End of an era for Central Pier as demolition permit gets approval
Heritage Victoria has granted a permit to demolish Central Pier with Development Victoria (DV) revealing a strategy will be formed to guide the pier’s revitalisation options through community consultation.
The demolition, which is expected to begin in 2023, marks an of an era for the 100-year-old pier which was previously home to The Woolshed Pub, and function spaces, with the pier and Victoria Harbour included on the state heritage register.
The structure was permanently closed by DV in early 2020 due to safety issues and has since been left to deteriorate, presenting what the state government described as an “ongoing safety risk”.
DV’s acting group head of precincts Niall Cunningham encouraged the Docklands community to share their ideas and visions for Central Pier and adjacent waterfront areas via the online survey on the Engage Victoria website at engage.vic.gov.au/central-pier before it closes on December 22.
“The feedback, ideas and suggestions we gather from the consultation phase will help us develop a Place Principles and Vision strategy that will guide future development options,” he said.
“We will share this strategy with the Docklands community, as part of our ongoing commitment to engaging with all key stakeholders on the pier’s future redevelopment.”
Mr Cunningham said DV also shared the community’s interest in celebrating the Traditional Owners and maritime cultural heritage of the waterfront area.
DV lodged a permit application with Heritage Victoria in August this year to remove the remaining unsafe pier structure from the water – with Mr Cunningham maintaining DV would comply with all conditions attached to the heritage permit.
A procurement process was underway to appoint a contractor to remove the pier. The pier’s western tip has been removed after it was deemed dangerous and structurally unsound.
In addition to the online survey, the community is invited to share their ideas for the area, in person, at the Docklands Community Market on Sunday, December 11 along NewQuay Promenade. DV’s project team will be on hand to help between 12pm and 4pm.
An online community workshop will also be held on Tuesday, December 6 from 7pm to 9pm, in which registrations are essential at https://bit.ly/3Sz5DU6
The City of Melbourne has made Central Pier a priority project with a council report in November stating the council would “continue to advocate for delivery of anchor attraction on Central Pier as a drawcard for Docklands” while also committing to work with DV to “deliver outcomes of interpretation strategy for Central Pier and Victoria Harbour more broadly”.
Last month, Docklands News revealed a giant fish-shaped structure, complete with a wet fish market, education facilities, restaurants and an events centre to “compete with Crown Palladium”, was being proposed to replace Central Pier.
The group behind the draft proposal, the Melbourne City Fish Market, released images of the concept, which it said would take part in DV’s public consultation process for Central Pier.
The state government has invested $3 million to further develop the concept design and a business case to progress the demolition and revitalisation of Central Pier and adjacent waterfront. •