanent laser and light show, as seen overseas in the likes of Dubai and Hong Kong, could be making its way to Docklands under a proposal from the Docklands Chamber of Commerce (DCC).

Revealing its plans exclusively to Docklands News last month, the DCC has teamed up with internationally renowned entertainment company Laservision in an effort to bring a year-round attraction to Victoria Harbour.

The installation uses a combination of laser, lighting, water screening, fountain, digital and audio technologies to produce a unique 360-degree visual display, which the DCC estimates would generate more than $300 million in economic benefits to Victoria.

As it finalises its business case to present to the state government and the City of Melbourne, DCC president Johanna Maxwell said it would soon be hosting a series of community engagement sessions to allow Docklanders the chance to have their say.

Mrs Maxwell said that in light of the tragic closure of Central Pier, as well as the cancellation of Australia Day fireworks, the time was right to be pushing for an attraction that the DCC executive and members believed would “put Docklands on the map.”

“It’s about making Docklands a must-go-to area of the City of Melbourne. It’s really the jewel in Melbourne’s crown,” she said. “However, we could utilise it better.”

“We have seven kilometres of waterways and beautiful spaces out there that we can utilise and attract more visitors to Docklands.”

“We have space where we can tell a story, take a journey around the waterways, share our maritime heritage and celebrate the artistic content that Docklands can have.”

Made famous at locations such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Marina Bays Sands in Singapore and Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong, Laservision’s work has also featured in a range of major Australian cultural and sporting events.

The DCC says that a permanent attraction in Docklands would help it become a number one tourist destination in Melbourne and provide a significant boost to local hospitality and accommodation providers by creating a new evening attraction.

Mrs Maxwell said the 360-degree nature of Victoria Harbour gave Docklands a unique advantage to showcase the attraction, creating a new visual platform for artists, celebrating major events and showcasing local indigenous and maritime culture.

“If we look at Hong Kong Harbour, that’s a daily event at 7pm every night and the foreshore around the harbour and the water is chockas. There are people everywhere and it’s a must-see event,” she said.

“The Dubai Entertainment Centre has a similar installation to what we’re looking at here for Docklands where there are multiple water installations that tell a story. People can come to NewQuay and see one vision of the story but then come to Victoria Promenade or Harbour Esplanade and see a different vision.”

“We’re also planning artistic water features that would run during the day … what a great place to relax and enjoy the ambience of the waterways.”

Unlike fireworks, Mrs Maxwell said that the permanent activation was not susceptible to weather conditions and was therefore, more sustainable and environmentally friendly. She said an environmental effect statement (EES) would be included as part of the final business case.

With a completed business case to be taken to potential private and government sponsors, the DCC said an entry-level attraction would be possible for less than $15 million.

Much like Docklands Primary School, which will open in 2021, Mrs Maxwell said permanent activation of the waterways was one of the original visions of the Docklands Community Forum and that it was important that locals threw their support behind the idea.

“To make it a reality we need our residents buy in, our businesses buy in and then we need to finalise a business case to take up to state government and to the City of Melbourne and then arrange how we deliver this and what benefits it can bring,” she said

“We’ve seen some studies of what it can bring to Docklands and the financial benefits for both our businesses and residents is significant. People can get involved and we want to keep our community informed.”

“This is a community and business community initiative that all of Docklands has to be proud of and be part of. If you feel passionate about Docklands succeeding and seeing it continuing to grow into the world class area that it can be, please come along to our forums and see what we envisage and have your input.”

What do you think about a new permanent light and laser show for Docklands? Send your thoughts to (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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