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Worship plan has gone to god

30 Jul 2015

After a three-year bid-process, Places Victoria has admitted defeat over plans for a Docklands place of worship.

The State Government’s urban renewal authority last month confirmed it had terminated the lengthy bid process for a local place of worship, which started in 2012.

“Places Victoria acts commercially to revitalise neighbourhoods and despite our best efforts and those of the preferred bidder for a place of worship in Docklands, an agreement could not be reached,” Places Victoria general manager

Simon Wilson said. “As a result, we have terminated the formal bid process.”

“We are committed to securing the best outcome for the Docklands community and will continue to progress opportunities for projects that contribute to the vibrancy of the area.”

It’s understood Places Victoria had been negotiating with CityLife Church for at least two years to build a place of worship at a site on the corner of Footscray Rd and Little Docklands Drive.

The Pentecostal mega-church is based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, with multiple sites across the Knox, Casey and Manningham areas.

However, the two parties were unable to come to an agreement.

CityLife Church declined to comment when contacted by Docklands News.

Former Planning Minister and current leader of the opposition Matthew Guy first announced plans for a Docklands place of worship in 2012, to honour a Liberal Party election promise.

Mr Guy did not answer phone calls from Docklands News and his office declined to provide comment from the Opposition Leader.

Planning shadow minister David Davis said Docklands needed a “broader range of local facilities to strengthen the community”.

“It is time Daniel Andrews and Richard Wynne made sure that a full-range of community facilities, including opportunities for religious observance, was available in Docklands,” Mr Davis said.

When the bid process for a Docklands place of worship was launched in 2012 interested parties were required to submit proposals that would also offer a community benefit, such as co-sharing premises with other denominations or providing education and training facilities.

At the time it was anticipated the project would be well underway by 2015 and two other religious agencies were initially short-listed during the bid process.

The Faith Communities Council of Victoria (FCCV), a Victorian multifaith organisation, withdrew its bid for the site in early 2013.

Chairperson Murray Davies declined to comment on this story.

Pentecostal Christian church Planetshakers had also been keen to develop a place of worship in Docklands, but by 2013 was out of the running for the project.

Spokesperson Darryn Keneally also declined to comment.

 

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