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Delay on Southgate floating landings

06 Jun 2017

Delay on Southgate floating landings Image

More than a year since former environment minister Lisa Neville announced it, Parks Victoria (PV) has achieved a “public consultation” stage for floating landings at Southgate.

Parks Victoria had led operators to believe the works would be finished this winter.  

But, with this deadline not expected to be met, operators are asking PV not to start until next winter.

Yarra River Business Association executive officer Tim Bracher told Southbank Local News that operators earned 80 per cent of their income between November and March.

“If they can’t get the new infrastructure in place before then, Parks needs to wait now until the off-season in 2018,” Mr Bracher said.

A Parks Victoria spokesperson could not give Southbank Local News a completion date.

The spokespersons said: “Following the consultation, Parks Victoria will review and finalise plans for the proposed floating landing and the project will be put out to tender.”

“The exact timing for construction will depend upon a number of elements including feedback from key stakeholders, contractor availability, weather and conditions.”

Parks was given $2 million by the State Government in 2016 to construct the pontoons.  Industry sources believe the actual cost of the task to be less than $1 million.

The PV spokesperson said: “Administration for the Lower Yarra River Management Advisory Committee and Parks Victoria is not part of the allocated $2 million.”

“The State Government has allocated $2 million for the installation of the proposed floating landings and refurbishment of the ticket booths at Southgate to support the commercial passenger boat industry.”

There is also concern that PV plans to recover the $2 million by charging river operators to use the pontoons.  The spokesperson did not answer Southbank Local News’s question in relation to this.

Lower Yarra River Management Advisory Committee chair Christine Trotman said: “The Lower Yarra River Management Advisory Committee is pleased to see the Southgate Floating Landing Project advance to the stakeholder engagement phase. It’s important to ensure the services provided for visitors to Melbourne provide the best and safest experience possible.”

“The Southgate Floating Landing project will ensure that commercial passenger boat facilities meet contemporary safety and accessibility standards which continue to enhance Melbourne’s reputation as not just the world’s most liveable, but also the world’s most visitable city.”

PV executive director Chris Hardman said: “Parks Victoria is working with the Lower Yarra River Management Advisory Committee and key stakeholders to ensure the proposed floating landing upgrade at Southgate will strengthen the commercial boating industry and meet the needs of the thousands of visitors who experience boat tours on the Yarra River each year.”

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