As a resident of Docklands for eight years, I am bemused by the opinion of the City of Melbourne that occasional big events are seen as the best way to encourage and increase patronage back to Docklands.
I strongly believe that a broader, different vision is required.
Docklands needs to be reimagined and repositioned as a destination that visitors and residents want to frequent often, not occasionally. Gathering the support of Docklands businesses and restaurants ALL with a focus on complementing our greatest asset, our harbour, with seafood and marine life.
Creating a harbor side lifestyle of a city by the water that showcases and educates from its early settlement beginnings to the importance of respecting our waterways to daily adventures which explore above and below the harbour.
Restaurants and cafes all offering seafood specialties within their mix. From Surf ‘n Turf to spaghetti marinara to prawn dumplings and possibly fresh Portarlington mussels delivered daily by Port Phillip Ferries.
An expansive Marine Education Center with the opportunity to educate all ages about all aspects of caring for our waterways, local marine plants, local fish species, encouraging local bird habitat.
A spectacular Harbor Esplanade boardwalk linking NewQuay Promenade to Victoria Harbor Promenade with grassy tree canopied mounds and recycled bench seats for sitting and enjoying the waterfront entrance to our city and decorated with outdoor art sculptures reflecting our water life.
Envision Central Pier rebuilt to stage the original Port of Melbourne structures that are currently in storage. These hubs will remind some of us, and educate many more of us, that it was the original Victoria Dock from the 1880s with the support of wharves, light industry and significant train infrastructure and currently, beautifully recorded on the outside walls of the current Central Pier structures.
Imagine a wonderful showcase for the Wurundjeri people, early Indigenous settlement history including spaces for past and current cultural exhibitions.
Imagine a grand rotunda abutting the harbor for rotating cultural displays featuring all nations who have contributed to and now call Australia home.
It is a major tourist attraction accessible by boat, water taxi, ferry, bicycle, tram, train, wheelchair, and walking (including carrying a fishing rod).
A permanent home for the Alma Doepel, Enterprize, Kayak Melbourne, dragon boat club, the many boat hire companies and visitors like Sea Shepherd and Volvo Yacht Race, all with interactive tours.
Docklands already has much of the framework for this vision and could easily become a highly desirable destination for all ages, all abilities, and every day of the year.
Linda Dugan •
Victoria Point, Docklands