Melbourne’s Atlantic Group has spoken out over the recent closure of Central Pier, saying they are “desperately seeking answers” from Development Victoria.
The group received notification from Development Victoria this week that Central Pier will remain closed until at least January 2020.
The news comes after Central Pier was abruptly evacuated and shut down on 29 August, after engineers deemed the popular event and dining destination unsafe due to “rapid deterioration” of the structure.
Atlantic Group, which operates several venues on the pier including Peninsula Docklands, released a statement saying they are disappointed and frustrated by the situation.
“We are bitterly disappointed by this news and remain frustrated by the lack of support and transparency displayed by Development Victoria throughout this process,” the statement said.
“The only information Development Victoria has provided us is to advise that an engineer’s report will be available with further assessment of the pier’s stability in mid-October.
“The safety of the 1300 staff who work on Central Pier remains our number one priority and we are still desperately seeking answers from Development Victoria as to the condition of the pier, including the impact of its rectification works from the last two years on Central Pier.
“We are also still waiting for an explanation as to why Development Victoria won’t allow independent engineers on site to assess the safety of the pier.”
Central Pier to remain closed until January 2020
Development Victoria also released a statement overnight, confirming it will take approximately 15 weeks to undertake a detailed assessment of Central Pier.
This includes an inspection of each of the 1300 piles underneath the pier by divers, as well as load testing on top of the pier.
Development Victoria confirmed businesses operating on the pier will not be able to return until this assessment has been completed.
“A decision about the future of the pier will only be made once a full assessment has been provided by the dive team and specialist marine engineers,” said Geoff Ward, group head of precincts at Development Victoria.
“We know how much this affects people’s businesses, jobs and events but the safety of people working on and using the pier has to be our number one priority.”
Events forced to relocate
Atlantic Group said it has already relocated hundreds of functions to other venues following the closure.
“Rest assured our team will continue to work alongside wedding, corporate and social clients to ensure all events through to the end of 2019 are relocated as quickly as possible with seamless interruption,” the statement read.
“We have many venues that have agreed to let us cater within their spaces and we are focussed on working with those venues as a matter of priority to facilitate with relocations.”
Other venues and businesses operated by the Atlantic Group, including The Atlantic, The Den, Gardens House and Port Melbourne Yacht Club, will continue to operate as normal.