Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (18:01:41): My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Priority Precincts, and it concerns Docklands Central Pier.
The action I seek is for the minister to urgently provide support for the businesses and the employees at the pier. As many of you know, the pier was shut down urgently overnight on 28 August. That was two months ago.
Development Victoria has refused to share any information with the tenants there. They actually met with them on the 27th and did not mention that there were any concerns, and then on the 28th they were closed down and evacuated—and it has been that way since then.
The pier has been under investigation since 2013. Every two months engineers go down there. But now we hear from Development Victoria that they will not even be able to tell the tenants if they will be able to move back in. They will not even be able to tell them until 6 January.
This is the busiest time of the year. They have got 1300 employees.
They cannot even get insurance now for the properties and for the stuff that they have on the pier because no-one will insure them because they do not know the safety of the pier, so they are in this absolute catch 22 situation. We get a million guests down towards the pier at this time of year.
The businesses around Docklands are feeling the downturn on this, and we have got, as I say, 1300 workers that just do not know whether they are going to have a job before Christmas or even after Christmas. It is just really not good enough, and I think Development Victoria should really be doing what they can to assist effectively their tenants.
These are tenants who have been there since 2006 and have invested over $50 million in Central Pier, which has become quite an iconic location for visitors to Victoria. So I really cannot stress enough how much people are suffering as a result of Development Victoria’s inability to communicate and I think also recognise that they have an obligation to the tenants there and that by closing down the businesses people are losing literally millions of dollars.
It costs those tenants $2 million a month just to stay afloat down there. I call on the Minister for Priority Precincts to please step up and provide urgent and immediate support and information for the businesses and employees at Docklands Central Pier.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment matter raised 31/10/19