Future-shaping Docklands Summit mooted for August

Future-shaping Docklands Summit mooted for August
Sean Car

The City of Melbourne has confirmed that it is on track to host a Docklands Summit in August, despite heading into July without having a confirmed date, location or scope for the high-level talks.

The council told Docklands News that ideas generated from the initiative would be used to develop a “Docklands Action Plan”, which will “identify short-, medium- and long-term projects and programs to revitalise the precinct.”

“The City of Melbourne is keenly progressing plans for a Docklands Summit – which is expected to take place in August,” a council spokesperson said.

“Council officers have already begun consulting with key stakeholders from the local community, state government and business sector to define the scope of the summit and what success will look like.” 

“We look forward to releasing more details once plans for the summit are finalised.”  

At last month’s Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting hosted in Docklands, the council’s CEO Justin Hanney reaffirmed its commitment to hosting a Docklands Summit, indicating publicly that the talks were planned for “late July-early August”.

The council says the summit will an “opportunity to hear from the community and key stakeholders on the challenges faced by the precinct and explore solutions to reactivate the precinct and drive visitation.”

While a dedicated summit and ensuing plan for Docklands is welcome news for the precinct as it continues to grapple with the closure of Central Pier and the impacts of the pandemic, more details were expected to be confirmed by the council heading into July.

Docklands’ other major authority Development Victoria provided Docklands News with no further update from its comments on the summit in June, saying it was still waiting for more concrete details from the council.

In 2020, Development Victoria engaged with stakeholders, including Docklands News, in compiling a Docklands Activation Strategy with the support of event consultants Alto Cibum.

However, the strategy was never shared with stakeholders nor publicly released and calls for a plan to reactivate and reimagine the precinct have continued throughout the pandemic.

Docklands News understands that as part of the summit, the council is “pushing hard” for Development Victoria to release its activation strategy to help inform its work for a Docklands Action Plan.

Docklands News will provide further updates on the summit in its August edition. •

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