Dangerous Melbourne pier stays closed

A century-old Melbourne pier will be closed permanently after the structure was declared off limits over fears it was a death trap.

Eight businesses along Docklands’ Central Pier will not reopen after the area was evacuated in August because of fears the structure could collapse.

More than $7 million has been spent to stabilise the pier over the last three years, but Development Victoria says no amount of work can guarantee public safety.

“We appreciate that this is not the news businesses and staff hoping to return to Central Pier want to hear,” the statutory body’s chief executive Angela Skandarajah said on Friday.

“But we cannot support a lengthy and expensive repair program that cannot guarantee the pier’s safety for public use.”

The decision to close the pier permanently comes after engineers spent 15 weeks assessing the structure.

Parts of it are more than 100 years old and rot, termites and marine borer have all contributed to its deterioration.

Tenant Central Pier Pty, also known as Atlantic Group, operated restaurants and function spaces along the pier and announced in September it was suing Development Victoria for $100 million.

“It is clear now that tens of thousands of people have been put at serious risk over a long period of time due to Development Victoria and its failure to maintain Central Pier,” a spokesman for the tenants said after Friday’s announcement.

“We are extremely disappointed with the timing of today’s rushed announcement given that Victoria is in a state of emergency.”

Australian Associated Press

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