‘Tragic’: Docklands Central Pier will remain closed until 2020
Central Pier in Docklands was dramatically evacuated last month amid safety concerns, and businesses operating on the strip have today been dealt a huge blow.
Development Victoria has announced it will take at least 15 weeks to assess the damage, let alone repair it, meaning businesses will miss out on the busy Christmas trading period.
The pier, which was hastily shut down on August 28, will not reopen before January 6, 2020, leaving 1300 staff in limbo.
Jeff Gordon, owner of The Lady Cutler Melbourne Showboat, said he’s lucky his business was able to move, but the closure has still left him in a difficult position.
“It has been dramatic and pretty tragic for us because, even though we’ve been able to move, we’ve been moved to the boondocks … we’re right over in the back,” he told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.
“To pick up our guests for the Christmas cruises etc, we’ve got to leave our berth and move across to another finger pier.
“It’s really not a very suitable site for picking up 300 or 360 people. It’s a small pier, nothing like Central Pier.”
Mr Gordon said he’s been left in the dark about the condition of Central Pier.
“Development Victoria has got a blind spot for the boats,” he said.
“They just don’t engage with us at all.”
He said the 15 week assessment period announced by Development Victoria makes no sense.
“It runs absolutely against everything else they’ve said so far,” he said.
“What they’ve been doing so far is running a continual assessment of the pier every two months … over a period of years.
“On one hand they’re saying ‘we’ve been continually assessing the pier’ … and on the other hand they’re saying they have to go back now and assess every pile!”
Mr Gordon said he’s considering winding up his business if the pier isn’t reopened in the near future.
“It’s tragic for us, really. We think this might cause us to close. We’ll get through the Christmas period and see how we are,” he said.
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