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Yarra River Business Association

10 Jul 2018

Start of works on pontoon

It has been a long-time promised, but this month sees the start of works on the new floating berthing pontoon at Southgate.

This has been one of YRBA’s top lobbying projects for a decade, not only to assist our commercial boating industry, but primarily to provide a safer and more comfortable environment for the tens of thousands of visitors who take a river tour every year.

The Parks Victoria-appointed contractors will start in July and the project is expected to be finished by September. In the meantime, boat tour operators have been accommodated at a temporary pontoon near the Exxon building.

Parks Victoria, under its fairly new CEO Matthew Jackson and regional director, Jo Richards, is really starting to direct some attention to activating the Lower Yarra. Following the very successful trial of the floating food and beverage offerings last summer, we are eagerly awaiting the new EOI for this summer to be released.

There is bound to be a lot of interest, given that Arbory Afloat and Supafish created such a buzz over the six-month trial.

Also starting this month is the first works for the transformation of Southbank Boulevard, which will ultimately lead to a magnificent linear park from St Kilda Rd to the river. The level of planning, consultation and fine tuning that the City of Melbourne has put into this project is exemplary.

Hot on the heels of Southbank Boulevard will be a major facelift for the now 30-year-old Southbank Promenade. The current promenade has served us well for three decades, and now is the time to have some meaningful input to the new look.

The best way to do this is to attend the mid-winter Yarra River Business Luncheon, in Ludlow Dining on Friday, 20 July, where you can hear and engage with the project managers for the new promenade. I’m sure there will be a lot of comment about ways of slowing commuting cyclists.

Look for the advert in this edition, or simply go to www.yarrariver.melbourne/lunch to buy a ticket. We love to see residents and other people interested in the Yarra River Precinct attending.

Even after 30 years, there is still so much happening in this precinct, both on a big scale and at a more human level. I commend Mirvac on the excellent transformation of the space between their properties facing Southbank Promenade.

The commercial and public spaces they have been able to create has gifted the precinct with its own laneway culture.

The government’s recent announcement of the next stage of planning and visioning for the Sturt Street Arts Plaza is welcome news, although undoubtedly it will be some time until we actually see the spades and shovels at work.

The long-term plan is to create a world-class cultural precinct.

 

John Forman

President

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