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Yarra River revamp

07 Sep 2017

Yarra River revamp Image

By Chelsea Cucinotta

Parks Victoria (PV) will trial floating food and beverage services on the Yarra River this summer between November 2017 and February 2018.

Locations for the proposed activation of the often over-regulated river include Sandridge Wharf in Southbank, the Flinders Street Landing and the Botanic Gardens Landing.

The trial, which will run for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks, will consider future opportunities to strengthen Melbourne’s connection with its world-class river and further enhance the city’s food-centric reputation. It will further add to Melbourne’s running profile as the world’s most liveable city.

At a July luncheon held by Yarra River Business Association (YRBA), PV’s new CEO Matthew Jackson expressed his hopes of promoting and activating the lower Yarra.

Director of marine and maritime for PV Graeme Davis said that the trial would be integral to support the growth of Melbourne’s visitor economy and would encourage further public engagement with the river in general.

“The Yarra River is central to Melbourne’s liveability. Considering the viability of contemporary and innovative approaches to on-water activation will enhance the diversity of opportunities for the community to engage with the Yarra River,” he said.

With nearly 40 million visitors to the riverbank each year, PV’s decision to make use of the prominent waterfront in this way has been welcomed by many.

YRBA executive officer Tim Bracher welcomed Parks Victoria’s more business minded approach to the lower Yarra.

He said it was the first sign of a possibly more business-friendly attitude on the Lower Yarra from Parks Victoria, which he hoped would extend to the new berthing regime.

Arbory Afloat two years ago showed that a combination of private sector enthusiasm and more public sector flexibility could create a new business atmosphere on the river, which benefited the public.

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