The tenants of Central Pier, located in Melbourne’s Docklands, have launched legal action in the Federal Court against Development Victoria following the closure of the pier.
The news comes after Atlantic Group, which operates several dining and event venues on the pier, spoke out about the issue, saying it was “frustrated by the lack of support” from Development Victoria after the pier was evacuated and closed due to safety concerns on 29 August 2019.
In a statement released on 7 October, tenants of Central Pier said they have launched legal action after Development Victoria allegedly neglected to maintain the pier.
“By leading the tenants to believe that the site could sustain their businesses into the future, it has engaged in deceptive and misleading conduct in its role as the landlord of Central Pier,” the statement said.
“Development Victoria knew that Central Pier was deteriorating at an increasing rate despite its repair works but it elected not to allocate proper funding to deal with the deterioration.
“There are now serious questions as to whether Development Victoria’s repair works over the past two years have actually made things worse.
“Development Victoria refuses to provide a full expert report to the tenants and also refuses to allow independent engineers on site to assess the pier.”
The statement went on to allege Development Victoria has not provided clarity on when the 1300 staff and eight businesses on Central Pier will be able to return to work.
“Development Victoria has completely mishandled and mismanaged this situation,” the group said. “Its refusal to provide information has placed additional stress on all of the staff who are already under extreme pressure and worried about how they are going to pay their mortgages, feed their families and cover the bills.
“We are now coming into the busiest event season of the year with Spring Carnival, Christmas and New Year and our heritage sheds and maritime waterfront is out of action — it’s an absolute embarrassment for Melbourne.”
Spice News contacted Development Victoria about the legal action, to which a spokesperson said, “Development Victoria intends to defend this matter.”