$20 million secures future for historic pier
The Brumby Government allocation of $20 million in the 2009 State Budget will deliver the final stages of the Princes Pier restoration and secure the future of the historic landmark, Major Projects Minister Tim Pallas said today.
Mr Pallas said the new funding, in addition to the $14 million previously committed, would allow the first 196 metres of the pier deck to be replaced and for the restoration of the gatehouse, with piles at the seaward end of the pier to be preserved as a heritage and sculptural centrepiece.
“The Brumby Government is taking action now, investing a record $11.5 billion in infrastructure to secure up to 35,000 jobs over the next financial year, delivering strong leadership in tough global times to see Victoria through and build for the future,” Mr Pallas said.
“We have committed these funds to complete the project as soon as possible and return the historic pier to the community. The project is expected to secure 100 jobs and deliver nearly $100 million in economic benefits to Victoria through construction.
“Princes Pier is a local icon and an important part of Victoria’s history. This funding will ensure the pier’s future and open up a fantastic new public open space in the heart of Port Melbourne.
“Built in 1916, the pier has great historical significance as a point of arrival and departure for many migrants and soldiers over the years, as well as being a beloved fishing spot for Port Melbourne locals.”
Member for Albert Park Martin Foley said the funding commitment meant the pier would survive long into the future and would help Victoria and the local community retain an important part of its history.
“The heritage-listed pier is the second largest timber-piled wharf structure in Australia. As one might expect with a 93-year-old wooden structure surrounded by water, Princes Pier has suffered over the years from vandalism, fire and the weather,” Mr Foley said.
“The restoration has been a difficult, painstaking job but we are sure the end result will be a magnificent public asset complementing the adjacent Beacon Cove beach and the restaurants and cafes of Station Pier.”
Mr Pallas said the gatehouse, itself a heritage listed building, would also be restored for possible use as a cafe or perhaps a historical centre.
“Detailed design work is still being carried out in consultation with Heritage Victoria and the City of Port Phillip,” he said.
The Princes Pier was decommissioned in the 1990s after a series of fires led to its deck becoming unsafe. The Victorian Government allocated $14 million in 2006 to demolish the southern end of the pier and repair defective piles.
The restoration is expected to be completed in 2011.