Melbourne’s Maritime Heritage Network – Concept Research

Dr Jackie Watt

Updated 21/2/2019

Independent research


1.        Melbourne’s Maritime Heritage Network – Concept Research


Project Statement

Melbourne has turned its back on its rich maritime heritage.

Trade by sea was, and is still, a crucial underpinning in Melbourne’s economic prosperity. Melbourne is a port city of global importance. It remains the nation’s largest port city in this island nation. It is a waterfront city with a rich maritime heritage yet this heritage is not yet adequately recognised nor celebrated.

Maritime heritage assets and precincts remain under-developed, fragmented, in dispersed locations, often with limited public exposure and consequently limited financial viability. Management of Melbourne’s maritime heritage may be likened to ‘a ship at sea, without a captain, in uncharted waters’.The multiplicity of responsible authorities, each pursuing competing agendas has resulted in a serious ‘deficit’ in a number of policy areas and this has prevented the due recognition, celebration and exploitation of Melbourne’s maritime heritage. Despite significant government and private sector investment, and despite the extraordinary investment by countless volunteers, the cultural, social and economic value flowing from Melbourne’s maritime heritage has not been captured.

Urgent action is warranted to rectify the current ‘deficit’. The formation of the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Networkwill work collectively to focus attention of maritime heritage within the government and in the public realm. It will address key aspects of this multi-faceted ‘deficit’so that thecultural and economic valueof Melbourne’s collective maritime heritage can be preserved and sustained through comprehensive, collaborative and coherent management. It will foster greater recognition, collaboration, professional curation and conservation of maritime heritage precincts and maritime assets.

Melbourne’s Maritime Heritage Networkmembership is not limited to any singular interest group working in any particular geographic or specialist area. Membership diversity will overcome, or at least ameliorate the current bureaucratic silos and competing agendas. Collective advocacy Maritime Heritage will serve to identify and address the ‘deficits’.Ultimately this collective approach will result in Melbourne’s rich maritime heritage to live and thrive into the future.

2.        Background to this Research Paper

Triggered by a call for help from Melbourne’s Heritage Fleet, three vessels seeking the reassurance of a permanent berth in Victoria Harbourinitial researchinto their plight quickly revealed a clear ‘deficit’ in relation to the way in which Melbourne regarded its unique maritime heritage.

Unlike other comparable port cities reliant upon maritime trade, Melbourne has failed thus far to properly acknowledge its maritime trade legacy and has failed to recognise the true cultural, social and economic value of its diverse maritime assets.

Melbourne has effectively turned its back on its extraordinarily rich maritime trade heritage. There is an urgent need now for state and local government to properly acknowledge that trade by sea was, and is still, crucial in underpinning Melbourne’s economic prosperity – town and regional.

Discussions with many stakeholders revealed layer upon layer of intersecting issues and competing agendas. Its immense cultural and economic value has been mired as in a bureaucratic tangle of intersecting, complex and often competing often-bureaucratic considerations. There has been an absence of any comprehensive governance structure capable of sustaining Melbourne’s maritime trade heritage. This ‘deficit’ persists.

No State Government to date has ‘joined the dots’in relation to Melbourne’s maritime heritage. Tangible evidence of this maritime heritage clearly remains. It is evident in buildings, artifacts, sites and archives etc. But it is widely dispersed, fragmented, often poorly curated and lacking in connectivity. Effectively Melbourne has failed to capture, curate or appropriately celebrate these cultural and economic assets.

This paper outlines the current context – the heritage assets, the sites, the stakeholders, the investment/expenditure – and point to the lost opportunities. It identifies the risks of inaction. It proposes ‘solutions’ to address the ‘deficit’ which will optimise the value of Melbourne’s, as yet undeveloped, maritime cultural heritage assets. Numerous stakeholder groups (government, maritime, trade, corporates, tourism, conventions, events, educational, recreational etc.) universally acknowledge the immense value in sustaining Melbourne’s Maritime Trade Heritage. All have offered much enthusiastic support for adoption of the Maritime Heritage Network Approach, which underpins the ‘solutions’as outlined in this paper.

3.        Defining the Maritime Heritage ‘deficit’

Bureaucratic complexity, inertia and procrastination are impeding progress. The original ‘vision’ for Melbourne’s Docklands reclamation has dissipated – or did not exist. It certainly seems not to have put any value on maritime heritage as a public asset. Inaction carries the risk of the reclamation of the Docklands Precinct becoming merely a sterile real estate development without the legitimacy of its status as a waterfront location. There is an absence of effective governance, and an absence of any comprehensive plan to either recognise maritime opportunities or exploit the dispersed cultural maritime heritage assets which exist in Melbourne. Evidence demonstrates the planning folly: 37kms of navigable water compared to 31kms in Sydney’s ferry routes, coupled with population projections and road congestion, no comprehensive strategic plans for water transport or plans for suitable infrastructure such as a central terminal exist.

Melbourne is unique in being the only large port city in the nation, and amongst comparable cities in the developed world, in NOT having a maritime heritage museum. Without a comprehensive re-think about the way Melbourne’s maritime heritageis acknowledged, valued and managed by all levels of government, then resources will continue to be wasted and the valuable cultural heritagewill be effectively lost. Return on investment on maritime heritage by government or corporate sector to date has not been optimised and is unlikely to occur if current bureaucratic silos persist.

Close proximity to water is universally recognised as having an economic value in any location and this value obviously increases close to urban centres. The City of Melbourne has control of 41% of the total river frontage in Melbourne (Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers), 36kms of navigable waterways (72kms of waterfront), 7kms of waterfront at Docklands, 12kms within the Port of Melbourne. City of Melbourne waterways currently accommodate around 700 vessels, planned to expand to 900 vessels when the Docklands development is completed. It issues 2,200 boating permits per annum with 176 – 25 year Marina berth leases. The City of Melbourne shares control of these waterways with Parks Victoria. Yet close attention to the relationship between water and urban development seems to not to have been the focus of successive governments. Despite booming population and road congestion, serious attention to water transport options is absent. Bridges spanning our waterways are prohibitively low, water borne litter collection haphazard, slipways poorly maintained, waterside pathways are denied, marine skills training almost extinguished. The overt and inexplicable lack of acknowledgement by multiple responsible authorities about common maritime issues will require collaboration in the nation’s most successful and prosperous port city.

The Frustrations

Despite this long-standing and considerable funding from the State Government and the City of Melbourne, many key maritime stakeholders report frustration at the slow progress on sustaining Melbourne’s maritime heritageto date, (see Threats section below). There have been multiple Master Plans, Development Plans, Precinct Plans and Management Plans etc. (state, local and stakeholder). These continue to emerge amidst inadequate progress on many levels.

The Plethora of relevant documents and little coherent implementation

  • City Of Melbourne February 5, 2019 Ministerial Planning Referral: TPM-2017-7 194-206 Lorimer Street, Docklands.Application seeking approval to amend the Yarra’s Edge Bolte Precinct Development Plan 2013 by introducing a Development Plan (DP) addendum for the Bolte Precinct West.The DP addendum also seeks to encourage a range of uses across the site including a potential City of Melbourne maritime facilityand future health and wellbeing hub.
  • The Yarra Strategic Planis due to be finalised by 2019. 
  • Fishermans Bend Framework: Delivering a vision for Fishermans Bend to 2050”. The Victorian State Government. October 2018.
  • Melbourne Maritime Network Discussion Paper.September 2018 Urban Creative Studio. “Fishermans Bend Final Framework and Planning Controls. The Victorian State GovernmentOctober 2018.
  • The City of Melbourne 2018-2019 Annual Planclearly commits to addressing these vexed problems and implementation delays related to various parts of Dockland (adopted June 2018).
  • Draft Moonee Ponds Creek Strategic Opportunities. Due for community consultation and completion2019sExtends to the mouth of the MP Creek where it enters the Yarra River near the Ron Barassi Oval which in the City of Melbourne
  • The City Of Melbourne Parks, Property and Waterways Branch Strategic Plan of Docklands 2009-2018.
  • Lower Yarra River –Recommendations for future Funding, Governance and Strategic Considerations of the Management of the Lower Yarra. June 2018.
  • Southbank and South wharf from Southbank to Fishermans Bend Heritage Review 2017.
  • Fishermans Bend Taskforce Social History Study Report and Resource Guide, Oct 2017.
  • Fishermans Bend Social History – A Way Through” by Context Consultants. 2017
  • Melbourne Water is also developing itsownYarra Strategic Plan flowingfrom The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarungmur) Bill 2017
  • The Heritage Fleet Melbourne’s Heritage Fleet Benefits and Contributions July 2017.
  • The City of Melbourne Waterways Operations Concept Plan Bolte Precinct WestApril 2017.
  • The Yarra River Protection Bill:  A 50-year Community Vision for the Yarra June 2017.
  • The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Bill 2017 was first introduced in June 2017 on the recommendations of the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee (Yarra MAC) for an overarching framework for policy and planning.
  • Melbourne Heritage Fleet – Benefits and Contributions. July 2017.
  • The Bolte Precinct West – Addendum to Yarra’s Edge Bolte Precinct Development Plan December 2016.
  • Draft Port Phillip Bay Environmental Management Plan,DELWP 2016
  • The Melbourne Heritage Fleet Feasibility Study and Business Case. Urban Enterprises February 2015.
  • The Melbourne Heritage Fleet – Keeping alive Melbourne’s Heritage Maritime Past Alive November 2014.
  • Parliament of Victoria. Parliamentary Paper No.353. September 2014. See: Heritage Tourism and Ecotourism in Victoria.
  • Victorian Coastal Strategy, 2014
  • Access Docklands – Strategy for the Docklands Transport Network2013 Places Victoria
  • Docklands Community and Place Plan. July 2012Places Victoria and CoM.
  • Docklands Maritime Centre – Proposal.Developed by Maritime Museums Victoria and Maritime Heritage Association of Victoria (now defunct.)2011

Examplesof bureaucratic tangles

There is ample evidence over many years of bureaucratic intention to develop Melbourne’s waterfront real state, specifically its Docklands, but bureaucratic impediments appear to have stalled satisfactory optimisation to date. Lack of alignment between bureaucracies is widely acknowledged but continues to impede progress. Clear examples of this persistent governance ‘deficit’ include:

  • June 2018 – Lower Yarra River Management Advisory Committee Report. Commissioned by the Minster for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and two years in the making, the Report accurately identifies the absence of a shared comprehensive ‘vision’ in relation to Melbourne’s waterways and “Layered with complicated governance”.It makes passing reference to various wharves yet fails to make any reference whatsoever to Melbourne’s maritime heritage. While detailed reference is made to a range of commercial considerations, it completely ignores or omits reference to the cultural significance and the economic potential of Melbourne’s maritime heritage assets. This, no doubt well intentioned report of limited scope, essentially emanating from Parks Victoria, effectively separates the Yarra from its maritime heritage.

Note: CoM still does not have a stand-alone Urban Waterways Master Plan. This is another ‘deficit’.

  • July 2018– Re Bolte West Precinct. Inexplicably Development Victoria unilaterally initiated an EOI process around the installation of non-water-based recreation facilities on prime waterfront land, and land which was already designated under previous Docklands plans and the City of Melbourne Annual Plan for a Marine Operations Services Depot. (Evidence perhaps that Development Victoria planning for Docklands intentionally or otherwise fails to recognise Melbourne’s maritime heritage). Fortunately, this proposal appears to have been withdrawn late in 2018, but exemplifies the pattern of poor collaboration over decades
  • An as yet unresolved planning fiasco in the making– Re current proposals for rail, tram bridges, across Victoria Harbour, it is a seriously concerning example of the chronically poor collaboration amongst relevant State Government and private corporate entities around key issues including transport (freight and people) will impede, if not prevent, optimal economic development of Melbourne’s maritime assets. These proposals will adversely impact recreational boating.
  • As yet unresolved – stakeholder discussion continues. Re confluence of Moonee Ponds Creekand the Yarra. The Draft Moonee Ponds Creek Strategic Opportunities. Due for community consultation and completion2019. The planextends to the mouth of the Moonee Ponds Creek where it enters the Yarra River near the Ron Barassi Senior Oval in the City of Melbourne. Areas of the plan require access to waterfront and access to the confluence of both which are under the control Port of Melbourne which controls BOTH the banks and actual water of the creek.
  • Given there is no overarching authority controversy continues in relation to dredging activity in Port Phillip Bay. An equitable or comprehensive evaluation to factor in and hopefully overcome conflicting agendas cannot occur. For example, supporters of channel deepening, including many in Victoria’s government and businesses, estimate a boost to exports and trade. Detractors point to unintended adverse consequences for the environment affecting many bayside municipalities. Dredging has resulted in sediment build-up close to the Yarra River mouth in Williamstown, preventing tall ships with drafts in excess of 7.5 meters from reaching the port.
  • A final example revolves around the water around Bolte Bridge which is controlled, but rarely used by Port of Melbourne. The height of the bridge currently prevents ocean-going yachts and other tall ships from reaching Docklands. This represents a significant economic loss for the State and the City of Melbourne. The solution to this is simple. It merely requires collaboration between Melbourne Ports and the City of Melbourne ie. an agreement to permit temporary floating wharfs to be installed during major yachting events such as the Round the World Yacht Race or the Melbourne to Hobart annual race. Resistance to this continues.

4.        Solutions to Address the Maritime Heritage ‘Deficit’

The Maritime Heritage ‘deficit’solutions in a nutshell:

a.      State Government Solutions

  • State Government establishing a single Maritime Heritage Authorityto ‘cut-through’ bureaucratic impediments and constraints.
  • State Government adopting a Maritime Heritage Network Approachthroughout Greater Melbourne.
  • State Government advocating and collaborating with partners to establish Melbourne’s Maritime Heritage Trade Museum.
  • State Government establishing a Marine Skills Specialist Centre at Kangan TAFEin Docklands.
  • State Government advocating and collaborating with partners in establishing a Marine Operations Service Depot at Bolte West Precinct.

b.      City of Melbourne Solutions

  • City of Melbourne creating an internalMaritime Matters Reference Groupto facilitate all works related to maritime and waterways engagement and management.
  • City of Melbournesupporting the Melbourne Foundational Heritage Fleet at Victoria Harbour.
  • City of Melbourneadvocating and collaborating with partners in establishing a Maritime Heritage Trade Museum at Docklands.
  • City of Melbourne advocating and collaborating with partners in establishing a Marine Operations Service Depot at Bolte West Precinct.
  • Creating a water-edge ‘Greenline’ trail between Birrarung Marr and the Ron Barassi Senior Oval in Docklands and possiblylinking further with a trail up the Moonee Ponds Creek.

State Government Solutions – FiveActions

a.      Establish a single Maritime Heritage Authority

International models for Docklands Precinct renewal and managing maritime heritage precincts in a comprehensive coordinated manner are plentiful. In Melbourne, the management of its maritime heritage is frustratingly fragmented. So many State and municipal authorities having control over maritime matters has resulted in inertia – and in lost opportunity. There is NO overarching shared ‘vision’ of what the optimal exploitation of Melbourne’s maritime heritage assets could deliver to the State and to the city.

A single Maritime Heritage Authority would effectively:

  • Acknowledge in a formal way the significance of Melbourne’s status as a port city. (ie. the historic and current importance of sea trade).
  • Acknowledge the prominence of Melbourne’s port; the largest and most sophisticated stevedoring operation in Australia today.
  • Address multiple bureaucratic conflicts, competing agendas and impediments to attaining due recognition and celebration of our maritime heritage. A Maritime Heritage Authority could look beyond the Development Victoria ‘vision’ of Docklands as a mere commercial retail property development and effectively cut through the red tape and the competing agendas (eg. State Government departments, Development Victoria, city councils, non-profits, private sector organisations).
  • Enable closer liaison between with existing authorities with a view to sharing a ‘vision’ to properly acknowledge and sustain Melbourne’s maritime heritage and deliver benefits in the short, mid and longer-term for the State. 
  • Address the maritime infrastructure deficits in Melbournearising from differing priorities and agendas within various departments (eg. Parks, Ports, Transport, Events, Economic Development).
  • Foster proactive collaborative action throughout the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Networkie. effectively ‘joining the dots’ across Greater Melbourne by connecting and properly ‘Branding’Melbourne’s dispersed Maritime heritage assets (i.e. artifacts, archives, infrastructures, sites etc.) 
  • Optimise the return on investment (ROI) already made (State, municipal and private) maritime heritage assets of various forms. 
  • Coordinate the plethora of permits across a number of State Government departments to fast-track essential maritime infrastructure (eg. the City of Melbourne Maritime Operations Depotin the Bolte West Precinct and dry docks).
  • Coordinate the effective management of litter in our waterways currently managed by two committees of management, Parks Victoria, Development Victoria, Port of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne.
  • Represent with authority, the legitimate economic interests of diverse marine industry stakeholders who are now largely ignored by transport planners (eg. proposed transport infrastructure directly threatens viability of existing marine commerce and private recreation).
  • Coordinate linked ticketing arrangements – Public Transport Victoria, heritage fleet, and other water-based transport.(Many cities use this connected or shared ticketing model for public transport and other transport modes). Without a single State Government Maritime Authority, Public Transport Victoria cannot integrate with private sector water-based transport with public water transport, or with water-based tourism operators.

b.      Adopt a Maritime Heritage Network Approach

The Maritime Heritage Assets in Melbourne and in Victoria are significant but poorly ‘banded’ and dispersed. Consequently they do not attract optimum levels of curatorial expertise. There is dearth of cross-promotion and this compromises return on significant levels of investment.

c.      Collaborate in establishing a Maritime Heritage Trade Museum

Melbourne is unique in being the only large port city in the nation and amongst comparable cities in the developed world in NOT having a maritime heritage museum.

d.      Create a Marine Skills Specialist Centre at Kangan TAFE

Given that Melbourne is indeed a maritime city, the necessity to sustain and extend Victoria’s public sector capacity to deliver a wide range of marine skills is obvious. This delivery has atrophied in recent years. Paucity in maritime skills education reflects a wasted economic development opportunity.

e.      Collaborate in establishing the Maritime Operations Service Depot in Bolte West Precinct

This facility would support the recreational boating industry, the emerging water transport industry and provide opportunities for marine skills training. It would create up-lift for the Docklands economy.

City of Melbourne Solutions – Six Actions

a.      Create an internal City of Melbourne Maritime Matters Reference Group

Efficient and effective management of maritime matters within the City of Melbourne Council Administration will assist in sustaining Melbourne’s maritime heritage through greater internal collaboration and coordination between branches (eg. planning, recreation, heritage, placemaking, knowledge, trade, transport, events etc.) Relevant information is not shared adequately internally and information from external stakeholders is similarly silo-ed. There is NO overarching shared ‘vision’ of what our maritime legacy could deliver now to the State and to the city. A single authority would effectively enable closer liaison between the existing authorities with a view to sharing a ‘vision’ which properly acknowledges and sustains Melbourne’s maritime heritage and delivers benefits in the short, mid and longer-term for all stakeholders.

b.      Develop a stand-alone Urban Waterways Strategic Master Plan

The economic and social opportunities for the Yarra, Docklands, Central Business District, Fishermans Bend and Port Phillip need to be understood and further developed. Access to water and use of water transport is an under-developed public asset in Melbourne.

c.      Collaborate in establishing a Maritime Heritage Trade Museum

To capture and sustain comprehensively the diverse components of Melbourne’s maritime heritage focus needs to be centered on the historic importance of sea trade and Melbourne as a port city. Melbourne is unique in being the only large port city in the nation and amongst comparable cities in the developed world in NOT having a maritime heritage Museum.

d.      Support and expand the Heritage Fleet in Docklands

Provide reassurance to the Heritage Fleetthat suitable berthing will be found elsewhere on Victoria Harbour when the current Collins Wharf berth location terminates as Lendlease commences development (2019 onwards – Lendlease have undertaken to give the Heritage Fleet at least one year’s notice to vacate sheds, parking and Collins Wharf). City of Melbourne Waterways Branch has granted berthing rights to the three ships and fees have been waived on Collins Wharf 2018.

e.      Collaborate in establishing the Maritime Operations Service Depot

This facility would support all the recreational boating industry, the emerging water transport industry and provide opportunities for marine skills training. It would create up-lift for Docklands economy.

f.       Establish the Maritime ‘Greenline’ waters-edge Trail

The trail will run from Birrarung Marr through the CBD, Docklands and Victoria Harbour with possible extension through to the east side of Moonee Ponds Creek and advocate for public access to the waterfront at Fishermans Bend. Advocate to the Port of Melbourne Corporation to facilitate limited public access to the Yarra south waters-edge in areas within their control under their 50-year leasing arrangement with the State Government. The waters-edge is clearly a public asset and the public is entitled to public access where there is no commercial disadvantage. 

5.        The Case for Adopting a Maritime Heritage Network Approach

The State Government has the overarching authority to establish this Network and deliver benefits aimed specifically at economic up-lift and efficiencies, which so many stakeholders have identified as lacking.

Key maritime stakeholders express enthusiasm for an official plan to implement a collaborativeapproach to link the geographically ‘dispersed’ Maritime Heritage Assets and Precincts via a Network.

After extensive consultations with key stakeholders and research over several months during 2017, 2018 and 2019 several urgent actions have emerged, which deliver direct benefit the City of Melbourne, to the State of Victoria and to the public.

A Maritime Heritage Network Approach would effectively:

  • Counter the frustrating bureaucratic tangle which has led to the ‘deficit’ existing today in relation to Melbourne’s rich maritime legacy.
  • Acknowledge existence of Melbourne and Victoria’s maritime legacy throughout Greater Melbourne.
  • Embed Melbourne’s MaritimeTrade Legacy within ‘Brand’ Melbourne and Victoria.
  • Deliver the mutual benefit of a fostering collaboration between the multiple and enthusiastic stakeholder groups in Melbourne and around Greater Melbourne.
  • Capture the cultural and economic value of the remnant Maritime Trade Legacy.
  • Optimise the public and private return on investment in maritime assets or sites.
  • Capture the benefits of shared ticketing, cross promotion etc. in relation to ferry links, tourist maps and public transport options.

Multiple Components within the Melbourne Maritime Network

Maritime legacy archives, images, artifacts and ships are dispersed in various locations and in various premises around Melbourne, eg. Williamstown, Spotswood, CBD, Southbank, Docklands (2), Port Melbourne and Geelong. Much of this archival material is known to be of national significance yet not readily accessible to the wider public.

  • Home Port Melbourne

Few are aware that Melbourne has enjoyed unique status as the ‘home port’ for specialised shipping of many types (eg. oil and gas rigs, Antarctic vessels, sea pilots etc.) The Off-Shore and Specialised Shipping Association has amassed archives and has access to much more material from the commercial shipping sector.

  • Stevedoring prominence

The technological evolution of stevedoring is not as well understood as it should be as a ‘disruptive technology’ in today’s terms. There have been significant social repercussions to this technological ‘disruption’ and the Port of Melbourne has been, and remains at the forefront. Archives exist in all of the various commercial entities as well as Ports Victoria and Public Records Office. 

  • Victoria Harbour

This area is a unique and unusual element of City of Melbourne maritime trade history. Victoria Harbour is an artificially constructed ‘basin’ excavated ‘by hand’ and steam shovels during the Depression.

  • Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay realignments and dredging

As the City of Melbourne evolved, so too did the propensity and the technical capacity to alter the river bed to suit trade purposes.

  • Slipways, docks, piers and other infrastructure assets

Remaining examples of maritime legacy infrastructure which should be identified within the Maritime Heritage Network will include warehouses, good sheds, cranes, wharves, piers, bollards, dry-dock machinery, etc. on the Yarra River and the harbours.

Note: The State Government has committed (Minister for Ports 2018) to adequately maintain the slipway at Dudley Street so that it remains accessible to larger yachts and other ships.

  • Commercial ferry/taxi /punt services

Given the demographic growth and road congestion in Melbourne, ferry services and water transport of all types needs to be strongly encouraged by all levels of government.

*Ferry service initiatives around Victoria Harbour, the Yarra and beyond (Bellarine – Sorrento) are increasing and patronage will continue to increase as the urban population density of Melbourne and road congestion increases.

*Ferry services operate from Portarlington to Docklands.

*Westgate Punt – operates a service that crosses the Yarra River between Spotswood Jetty and Westgate Landing in Port Melbourne under the WestGate Bridge.


*Two existing ferry services, Port Phillip Ferries and Sealink, are expanding services with the support of the State Government trialing a new ferry service to Geelong commencing 2019.


*Promotion of new ferry or water taxi destinations beyond the CBD around Greater Melbourne with a focus on maritime heritage may appeal to tourists arriving at Station Pier (ticketing linked to Public Transport Victoria light rail and trams).

*More ferries and shared ticketing would connect dispersed maritime heritage precincts and assets and would also encourage patronage at various premises. Many cities use this connected or shared ticketing model and public transport.

*Melbourne Water Taxis are currently licensed to service landings or jetties on the Yarra River between Abbotsford and Williamstown, and on the Maribyrnong River to Canning Street, Essendon. With developments on Yarra North bank this service will expand.


  • GoBoats have recently commenced operations in Victoria Harbour. Ten private electric picnic boats for hire. No licence is required. See
  • Developer engagement

North Bank – Riverlee tower development on the north bank of the Yarra adjacent to the Mission to Seafarers will retain and restore the Heritage Goods Shed No 5,the heritage crane, improve the Seafarers Park and public pathway to Jim Stynes Bridge. Riverlee have also commissioned serious professional historical research about the Yarra North Docks.

Collins Wharf – Lendleasehas plans to restore the heritage port control tower on Collins Wharf, and continue support for the Heritage Fleet on the wharf. Lendleasehas also committed to retaining the redundant dock rail lines along Collins Wharf.

6.        The ‘Dispersed Collection’ of Maritime Heritage Assets

In addition to sites, memorials and monuments of social, economic and cultural significance, extensive and nationally significant maritime archives and artifact collections remain in Melbourne. These form a ‘dispersed collection’ around Central and Greater Melbourne. They are not understood as representing ‘collectively’ valuable public assets.

It is a concern that the responsibility for curating many of these valuable heritage assets lies currently with non-profit organisations, managed by volunteers, corporates and several government departments. Non-profit private organisations also hold maritime assets and such collections or sites are primarily staffed by volunteers under constant pressure to generate income. Untrained volunteers care for these marine assets collections in various dispersed locations. Few comply with the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries. Without Museum Accreditation Program compliance and accreditation, they cannot optimize tourism promotional opportunities.

Without professional curatorial expertise, which would be available in an accredited Museum, nationally significant maritime heritage assets will remain in jeopardy.

Stakeholders report that maritime collections are growing apace though formal and informal donations. Collections are geographically dispersed and Museum standard conservation standards are not generally adopted. National Museum standards are not being met.  useums Victoria advises that such donation generally require professional curatorial assessment – which is costly.

The maritime heritage cultural may be categorized and located as follows:

  • Heritage sites, piers, wharves, sheds
  • Seafarers services organisations
  • Specialist ships and rigs
  • The Heritage Fleet
  • Sailing events
  • Collections – ‘dispersed’ archives and artifacts.

Heritage sites, piers, wharves and sheds

  • Station Pier – within the City of Port Phillip

Managed by the Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) (VPCM)in the municipality of Port Phillip. Cruise ships numbers visiting Melbourne are increasing and enhancing the passenger experience on StationPier. The ferry to Tasmania leaves from this neglected ‘gateway’ to Melbourne. Station Pier is clearly an important maritime infrastructure asset, a crucial public asset, both currently and historically. It is integral to the Maritime Heritage Precincts Network.

The neglect of Station Pier over decades exemplifies the ‘deficit’ mindset in relation to maritime heritage. Given that so many migrants arrived on this Pier and so many soldiers departed from it is a concern that its significance is undervalued. There is a paucity of informational signage about its past to inform the many visitors passing through this less than impressive structure which is the ‘gateway’ to Melbourne. As a modern terminal it compares poorly with facilities provided in the International Terminal in Sydney.This may change. The State Govt. has funded a feasibility study on the re-development of the pier. Community in-put is sought. See:

It is disturbing to note that Immigration Museum dismantled its exhibit providing insight into life aboard a migrant ship.

  • Princes Pier – within the City of Port Philip

Managed by the Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) (VPCM)in the municipality of Port Phillip, 580 meters long, formerly known as the New Railway Pier. Restored and modified to allow safe public access, Princes Pier reopened in 2011. Stakeholders are proposing that the restored ‘Wyuna’could be eventually be relocated at this pier. Currently used for fishing and sightseeing. See:

  • Yarra North Wharf area

See History at Work(3 Reports) August 2018. Commissioned by Riverlee. Melbourne’s first ‘constructed’ wharf precinct. Refers to the work of John Coode, possibly the most prominent harbour engineer of the 19th Century. Works include realigning the Yarra to improve navigability, draining swamps, dredging and widening, designing new docks etc.

The external shape of Goods Shed is protected within the Riverlee development permit, as is the crane located adjacent to Seafarers Rest Park.

  • Yarra South Wharf area

The National Trust vessel ‘Polly Woodside’is floating in the last remaining example of the multiple dry docks, the Duke and Orr’s Dry Dock, which lined this section of the Yarra. The mechanical system driving the dock remains but is not displayed in the public realm. There is no informative signage. Commercial goods sheds once lined the bank along this area. A City of Melbourne heritage review is currently being conducted.

Further along the south bank of the Yarra in the Bolte West Precinct the heritage Shed 21 has heritage protection.

  • Duke & Orr’s Dry Dock(1901-1904)

This significant heritage machinery is the last remaining is encased in a glass “Pump House’ shed. It is the largest centrifugal pump in the Southern Hemisphere capable of emptying the dock in 1 hour. Pumps, boilers, engines all remain but are inaccessible. The informational signage is tucked away in a corner, a location that fails to do justice to this remarkable maritime industrial heritage. It was restored by the 2014 by Engineering Heritage and the State Govt. It is a relic of a once extensive shipbuilding and repair industry that stretched along the south bank of the Yarra River for 5 kilometres below the Queen Street Bridge.

  • Blunts Boat Yard and Slipway, Williamstown

The Bluntfamily’s private boatbuilding business has been operating in the area since the 1880s. The family began boatbuilding 1858. It still operates Slipways. The public may request a visit to operational work.Parks Victoria owns the premises, which are leased to Blunts. The lease is nearing expiry and this presents a threat to the continuation of the boat business.

  • Flagstaff Gardens, CBD

This CBD Park has maritime significance. It is named for the flagstaff erected on this relatively high location in 1840, part of a signaling system between the town of Melbourne and ships sailing into port.

  • Former Port Control Tower, Collins Wharf, Docklands

Development Victoria is required to both restore and make the tower accessible to the public. No known tenant or use is yet proposed but Lendlease, who are redeveloping the Collins Wharf, have ideas about its conversion in to a viewing structure of some sort.

  • The Captain Cook Heritage Trail

Mal Nicholson (Local Chapter of the Captain Cook Society). Although the Federal Government investment in this project is minimal in Victoria, reference is made to many places along the Victorian coastline. Many names are in dispute including sites near Mallacoota,

  • The Port Welshpool Long Jetty

The Port Welshpool Long Jetty was constructed in the late 1930s, extended in the 1980s, and was closed following fire damage in 2003. Over time the condition of the jetty structure continued to deteriorate with no clear direction or commitment to the future of the structure. It was eventually restored and re-opened in 2018. A Diving Bell is exhibited at the end of the pier.

  • Aboriginal presence

For at least 30,000 years Aboriginal people have lived on and around the area known as Port Phillip Bay. The Traditional Owners of this area are the Boonwurrung, Wathaurung and the Woiwurrung language groups of the Eastern Kulin Nation. Not widely known in the public realm, oral history and ample evidence exists of the Eastern Kulin Nation’s connection on and around Port Phillip Bay, its waterways and creeks. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Aboriginal camp sites and other places were submerged when the ocean broke through the Heads and flooded the bay. More recently, the City of Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid Heritage Study makes reference to Aboriginal eel traps, fishing, hunting of water fowl, fording places, shell middens, canoe trees and ceremonial sites associated with harvests of marine resources. The largely organic remains of these activities (woven reed baskets, nets, etc.) are rarely preserved, but may survive in underwater sites which have yet to be found. Colonial works and more recent dredging have reshaped Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra (Birrarung) waterways. This has dramatically impacted Aboriginal people’s ability to maintain their connection to country and cultural practices. Much evidence and knowledge of changes to the bay’s pre-colonial history, both natural and man-made, remain to be discovered.

Seafarers services organisations

  • The Mission to Seafarers(Docklands Yarra North Wharf)

President Neil Edwards

Vice Chair Nigel Porteous

Heritage Sub-Committee Gordon McMillan

Curator Jay Lewis

The Mission was established in 1857, the second after London. It has rendered services to seafarers since that time (one of only five such Missions in the world – its Patron Princess Anne.) It has an extensive archival and pictorial collection of national significance and a growing collection of artifacts. Managed by a voluntary board, five staff and 30 volunteers it provides continuous services to 15,000 seafarers annually. The heritage premises are owned by the State Government, which licences the Mission to provide services to seafarers as well as manage the major restoration whilst maintaining services. Given that the Mission is operated by volunteers the magnitude and complexity of the restoration of the premises and the rapid deterioration due to immense increase in road traffic volume along the north perimeter is a concern. The Mission has a license arrangement with the State Government (Treasury), which is promising $2.5 million to ensure the heritage building remains ‘safe’ and fit for the delivery of this important social service. The promised funding is inadequate. The Restoration Project Manager is Hilary Harris. A Heritage Room presents items relating to the Mission and to OSSA.

The rear wall of the Mission premises forms the northern perimeter of the Seafarers Rest Park, which is currently being redesigned. In collaboration with the City of Melbourne the State Government is redeveloping the park on the north bank of the Yarra funded though the mandated ‘community contribution’ funds from Riverlee developers. As part of the new park, the historic wharf on the southern water-edge of the park on the Yarra is being rebuilt.

  • Stella Maris Seafarers’ Centre(Collins Street, CBD)

The Catholic Mission to Seafarers is one of 353 such centers worldwide. Services are provided in similar numbers to that of the Mission. Archival holdings are unknown. Paid staff and volunteers. A collaborative merger of the two services has been discussed and is progressing.

Specialist ships and rigs

  • OffShore and Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA)

A recently registered association currently co-located with Mission to Seafarers. The group has amassed extensive pictorial and documentary archives of large maritime artifacts donated by corporations and authorities in the shipping industry. The OSSA ‘vision’ is to preserve and publicly display maritime history associated with all types of ‘specialist’ ships operating from Australia (eg. ships servicing oil and gas extraction rigs, sea pilots, Antarctic, reef vigilance, scientific research, police patrol vessels, lighthouse support etc.) OSSA also seek recognition of the important role that Melbourne has played historically as the ‘home port’ for all such specialised shipping. OSSA have a voluntary board and many volunteers.

OSSA are amassing and storing significant numbers of large-scale marine artifacts for use by the City of Melbourne in and around Docklands in due course eg. Enterprize Park, Seafarers Park, the proposed Maritime Trail from Birrarung Marr, through the CBD to Ron Barassi Senior Park near Bolte Bridge and the proposed park at the end of Collins Wharf.

  • Port Phillip Sea Pilots Association

The Association was established 17 June 1839 when a licence was granted to George Tobin by Governor Gipps of New South Wales. It has operated in a unique servicing arrangement; originally a revenue source for government but later that revenue flowed to the members. In 1989 Port Phillip Sea Pilots celebrated their 150th anniversary.Recent legislation changed licensing. The Association no longer has monopoly status. Archives and artifacts are held in Melbourne. The Sea Pilots base ship ‘Wyuna’is now a heritage ship but is too large for berthing at Victoria Harbour. (See later reference proposing a re-location)

The Heritage Fleet

The Heritage Fleet members formed the Maritime Heritage Association of Victoria. It considers itself a ‘foundational’ collection of heritage vessels, which currently comprises three heritage vessels (Steam Ship Wattle,The Enterprize,andtheAlma Doepel). Although the member vessels are managed separately, they are berthed togetherand an MOU creating a consortium of members was signed in 2017.

Research indicates another 12 potential heritage vessel acquisitions including the ‘Wyuna’described earlier. The fate of the Wyunaremains unclear. The Maritime Museums Victoria group has offered the vessel ‘The Janet’for restoration to eventually be a functioning member of the in Heritage Fleet and the ex HMAS Castlemaine,currently berthed at Williamstown, is also keen to join the Network.

The Heritage Fleet Consortium prepared an economic case (July 2017) making a persuasive case around the economic up-lift of the Heritage Ships presence in Victoria Harbour. The estimated tourist visitation to Docklands was 3.4 million annually. If only 2 percent of these take a ferry or other water-based experience such as the Heritage Fleet, then the benefit would be considerable.

  • Steam Tug ‘Wattle’– Geoff Harris, Tony Lewis 0410 471 819. Also known asBay Steamers Maritime Museum Ltd

Private contribution of $1million to the restoration to date. Many permanent volunteers.

City of Melbourne waived berthing fees. Planned to be operational early in 2019.

Committed to remaining a Docklands presence.

(Note that a similar vessel, the Steam Tug ‘Forceful’,is acknowledged as a key element of the Queensland Maritime Museum.)

  • The‘Enterprize’ Michael Womack CEO 0419 520 

This is a reproduction of the original ship. City of Melbourne waived berthing fees.

Re-located from Williamstown to Docklands. Currently operating successfully out of Collins Wharf, Docklands – school groups, events for example Melbourne Day. Managed through the Enterprize Ship Trust with minimal staff and many volunteers. Currently teaching sail-making and rigging in Shed on Collins Wharf.

  • The ‘Alma Doepel’– PeterHarris 0427 899 134

City of Melbourne grant $300,000 over three years. City of Melbourne signed an MOU with management. City of Melbourne waived berthing fees for 2018 and funded support for the 2018 Annual Alma Doepelfundraising event.

State Government provided $47,000, Rightship $11,350, plus Alma DoepelSupporters Club.

There are several organisations associated with Alma Doepel including Tall Ships VictoriaSail and Adventure Limitedand Ocean Education Centre(currently operating in the shed on Collins Wharf).No date for completion of the Alma Doepel restoration yet announced.

  • The ‘Polly Woodside’National Trust of Victoria property. Currently operating in what is widely acknowledged as a poor location. This vessel floats in the last remaining dry dock on the banks of the Yarra next to the Convention Centre at Southbank. Some paid staff but mainly volunteer engagement. It does not attract optimal visitation. It is poorly located and needs both urgent repair and possible relocation to a more appropriate tourist site like the ‘Cutty Sark’ exhibition at Greenwich, London.


  • The ‘Janet’– Owned byMaritime Museums Victoria group. Previously partially restored at Victoria University. Currently stored at a boat builder’s yard awaiting hull work, bulkheads, engine and fit-out. Now offered as a project for Kangan TAFE with the view to becoming a fully operational member of the Heritage Fleet at Victoria Harbour.
    (Note: The Australian National Maritime Museum has a similar vessel. Ssee: is completely restored, maintained and operative. Given that the Australian National Maritime Museum has a similar vessel to this one in Sydney this may be surplus to needs and made available to Melbourne.
  • The ex HMAS ‘Castlemaine’– One of 60 vessels built in Australia. Owned by the Maritime Trust of Australia. Built at Williamstown during WW2. Restoration underway. Seeking collaboration with Melbourne Maritime Network.
  • The ‘Wyuna’– A significant asset within the national Heritage Fleet, the ‘Wyuna’is a twin-screw diesel electric pilot cutter 63m long. It serviced the Sea Pilots Association from 1953 until November 1979 and was then sold to the new Maritime College at Launceston for use as a training ship. Its design is based on a modified version of the Royal Yacht Britannia. The ‘Wyuna’was the base ship where sea pilots lived on rotation while waiting to bring vessels into Port Phillip Bay. Its ‘credentials’ and heritage value are widely acknowledged.

    After a 10 year lay-up the vessel has undergone an extensive restoration program and in August 2015 ‘Wyuna’went to sea again sailing once more down the Tamar River from Launceston to prepare to return to her home in Victoria. Preparing to sail for Melbourne the proposed berth in Melbourne did not eventuate and ‘Wyuna’ became stranded at Inspection Head wharf in Beauty Point. With the wharf under repair ‘Wyuna’was moved to an anchorage off Beauty Point on the Tamar River where it remains today. The port authorities have made certain stipulation before ‘Wyuna’is allowed back alongside the Inspection Head Wharf. These requirements will be completed by the end of February 2019 at which point ‘Wyuna’willmake final preparations to sail for Melbourne. ‘Wyuna’will steam through Port Phillip Heads under her own power finally returning home to Victoria.

    The City of Melbourne Waterways Branch recognises the heritage value of the vessel and the opportunity it presents as an addition to the heritage fleet.  However given that Victoria Harbour has no suitable mooring, there is a proposal that the vessel be permanently moored at Princes Pier (580m long historic pier in Port Melbourne adjacent to Station Pier and is property of Ports Victoria). An alternate mooring might be on the ocean side of Bolte Bridge (controlled by Port authorities). Note: Research indicates that commercial use of this area by commercial shipping is very rare.

Sailing and other water–based events

Although often sailing events commence outside Melbourne opportunities exist to engage and build-upon all such the events, which obviously link ‘Melbourne’ with other locations. 

  • The Port of Melbourne – Port of Osaka Yacht Race

A unique race between Port Cities – Sister Cities firstheld in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Osaka. Former Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard sailed in the first race.

The City of Melbourne provides the licence to use the “Melbourne to Osaka Double Handed Yacht Club” trademark and have provided hospitality support to competitors in the past.This is Australia’s longest Category 1yacht race, the equivalent of eight back-to-back Sydney to Hobart’s with only two people on board.See:

Now held every four years (on average) to celebrate the City of Melbourne and the City of Osaka Sister City and Sister Port relationship.

The 2018 event was fully subscribed with a waiting list of keen competitors.

Next event is scheduled for 2022.

The City of Melbourne has an opportunity to support allocated events at Docklands.

The race commences at the Heads. Preparation of the boats occurs at Sandringham.

  • Melbourne to Launceston Yacht Races

The Melbourne to Launceston Yacht Race is the ‘Grand Old Dame’ of Australian ocean races. It is the oldest ocean racein Australia and the fifth oldest on the face of the planet.

In 1907, Thomas Fleming Day, editor of the American magazine ‘Rudder’ wrote to his friend, the Commodore of the Geelong Yacht Club, T.A. Dickson, suggesting a race across Bass Strait to Tasmania in order to promote the sport of yachting. Day struck a trophy worth 60 guineas, a fortune at the time, as a prize for the winner. More than 100 years later, yachts are still racing across Bass Strait for the honour of winning the Rudder Cup. The Rudder Cup is Australia’s oldest ocean race and the 5th oldest organised ocean yacht race in the world, predating the Fastnet by nearly 20 years and the Sydney to Hobart race by nearly four decades.

  • Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race 

Now in its 44thyear, the 435 nautical mile blue-water classic Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race was the brainchild of Stan Gibson from Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club in Melbourne and Dr Joe Cannon at Derwent Sailing Squadron in Hobart. Arguably Australia’s most challenging ocean race, the Melbourne to Hobart starts from Portsea Pier.

  • Couta Boat Events

The Couta Boat Association is dedicated to the promotion of iconic wooden Australian gaff rig fishing boats now raced in competitive and social fleets.

The Victorian Couta boat is a distinct Australian designed working boat going back to the latter part of the 1800s. Queenscliff, just inside Port Phillip Heads, was a fishing community which initially worked their local areas inside the bay. To go out the heads required a boat capable of handling the ‘The Rip’ as the passage is known, and then the much rougher offshore conditions. By the 1890s they had established a fleet that was working out into the strait, using sailing craft that were different from the inshore boats. When railways reached coastal communities the ability to transport fish quickly to Melbourne encouraged the fleet size to expand and made it practical to fish offshore and to freight the catch to the market.

  • Round the World Yacht Raceseg. Volvo Ocean Race, World Clipper Races

These races are multimillion dollar events and involve many sailing clubs throughout Melbourne. More could be done to optimise an economic up-lift in Melbourne itself and reinforce Melbourne’s historic role as a port city destination.

  • Dragon Boats Victoria

President – Adrian Stephens based at Victoria Harbour Docklands. Dragon boat racing has cultural origins in ancient China and has evolved into a highly competitive sport right across the globe. Dragon Boats Victoria delivers regattas across metropolitan and regional Victoria. Their premier event is the Victorian State Championships, which is held at the end of each season in March.

Dispersed ‘collections’ of archives and artifacts

  • Heritage Victoria

Hold an extensive and professionally curated collection of marine archeological artifacts. The collection is not in the public realm.Victoria’s first European settlement was established in 1803 at Sullivan Bay, near Sorrento, 32 years before Melbourne was founded. There are many shipwrecks and heritage sites in the Bay associated with Victoria’s early seafaring days. Heritage Victoria have an extensive collection of maritime archaeological archives which are warehoused and not publicly accessible.

  • Maritime Museums of Victoria Inc (MMV Inc)

This is a ‘dispersed collection’ owned by the MMV Inc now seeking collaboration with Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network Project. It owns ‘The Janet’vessel and is keen to collaborate not only with Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network but also with the establishment of the Maritime Skills Specialist Centre. The assets include 30 oil paintings of the most important ships in the history of Australia – the Koskie Collection (currently in storage).

  • The Morgan Collection

Extensive collection of art and artifacts related to the establishment of Victoria. Significant works relating to the European arrival at Port Phillip Bay.

  • The Maritime Trust of Australia

This Trust operates a museum in the form of a restoration project of a WW2 vessel ex HMAS Castlemaine currently berthed at the Gem Pier in Williamstown. There is no formal arrangement for this vessel to remain at Williamstown, which is actually controlled by Parks Victoria. The vessel was manufactured in Melbourne (hull generators) and engines were made in Castlemaine.

  • RAAF Museum, Point Cook

Based at the RAAF Base Williams. This is the official Museum of the RAAF and is located in a secure area, which is property of the Federal Government. The aviation collection includes flying boats and archives related to seaplanes. A ‘Seaplane Flight’ was formed at Point Cook to cooperate with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The RAAF provided the RAN with aircraft and crews to undertake reconnaissance, mapping and range-finding for naval gunfire. Two large Southampton flying boats were also used for coastal reconnaissance and parachute training at Point Cook between World War I and II.Admission is free.

  • The Royal Australian Navy

There is significant interest in increasing the Navy’s profile in Victoria including the possibility of the proposed Melbourne Maritime Heritage Museum having accessing relevant memorabilia now stored at Flinders. On the recommendation of OSSA, Jackie met with Commodore Greg Yorke, Senior Naval Officer for Victoria. There is strong Navy interest in the ongoing collaboration with MMHN.

  • International Transport Federation (MUA now part of CFMEU)

Known to have marine archives.

  • Port of Melbourne Corporation

The Consortium is understood to have acquired Port of Melbourne archives at the time of the lease. It now has a 50 year lease.

It is important to note that the Port of Melbourne (operating through three separate contracts docks adjacent to Docklands Precinct) remains the largest and most sophisticated commercial port facility in AustraliaYet the critical importance of this port facility has little public recognition.

Ports now, as throughout Melbourne’s history, are of crucial importance to the prosperity of this city, this State and to the nation.Few are aware that the first container ship was made in Australia. Nor does the wider public recognise nor understand the technical sophistication of Melbourne’s ports as efficient global container facilities (one port is completely automated and two other ports less so.)

Note A: The establishment of the recently registeredOffshore and Specialist Ships AustraliaGroup (OSSA) reflects a very real concern identified by those in the industry, that the contribution of the multi-faceted shipping industry to Australia’s prosperity (ie. trade, commercial shipping and specialised shipping, extractive rigs) is not widely known nor understood. See:

Note B: Commercial operators run the Port of Melbourne Education Centre (PortEd) in Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne for schools and community groups but directed at the general public.

       “A QIC-led consortium clinched a $9.7 billion 50-year lease of the Port of Melbourne in one of the           largest infrastructure deals of 2016. The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container,        automotive and general cargo port by throughput, located in the heart of Melbourne city”

See – The construction and development of Webb Dock

  • The Shrine of Remembrance

Recently enlarged, the museumbeneath the Shrine itself includes naval exhibits and archives.

Opened in 1934, the Shrineis the Victorian state memorial to Australian Forces who served in global conflicts throughout our nation’s history. The critical importance of the Merchant Navy, obviously part of our maritime legacy, is acknowledged and commemorated by The Shrine. The link to overseas service will be commemorated in the creation of the ‘Shrine to Sea’Trail.

  • Victorian Maritime Centre, Crib Point. (VMC)with theWestern Port OberonAssociation Inc

President Max Bryant. The VMC is currently located at the former BP terminal building at Crib Point, Victoria. It opens on Saturdays. There are plans to establish a larger maritime centre in Hastings. Ongoing restoration projects include the ‘Wyuna’(in Tasmania) and the‘Otama’(Oberson Class) submarine at Western Port.


  • Inverloch Maritime Precinct

The Historical Society and Clock Tower Committee restored Rocket Shed and replica of The Ripple. The Rocket Shed (115 years old) is one of only three remaining in Victoria. Its purpose in the early 1900s was to house equipment used to rescue crews from distressed ships along the Inverloch coastline. Rockets with lines attached were fired to the ships, and then a Bosun’s Chair was pulled aboard and used to rescue crew members. See:

  • Port Welshpool and District Maritime Museum

Located in one of the original fishermen’s homes of Port Welshpool. The collection includes maritime artifacts, archives of the founding families of the district and site of the ‘Janet Iles,’ a fishing boat built in 1914 for the Smith family. Open Saturday only. See:

  • Fishing Industry – oral history

During 1989 and 1990, Jack Darcey, an oral historian, travelled over 26,800 kilometres around Australia to interview a cross-section of men and women involved in various aspects of the fishing industry. See

7.        The Case for a Melbourne Maritime Trade Heritage Museum

Melbourne is unique amongst the large cities of the nation and comparable cities in the developed world in NOT having a Maritime Heritage Museum. Quoting ‘Polly Woodside’Volunteers Association noted in their newsletter, 21//8/2018 “Melbourne is the only maritime city in the developed world without a maritime museum.”


  • No new Museum has been established in Melbourne for many years. There is wide acknowledgement amongst stakeholders that an opportunity now exists to establish a maritime museum focused on trade as a permanent tourist attraction in Docklands.
  • It will serve as a repository for maritime assets and archives, which are currently not accessible in the public realm. The absence of such a maritime museum in Melbourne should be understood as an undeveloped cultural asset.

a.      Focus on Trade

The Maritime Trade Museum would have a specific focus on commerce or trade, specialist shipping, oil and gas rigs, docks, stevedoring, ports management etc. This focus would be a clear point of differentiation from existing maritime museums and would align with Melbourne’s current status as the nation’s largest port. The museum would trigger wider public recognition and education about the crucial role played by maritime trade in underpinning Melbourne’s and Victoria’s prosperity – currently and in the past. Such a museum at Docklands has the potential to provide access to both information and on-water experiences (eg. Heritage Fleet, harbour tours, docks tours.)

Note A: In the 19th century, the provision of such public ‘education’ was known as ‘instructive amusement’(referenced in City of Melbourne 2018-19 Annual Plan.)

Note B: The Association of Bayside Municipalities estimates that the recreational activity of tourists and locals results in approximately $320 million in annual revenue for the Bay region. See

b.      International Models for Maritime Museums

There are numerous international examples eg. Belfast (Titanic), Glasgow, Greenwich Maritime Precinct (The Cutty Sark), Quebec City, Lisbon, Auckland, Oslo, Copenhagen, Noumea, Kawasaki (Kobe) – but significantly none specialising in Maritime trade in Australia.

Note: The Victorian Government Architect offered to investigate various models (2018).

  • The London Docklands Museum Model

Jackie Watts visited the London Docklands Museum June 2018 and reported: “The reclamation and re-imagining of London’s extensive Docklands is impressive – as is the way in which the ‘commercial/ trade’ aspect of London’s maritime heritage is recognised and promoted in the Docklands Museum.Of course trade between Australia and England features in many of the exhibits!

The London Docklands Museum clearly provides a very useful ‘model’ for Melbourne, which has the opportunity to create a similar museum as a permanent ‘activation’ at Docklands to showcase Melbourne’s rich and vibrant commercialmaritime heritage. A reminder that Melbourne remains the largest port city in Australia and is also recognised as a home base for specialised shipping.


  • Royal Museums Precinct at Greenwich

This is essentially a ‘dispersed’ collection model and is an extraordinarily popular tourist destination.Royal Observatory Greenwich, the iconic historic sailing ship ‘Cutty Sark’, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House art gallery. Publicly funded but receives significant philanthropic funds.

Planning major new wing gifted by shipping magnate and philanthropist Sammy Ofer.

Managed though a Trust, Director Dr. Kevin Fewster

Note: Should the ‘Polly Woodside’ be more appropriated and curated re-located, the vessel has the potential to become Melbourne’s ‘Cutty Sark’.

c.      Australian Models for Maritime Museums

  • Queensland Maritime Museum, Brisbane

Managed by an incorporated association. The CEO Matt Rowe has offered support to a Melbourne Maritime Trade Museum via OSSA. Attracts 34,000 visitors annually (2016 report). Average daily revenue $750 rising to $1500 during school vacations. Broadly self-funded through membership and sponsors. The Queensland Government invested a further $600,000 added to three years recurrent funding from Queensland Arts.

  • Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney

This is a Federal Government agency. The Museum is managed through a Council appointed in accordance with the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990. Visitation for 2016-17 exceeded 1,512,000. The Federal Government provided $13.9 million over three years but 39% of revenue came from non-government sources.

Note: An arrangement has been recently formed to allow AMC to deliver training at the Museum.

  • Maritime Museum, Hobart

Privately operated maritime museum dedicated to the history of Tasmania’s association with the sea, ships and shipbuilding.

  • Western Australian Maritime Museum, Fremantle

Under the control of the Western Australian Government, Museums of Western Australia.

  • Cairns Museum

This is operated by City of Cairns. Small stevedoring exhibition.

8.       Possible sites for the Melbourne Maritime Trade Heritage


There are several sites options. The best option will be determined through negotiated partnerships and collaboration.

  • Collins Wharf (Docklands, Victoria Harbour)

Lendlease Collins Wharf development site

Located along Collins Wharf the development has ministerial approval and will commence work in 2019. Lendlease have suggested a space on the southern side of Victoria Harbour suitable for a new maritime museum as an appropriate element on their Collins Wharf development plans. It is on the water’s edge and Lendlease view a ‘maritime heritage presence’ as good for the promotion of this residential development. The site is accessible by public transport. There will be a public walkway along the wharf and heritage tram rails on the path are to remain. Development Victoria advises that there are existing plans for a pedestrian walkway from the wharf to the north side of Victoria Harbour. This would allow access to the museum from across Victoria Harbour (September 2017 LL Tim Campbell, Project Victoria Harbour 0404 140 120). Theproposed Melbourne Greenline Trail from Birrarung Marr through the CBD to Harbour Esplanade and on to the Bolte Bridge at Ron Barassi Senior Oval could easily incorporate a ‘spur’ trail along Collins Wharf to the proposed park at the tip of the wharf. Lendlease also intend to include the former Harbour Control Tower into their design.

  • Yarra Bank North

Riverlee Yarra North Bank developmentsite

Located adjacent to the Mission to Seafarers, the development has ministerial approval. It sits on the north bank of the Yarra alongside Seafarers Park; the development incorporates retention and restoration of the large heritage Goods Shed that will be a conference centre and the base of a hotel. The site faces the Seafarers Rest Park currently being designed, which will incorporate a heritage crane and other maritime artifacts. It sits adjacent to the proposed City of Melbourne maritime waters-edge trail running from Birrarung Marr through the CBD to Harbour Esplanade and on to the Bolte Bridge.

Note: Riverlee have expressed a strong interest in assisting with a museum or interpretation centre and have already commissioned historical research on this area of Yarra Docklands with specific reference to the social and commercial importance of this particular Goods Shed and the heritage crane on this stretch of river bank, Melbourne’s first Docklands.

  • AFL/Marvel Stadium redevelopment sites (Docklands, Victoria Harbour)

The AFLisredeveloping Marvel Stadium and their concept plans indicate it may extend to or beyond Harbour Esplanade, even over the water in Victoria Harbour. The AFL is open to considering community benefit options, which presumably might include a museum (MeetingSeptember 2017 Simon Gorr.)The State Government has agreed to provide significant funding support for the redevelopment (circa $300 million.) The State Opposition, however, has expressed opposition to this project.

Note A: City of Melbourne 2018-2019 Annual Plan item: “Partner with Development Victoria and the AFL to develop a Stadium Precinct Master Plan to deliver exemplar connected public spaces in Harbour Esplanade, Bourke and La Trobe Streets, integrated with the future direction of Etihad Stadium, Southern Cross Station and Central Pier.”

Note B: The Marvel redevelopment plans could incorporate a stretch of the Melbourne Maritime Trail from Birrarung Marr through the CBD to Harbour Esplanade and beyond to the Bolte Bridge.

  • Development Victoria sites for consideration

Development Victoria controls various potential sites suitable for a new Maritime Heritage Museum (August/September 2017meetings with Simon Wilson, conversation February 2018). Development Victoria could, in theory, allocate a range of sites for consideration as a museum:

*Harbour Esplanade area– installation of a floating wharf or pontoon moored to reconstructed pylon area. Development Victoria already has funds to reconstruct the Esplanade and has positioned two interim pontoons with a café there already. A reconstructed Heritage Goods Shed or large pontoon along Harbour Esplanade.

*New Quay area(1) – there is a large square vacant MAB site on the water’s edge adjacent to Ron Barassi Senior Park.

*New Quay area(2) – There is a long narrow vacant site along the water’s edge adjacent to Ron Barassi Senior Park.

9.        The Case for a Maritime Specialist Skills Centre Kangan TAFE

Given the size and growth of the boating industry, the paucity of maritime education and training in Melbourne is inexplicable. There is an opportunity to consolidate what marine training occurs in Melbourne and readily expand the scope of training offered without any significant investment. Kangan TAFE is located in Docklands and has opportunity for expansion into adjacent Fox land if necessary.

Currently an unmet need exists for training in the recreational boating industry eg. marine engineering, small boat building, sail making, electronics repair skills, heritage boat restoration etc. (Note: Victoria University no longer delivers maritime training and GoTAFE is in Werribee.)

Boating industry sources indicate that the sector could absorb graduates with an expanded set of maritime technical and other related skills. Growth in the cruise ship industry and coastal tourism in the region may offer employment dependent on new skills.

Note: “Coastal shipping decline part of broader maritime capability crisis”(AFR 29/1/2019 media report.)

PwC Skills is the national skills service organisation with responsibility to determine strategic direction of maritime skills training. The PwC industry sector forecast is currently being prepared by PwC Skills (February 2019). The Victorian Skills Commission is responsible for determining industry skills requirements for Victoria.

The delivery of marine technology, marine services and related training courses will enhance Melbourne’s credibility as an international port city, will activate Docklands and will support the recreational boating industry, which is a major economic driver in this State.Training in the Docklands area will encourage watercraft based employment of all types (e.g. tourism, ferry transport, recreation boating, shipping). Increased numbers of students and staff will generate economic up-lift for Docklands.

Note: AMSA reports in order to work in the Australian maritime industry accredited qualifications (or ‘tickets’) from a registered training organisation are required. Fields include maritime safety, pollution response or handling dangerous cargo, specialist training. Specialist training is necessary for responding to or handling dangerous cargo.

Kangan Context

There are obvious advantages in establishing a Marine Skills Specialist Education Centrewithin an existing TAFE:

  • Already has global presence in China, Korea, India and South America. Training in Marine technology and allied marine retail services is now being delivered. The scope of training is limited and could be expanded to include delivery of non-accredited units related to licensing and safety.
  • Already delivers marine technology yet has no water access.
  • Already an international presence and relationships with India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Malaysia – all maritime nations requiring maritime training.
  • Could deliver training related to Watercraft Licensing.
  • Could deliver AMSA approved credentialsin Water Safety and Responseconsistent with and compliant with the National Training Plan.
  • Could apply to Australian Maritime Collegefor permission to deliver a suite of programs (as has recently occurred in Sydney).
  • Could collaborate with and access the planned Melbourne Marine Operation Service Depot for          training purposes.
  • Could deliver marine related hobby courses (eg. navigation, boat repair, sail making).
  • Could expand training in maritime skills – related to cruise shipping, events, hospitality, retail.

10.     The Case for a Melbourne Marine Operations Service Depot

The recreation boating industry is a significant economic driver in this State. Provision of adequate marine services in Melbourne is critical to any expansion of recreational boating as well as maintaining and expanding the Heritage Fleet and supporting the boating industry.

If Docklands is to optimise economic up-lift from its waterfront location, infrastructure to sustain and grow local maritime recreation activity is essential eg. maintenance facilities, provisioning for ALLtypes of watercraft and voyages. Operational services at such a facility would include refueling, litter collection, shore-to-ship/ship-to-shore access, staging area for events.

The City of Melbourne is committed to establishing this facility on the Yarra banksouth at Bolte West Precinct. Plans are progressing.

See Annual Plan Initiatives

City of Melbourne Annual Plan 2018-19: 2019-20

“Progress planning and design for Waterways Operations Precinct in the Bolte Precinct West, to support effective growth of marine activities in Docklands.”

The City of Melbourne Waterways Operations Concept Plan Bolte Precinct WestApril 2017.

City of Melbourne Parks, Property and Waterways Branch ‘Docklands Waterways Strategic Plan 2009-2018.


  • The Melbourne Marine Operations Service Depot will need a slip way on the designated space in the Bolte West Precinct, which is already allocated for community use byDevelopment Victoria.
  • Access to water will be of value for marine technology students at the Kangan TAFE.
  • A Marine Operations Service Depot will enable ALL types of maritime activities to occur at Docklands generating employment and income eg. scheduled refits, repairs, electrical, plumbing, rigging, sail making, joinery, engineering, etc.
  • There is an unmet demand for such marine services located in close proximity to Victoria Harbour in order to support the existing level of recreation marine activities.
  • Increased water transport will generate greater demand for a Marine Operations Services Depot.
  • There is a need to consider power to the site, vessel waste disposal, and vehicle access for provisioning, spare parts and fuel.
  • The Heritage Fleetneeds access to a Marine Operations Services Depot to sustain its commercial and operational viability. Heritage Ships require comparatively frequent scheduledminor and major maintenance and repairs. The Marine Operations Services Depot would enable minor works to be done at Victoria Harbour and major works have Victoria Dock (Dudley Street) slipway access.

Note: City of Melbourne does not have a stand-alone Urban Waterways Master Plan.

11.     Investment/Expenditure to date in Maritime Heritage

When assessed collectively, the public and private investment in Melbourne’s maritime heritage to date is considerable. The State Government, the City of Melbourne, the property development sector, the commercial operators, and private sector philanthropists have invested in various ways in preserving and sustaining Melbourne’s maritime heritage.

But – this investment has not been optimised to date.

State and municipal planning and funding support, though considerable, appears to have been patchy, sporadic, ad hoc, reactive, and inefficiently ‘dispersed’. A plethora of planning documents is in itself evidence of State and municipal investment in time and staffing. However, implementation of these multiple urban development plans has been piecemeal and erratic. There has been a singular and strong focus on maximising economic benefit from commercial real estate development of ‘assets’ and a lack of any focus on developing or optimising return on investment in cultural assets. Consequently, the overall return on investment in relation to Melbourne’s maritime heritage, particularly in relation to Docklands, has not been optimised. Another costly ‘deficit’ to consider.

Note: The stakeholder lists are indicative only, not necessarily comprehensive.

State Government

Significant amounts have been spent but in a fragmented and uncoordinated way. Successive governments bring their own political expediencies or ‘enthusiasms’ often resulting in shifting responsibilities, departmental mergers, splits, transfers, name changes etc. See later section Plethora of Policies. Many government entities have control including but not limited to the following:

  • Development Victoria (formerly Places Victoria)


*Pylon assessment and works (Victoria Harbour and riverbanks)

*Harbour Esplanade works and pontoons – ongoing

*$25 million redevelopment of the Yarra north bankincluding Jim Stynes Bridge not connected through to Docklands

*Funds allocated for the reconstruction of Harbour Esplanade wharves.

*Funds allocated for the reconstruction of the wharf along the south side of the Yarra (Bolte West Precinct)

*Demolition of Central Pier off Harbour Esplanade has commenced (February 2018)

*Decommissioning Webb Rail Bridge and redesigning to the current pedestrian Webb Bridge of today

*Rental waivers for premises on Collins Wharf occupied by the Heritage Fleet

*Manages and houses an extensive collection of marine artifacts and archives

Note: Significantly Development Victoria transferred their Waterways Unit across to the City of Melbourne in 2007.

  • Parks Victoria



*$3 million allocated to Seaworks Maritime Discovery Centre and Wharves (Williamstown, City of Hobson’s Bay) to repair heritage premises and infrastructure

*Lease of site to Seaworks (2.5 hectares)

*Favourable (but not guaranteed) free berthing arrangements for the ex HMAS‘Castlemaine’at Gem Pier, Williamstown

*Pedestrian and bike path along north Yarra bank to Jim Stynes Bridge

*Shrine of Remembrance – control of recently approved $13 million Federal project ‘Shrine to Sea’initiative not yet designed but in essence a commemorative ‘boulevard’(recognising defence force leaving for deployment overseas) toimprove the cycling and pedestrian link between Domain Gardens and Port Phillip Bay. See

  • Ministry of Ports

*$2.65 million SeaRoad Ferries – State Government investment (July 2014) upgrade to key infrastructure at the SeaRoad Ferries, Queenscliff

State Government support commercial ferry trial to Geelong, Port Phillip



*$1.4 million Westgate Punt Ferry Service – StateGovernment provided (September.2013) funding over 4 years


*Slipway at Dudley Street – maintenance so that it is accessible to larger yachts or other ships close to Melbourne

  • Ministry of Tertiary Education

*Kangan TAFE, Docklands. Delivery of marine technology and allied retail skills

  • Department of Premier and Cabinet

*Public Records OfficeMaritime archives and on-line presentations

*Office of Indigenous Affairs.

  • Treasury

*$2.5 million funding to Mission to Seafarers(Yarra North Docklands CBD) for restoration of heritage premises and to enable provision of services to seafarers.

*$300 million AFL/Marvel Stadium

  • Creative Industries

*$750,000 National Trustgrant to restore masts and rigging of the ‘Polly Woodside’.

City of Melbourne

  • Investment in prime waterfront real estate premises in New Quay Victoria Harbour, housing the City of Melbourne Waterways Branch.
  • Responsibility for marine infrastructure management, strategic implementation, development referrals, activation, marketing, tourism, lease management, litter collection, marina management, local laws implementation, emergency coordination, front of house for the public and for marina customers (Waterways Branch).
  • Super Yacht Hospitality Facility at New Quay – Management.
  • Marine Recreation Centre (Boating Hub) on Victoria Harbour wharf. Built and managed (circa $8 million with community centre).
  • Waives berthing fees for the Heritage Fleet at Victoria Harbour.
  • Funded theMelbourneHeritage Fleet Feasibility Studyin 2014.
  • $300,000 for restoration and in-kind support for the ‘Alma Doepel’ plus support for the annual ‘Alma Doepel’fundraising lunch event.
  • Funded a large barge to enable restoration of the ‘Alma Doepel’ (2016) under the control of Development Victoria.
  • Design and proposed establishment of a Marine Operations and Services Depot. Advanced plans to establish this critical marine infrastructure on the south side of the Yarra (Bolte West Precinct), in addition to Heritage Fleet, potential usage by 700 vessels.
  • Plans for waters-edge ‘Greenline’ Trail to link Birrarung Marr with Docklands, and potentially extending to the east bank of the Moonee Ponds Creek.
  • $1 million in private sector investment for restoring and relocating the Steam Tug ‘Wattle.’

Appendix A

Major Maritime Stakeholders and/or Responsible Authorities

State Government Engagement

Somany relevant departments, each with their own agendas, appear to have no comprehensive understanding of the ‘deficit’ in relation to Melbourne’s maritime legacy. NO single authority has carriage of sustaining or developing Melbourne’s maritime heritage legacy – which is why water access and maritime heritage have become such seriously mismanaged and neglected public assets.

  • Department of Premier and Cabinet

Premier – Daniel Andrews

Special Minister of State (Public Sector Administration and Reforms) – Gavin Jennings

Senior Policy Advisor Economic Development and International – Sally Richardson

Andrew Herrington – Premier’s Office

Note: Premier reported in the media as being pro-AFL development at Docklands.

  • Treasury

Treasurer – Tim Pallas

The AFL is liaising directly with Treasury about the redevelopment of Marvel Stadium, the area around Harbour Esplanade and redeveloping the HSV7 building. (Jackie Watts contacted and convened meeting with Development Victoria September 2017.)

Note: Geoff Harris (Heritage Fleet) provided Melbourne Maritime Legacy Precinct document research to the Treasury meeting September 2018.

Note: City of Melbourne Annual Plan 2018-2019 “Partner with Development Victoria and the AFL to develop a Stadium Precinct Master Plan to deliver exemplar connected public spaces in Harbour Esplanade, Bourke and La Trobe Streets, integrated with the future direction of Etihad Stadium, Southern Cross Station and Central Pier”.

See also The Age 12/4/2018 “Etihad Stadium set for major upgrade in Andrews government cash splash”

  • Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Major Events

Minister – Martin Pakula

John Dalton – Tourism Victoria

Peter Berens – Events

Peter Bingham – Visit Victoria

Anthony Cianflone, Senior Advisor – Tourism and Major Events. Sent letter expressing enthusiasm.

Matt Cugley, Strategic Communication – Tourism Victoria.

Meeting with Jackie Watts, maritime stakeholders, City of Melbourne Officers 17/7/18.

*Board of Tourism Victoria. Creating new permanenttourist attractions or services will create economic viability in Docklands which continues to struggle (retail, recreational boating, tourism, hospitality, education.) Initiatives might include Matt McDonald,Board Member and Manager of Commercial Ferry. Keen supporter of Heritage Fleet. Great enthusiasm for shared booking facilities.

*Event opportunities directed at ocean yachting will engage participants and spectators and create economic up-lift.

*Maritime Safety Victoria – licences required for recreational boating and boating events.

Note: Ports and Roads (within Transport and Environment).

  • Ministry of Creative Industries (Museums – Heritage Tourism)

Minister for Creative Industries – Martin Foley

Andrew Roberts – CEO

Martin Halle, Letter of Support for Heritage Fleet 7/4/14.

*Museums Victoria– includes Immigration Museum and Scienceworks.

Rufus Black, Chair very supportive of a new museum. Offered to raise with CEO. (Met with Jackie 2017)

Lynley Marshall – CEO. Very supportive and collaborative.

Christopher Dure

Note: the Immigration Museum has removed its popular immigrant ship exhibit.

Creating new permanenttourist attractions or services will create economic viability in Docklands which continues to struggle (retail, recreational boating, tourism, hospitality, education).

Expanding tourism using creative technologies through Son-et-Lumiere performancesand Maritime Heritage assets eg. towers, cranes, sheds.

*Public Records Office

CEO Justine Heazlewood.

Public Records Office has responsibility for the ‘Polly Woodside’ archive acquired from National Trust auction. See:

  • Ministries of Fishing and Boating, Ports and Freight

Minister for Fishing and Boating – Jaala Pulford

Minister for Ports and Freight – Melissa Horne

Officer – Jonathon Schomburgh

*Port of Melbourne Planning.  See

* Ports Corporation. Commercial shipping is the priority focus.

Janine van Ryke (former Board member) 

Jeff Baselmen.

*Lonsdale Consortium

CEO – Rachel Johnson

*Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) regulator responsible for ensuring safe passenger transport and boating for all Victorians.

*Station Pier – managed by State Government (cruise ships focus.) City of Port Phillip.

Feasibility study to redevelop Station Pier underway November 2018. (Jackie contacted Oct 2018)

Two Tasmanian ferries leave from Station Pier.

*Princes Pier – City of Port Phillip. Sightseeing and fishing only.

*VicRail – new rail bridge planned on far side of Bolte Bridge. Development Victoria and Melbourne Ports both claim that the rail/tram bridge will open for shipping to pass by. New option now being considered is a ‘tube’ laid on the seabed across the harbour.


John Merritt – CEO. VicRoads issues marine licences to operate registered boats and other watercraft in Victoria. There are more boat licences issued than caravan licences.  Responsible for the security of Bolte Bridge including pylons.

(Note: City of Melbourne Waterways Branch reports very little commercial activity takes place near Bolte Bridge).

  • Victorian Ports

Captain Roy Stanbrook, Harbour Master Port of Melbourne. Regulatory authority for the Port, grants Certificates of Survey to ships ie. Licenses each heritage ship. Keen supporter of Heritage Fleet.

  • Ministries of Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Small Business, Economic Development

Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade – Martin Pakula 

Minister for Small Business – Adam Somyurek

Minister for Economic Development – Tim Pallas

Andrew Tulloch, Executive Director – Digital and Economic Development

Actions: Creating new permanenttourist attractions or services will stimulate economic viability in Docklands, which continues to struggle (retail, recreational boating, tourism, hospitality, education).

Expanding tourism by using creative technologies through Son-et-Lumiereperformancesand Maritime Heritage assets at Docklands and elsewhere eg. towers, cranes, sheds.

Hundreds of volunteers participate in the restoration of the three heritage vessels.

Expanding marine operational maintenance services facilities will create associated business and employment in relation to all other recreational watercraft in the City of Melbourne.

Businesses growth and economic up-lift will flow from establishing a Marine Specialist Skills Centre at Kangan TAFE.

Note: Docklands Chamber of Commerce has a well-developed concept for a permanent nightly illuminated creative technologies attraction on Harbour Esplanade but has yet to receive government support.

*Maritime Safety Victoria– licences for recreational boating and boating events.

  • Ministries of Roads, Transport Infrastructure & Public Transport, Road Safety and TAC

Minister for Roads – Jaala Pulford

Minister for Road Safety and TAC – Jaala Pulford

Minister for Transport Infrastructure – Jacinta Allan

Minister for Public Transport – Melissa Horne

*VicRail – new rail bridge planned on far side of Bolte Bridge (Development Victoria and Melbourne Ports both claim that the rail/tram bridge will open for shipping to pass by.) New option now being considered is a ‘tube’ laid on the seabed across the harbour.

*VicRoadresponsible for Bolte Bridge including pylons – security concerns. CEO John Merritt.

*Marine licences– VicRoads issues marine licences to operate a registered boat and other watercraft in Victoria. There are more boat licences issued than caravan licences.

  • Ministry of Planning

Minister for Planning – Richard Wynne

Minister for Priority Precincts – Gavin Jenkins

Officer: Justin Burney – Cabinet paper on water office

Peter Keogh

*Victorian Government Architect –Jill Garner and Principal Advisor, Urban Design (Architecture) David Islip. VGA were very supportive and are investigating other ‘Docklands’ models.

*Development Victoria

Angela Skandarajah – CEO

Geoff Ward – Group Head Precincts. Keen to collaborate with Port of Melbourne Consortium to allow limited community access to the Lower Yarra waterfront. Encountering some resistance.

Simon Wilson, General Manager Precincts (met with Jackie Watts)

Philip Roth, Senior Development Manager (met with Jackie Watts)

Note: City of Melbourne Annual Plan 2018-2019 “Advocate to Development Victoria to ensure that Melbourne’s maritime heritage is considered as part of the development of Harbour Esplanade and Victoria Harbour.”


– Re Harbour Esplanade – Development Victoria Plans 2013 need updating or revising.

Recently installed two pontoons with café on Harbour Esplanade.

Pylons – assessment/ownership. Some Central Pier pylons have now been removed.

Pedestrian bridges – planned and designed to open, eventually linking with to Collins Wharf possibly linking with the CoM Maritime trail.

Owns the barge commissioned for vessel ‘Alma Doepel’ restorationby City of Melbourne May 2016.

– Re Collins Wharf – Lendlease (extended a further two more years). Proposed creating ‘spur’ line of Marine Trail to extend along Collins Wharf to park at the tip.

– Re New Quay – MAB. One vacant site left to develop in this area.

Long wharf on north harbor to be repaired.

– Re Fishermans Bend

Fishermans Bend Development Board.

Meredith Sussex CEO – Control of Fishermans Bend and planning for community land including marine operations facility on Bolte West Precinct near Bolte Bridge. MIRVAC is the designated developer in this area.

  • Heritage Victoria– Supportive. Letter, Tim Smith (13 April 2014)

Geoff Austin 9938 6894

Peter Harvey, Marine Larsson (contacted by Jackie Watts)

Maddy McAllister, Marine Archeologist

There are three broad categories of potential benefit of heritage preservation – economic, social and cultural. See: Victorian Parliament, Parliamentary Paper No 353 September 2014 Inquiry into Heritage Tourism and EcoTourism in Victoria.

  • Ministries of Education and Tertiary Education (TAFE)

Minister for Education – James Merlino

Minister for Training and Skills – Gayle Tierney

Officers: Claire Lindsay and Mike Williams. Very supportive of the establishment of a Marine Skills Specialist Centre.

*Victorian TAFE Association– CEO Andrew Williamson (Met with Jackie 27/6/18).

*Kangan Institute– CEO Trevor Schwenke, Joe Ballato. Attracting domestic and international students though expanding the provision of marine technology and allied services skills training at Kangan TAFE, Docklands.

*GoTAFE– Werribee

*PwC Skills– Sara Caplan (Federal Skills Forecasting)

*Sea Scouts– See

*Port of Melbourne operates ‘PortED’ – a schools information centre in Lorimer Street, Fishermans Bend.

*The Nautical Institute. Private RTO. International professional body for qualified seafarers and others with an interest in nautical matters. See

*Victorian Wooden Boat Centre– Nick Atkins closely aligned with Heritage Fleet Group.

*Ocean Education Centre– Peter Harris. Located on Collins Wharf.

*The ‘Enterprize’Teaching Vessel– Michael Womack. Located on Collins Wharf. Needs teaching premises on land prior to taking students on voyages.


  • Ministries of Environment, Climate Change and Water 

Minister for Water – Lisa Neville

Minister forEnvironment and Climate Change – Lily D’Ambrosio

Kelly Crosthwaite. Letter of support for Heritage Fleet (7/5/15).

*Lower Yarra Management CommitteeReport compiled in collaboration with City of Melbourne June 2018.

*Parks Victoria(subject to Transport and Environment) has granted space to Seaworks at Williamstown.

Responsible for waterways, bays and Yarra River.

Formerly responsible for collecting rubbish in Victoria Harbour. This is now paid for by City of Melbourne.

Grants permit for ex HMAS‘Castlemaine’ at Gem Pier Williamstown. Manages leases for Seaworks Precinct at Williamstown.

City of Melbourne Engagement

a.      Elected Councillors

All current Councillors express a strong commitment for comprehensive planning and greater activation in Docklands. Each Councillor has Portfolio responsibilities and given that this Maritime Heritage Project spans several Portfolios, a joined-up approach by both the Council Administration and Portfolios would be invaluable.

Note: The 2018-19Annual Plan Initiatives listed below relating to Docklands are now approved.

  • Advocate to Development Victoria to ensure that Melbourne’s maritime heritage is considered as part of the development of Harbour Esplanade and Victoria Harbour (Goal 8 – A city planning for growth) shall involve researching the appetite of Development Victoria, other government departments and agencies, significant stakeholders, and any potential models, for the establishment of a Maritime Commercial Heritage Museum at Docklands.
  • “Progress planning and design for Waterways Operations precinct in the Bolte Precinct West, to support effective growth of marine activities in Docklands.
  • “Prepare concepts for a transformative HighLine-like project of public space connecting Flinders Street Station to Docklands along the northern bank of the Yarra River, incorporating Seafarers Park, linking with other proposed initiatives in the Docklands Victoria Harbour area and extending through to the Ron Barassi Senior Park.”  See Herald Sun 27/6/18 “Sky trail could link City to Docklands.” (October 2018 – The new proposed name for this ‘Highline’ waters-edge edge e trail is Greenline). 

b.     Council Administration

Responsibility for Docklands lies with relevant City of Melbourne Branches listed below (personnel changes periodically). This Project spans several branches and a joined-up approach would be invaluable.

  • Strategic Planning Docklands includingMaritime Precincts Network Project – Claire Ferris Miles.
  • Heritage– Hoddle Grid Heritage Review reference to indigenous culture and waterways.
  • Capital Works –Rob Adams (e.g. roads, access floating dock, waste disposal and power up-grade).
  • Knowledge City– Michelle Fitzgerald (Museum and Marine Specialist Skills Centre).
  • People City – Angela Meinke– Sport and Recreation, (volunteers hundreds engaged with heritage ships).
  • City Operations– Linda Weatherson – marinas, recreational boating hub. Note City of Melbourne recently re-instated City of Melbourne in-house responsibility for City of Melbourne management of Marina Yarra’s Edge (MYE).
  • Docklands Placemaking– Eamonn Fennessy and Dan Boden.
  • Waterways Branch–Liaison with internal and external stakeholders in the management and development of waterways and waterfront spaces.
  • Tourism and Economic Development– Katrina McKenzie – Docklands activation, tourism, ferries, maritime events.
  • Environment – Greg Stevens, Parks, Adam Buchholtz (Property and Waterways) marinas, water activation, berthing permits, maritime safety, Super Yacht Marina.
    Note: City of Melbourne Waterways Branch confirms that the Heritage Fleet has berthing rights with fees waived for three years. Rubbish collection from waterways.

Appendix B

Other relevant Stakeholders in the Melbourne Maritime Network

Adjacent Municipal Councils

  • Association of Bayside Municipalities (ABM)

Founded in 1974 by the 10 local government councils that border the bay, the ABM’s members are the frontline and ambassadors for the future protection and management of Port Phillip Bay. The ABM is currently developing The Coastal Planning Guide, a practical guide for councils focused on land use planning for coastal hazards and adaptation in the face of climate change and population growth.

  • City of Port Phillip Council (Warehouses, Fishermans Bend and Bolte West Precinct, Station Pier and Princes Pier). Contact – Cr Bernadene Voss.
  • Hobson’s Bay Council(Seaworks),The ‘Castlemaine’berthed at Gem Pier, Scienceworks.
    Contact:  Cr. Angela Altair
    Note: The City of Melbourne is a member of the Bayside Councils Group.

Major Property Developers at Docklands and Fishermans Bend

  • Lendlease –Collins Wharf off Harbour Esplanade Docklands

John Burton, Managing Director – Urban Regeneration

Edward McAuliffe, Project Director, Collins Wharf Victoria Harbour

Richard Van Benton, Development Executive – Urban Renewal

Lendlease has ministerial approval for development plans for a series of residential developments and a small park at the end of Collins Wharf and public walkway along the Collins Wharf. Very sympathetic to the Heritage Fleet and to the Maritime Museum proposal. Market demand will determine rate of development works (extended by Development Victoria for two years). Lendlease is likely to require access to the Collins Wharf sheds used by the Heritage Fleet after 2018 but has promised the Heritage Fleet one year’s advance notice to vacate working sheds, parking and wharf area. Collins Wharf presents a potential site for Maritime Trade Heritage Museum (as part of Lendlease community benefit contribution) on the re-developed Collins Wharf adjacent to residential towers.

Note: In collaboration with Heritage Fleet group members, Jackie had two meetings with Lendlease, conversations and has many email exchanges.

  • Riverlee – North Yarra bank of Docklands/CBD

David Lee, Development Director

Gabriel Gok, Development Manager

Trevor Sands, Project Manager

Riverlee has ministerial approval for plans for a development, on the Yarra north bank waters-edge which include a hotel/residential/conference adjacent to Mission to Seafarers and the proposed Seafarers Rest Park. Approval requires retention of the Heritage No 5 Goods Shedand on-site heritage dock crane. The site abuts the proposed City of Melbourne Greenline waters-edge Trail from Birrarung Marr through the CBD to Seafarers Rest Park, through to Harbour Esplanade and on to Ron Barassi Senior Park near Bolte Bridge.

Note: In collaboration with Committee members of the Mission to Seafarers, Jackie had two meetings with Riverlee management who proposed that they would consider options for a museum in or around their development. They have commissioned work from a professional historian on this important heritage Yarra bank site.

  • AFL Redevelopment of Stadium (Marvel) Docklands CBD

A proposal to expand Marvel Stadium ($300 million) has been approved by the State Government. The concept design abuts Harbour Esplanade but makes no reference at all to the stadium being situated in a maritime precinct.(See AFR 31/7/2017, HS 27/2/ 2018). Possibly the AFL community benefit contribution could involve elements of the Maritime Heritage Precincts Network infrastructure on Harbour Esplanade works (eg. the joint ticketing office, museum, storage shed.) OSSA have access to appropriate large maritime artifacts.

Note: City of Melbourne Annual Plan 2018-2019 “Partner with Development Victoria and the AFL to develop a Stadium Precinct Master Plan to deliver exemplar connected public spaces in Harbour Esplanade, Bourke and La Trobe Streets, integrated with the future direction of Etihad Stadium, Southern Cross Station and Central Pier”.

  • MAB– New Quay, north side of Victoria Harbour, Docklands CBD.

There is one remaining site for development. No plans are yet known to City of Melbourne.

  • MIRVAC–Fishermans Bend, Yarra South bank (Bolte West Precinct)

There is a possibility that MIRVAC may be approached to collaborate on City of Melbourne Marine Operations Services Depot facility as part of its community benefit contribution.

Committee for Melbourne

Martine Letts, CEO (met with Jackie 26 June 2018)

The Committee for Melbourne is a non-profit organisation based in Melbourne. It aims to bring together businesses, academia and non-profit organisations to enhance the development of Melbourne in a range of ways. Committee for Melbourne is very interested in further engagement with the Project and invited Jackie to submit an item for the member newsletter. In response to this article, several Committee for Melbourne members subsequently called to offer support for the Project. See


  • Docklands Chamber of Commerce

Jo Maxwell, President, Kristie Gatti Executive Officer Letter of endorsement of the Heritage Fleet Group. August 2017.

  • Docklands Representative Group.
  • Destination Melbourne – see comment above.
  • Yarra River Traders Association. John Ahern – Letter of endorsement for Heritage Fleet, May 2015.
  • The Riverlee development plan includes a 1000 capacity conference centre on the Yarra north bank.
  • Kangan TAFE – currently hosts conferences and has an international reputation for delivery of automotive and marine technological training.
  • The proposed Maritime Trade Heritage Museum could incorporate a small convention or event space.
  • There is the potential for locating retail or hospitality venues at the museum, the joint ticketing officefor water-craft or the City of Melbourne Marine Operations Service Depot.

Port, sailing and other maritime authorities

A range of authorities – State, municipal and private organisations – have varying degrees of control over waterways and Docklands. These organisations include:

  • Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne)(VPCM)

Harbour Master – Captain Roy Stanbrook. Very supportive of maritime presence and is engaged with Heritage Fleet. VPCM a new statutory authority created by the State Government concurrently with the Lonsdale Consortium in November 2016 to ensure safe and efficient navigation of vessels, provide essential connectivity to Tasmania to enhance Victorian trade and tourism opportunities for seaborne passengers and freight.

Core functions and responsibilities of VPCM include management of commercial shipping in Port Phillip channels, waterside emergency and marine pollution response and the management of Station Pier as Victoria’s premier cruises shipping facility.

Note: Possibility re-purposing the now un-used VPCMport tower on Collins Wharf as a tourist asset eg. viewing platform or ‘Son et Lumiere’event. Lendlease are supportive of a creative use of this asset. 

  • Lonsdale Consortium (retaining Port of Melbourne name and brand) (lessor of State Government for 50 years)

Caryn Anderson, Executive Manager – Planning

The Consortium: Future Fund, Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Borealis Infrastructure – amongst the largest and most experienced global infrastructure.

Investors with significant expertise in managing large-scale infrastructure assets.

Appear to be entirely focused upon retaining control of water traffic on the ocean side of Bolte Bridge and intent on ensuring commercial shipping access. (Note: City of Melbourne officers report very minimal commercial traffic in this area).

Note: There are feasible options for creating a temporary floating mooring facility for large/tall ocean going yachts, which are currently prevented from entering Victoria Harbour because of Bolte Bridge eg. Round the World race events (State Government/Parks Victoria responsibility). This is necessary to bring the Ocean Racing Yachts to Melbourne.

  • The Port of Melbourne

The Port of Melbourne (PoM) Group is the private leaseholder and strategic manager of the Port of Melbourne’s commercial operations and assets which was announced by the Victorian Government on 19 September 2016. The PoM Group’s objective is to deliver world class safe, responsible and reliable port facilities and services and play its part in delivering an efficient freight supply chain to support Victoria’s growing economy, including the efficient movement of goods within Melbourne and regional Victoria, together with a workable metro rail freight solution.

The Association of Bayside Municipalities advocated to secure as part of the Port of Melbourne lease, an agreement for ongoing monitoring of bay health, cessation of additional major dredging of shipping channels or widening/deepening of the bay entrance, and the establishment of a $10 million fund for the bay.



  • Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc(CBFCA)

Peak body across the international trade, logistic and supply chain management service industry. Advocacy training and professional development.

  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority(AMSA)

CEO Mick Kinley. OSSA report enthusiasm from AMSA for both Maritime Heritage Museum and Maritime Skills Training facility. AMSA is the national regulatory body, promoting the water safety and protection of the marine environment eg. combating ship-sourced pollution. It provides the infrastructure for safety of navigation in Australian waters, and maintains a national search and rescue service for both the maritime and aviation sectors.

  • The Royal Australian Navy

Commodore Greg Yorke(Met with Jackie Nov 2018)A member of OSSA. Keen to support all elements of the Maritime Heritage Network.

  • Company of Master Mariners of Australia (CoMMA)

Melbourne Branch Manager Captain. Ian French. The Company of Master Mariners of Australia is an association established to promote the interests and status of the Merchant Navy generally and of Master Mariners in particular. The Company was founded in 1938 by Captain AN Boulton and became an incorporated body in 1988. The Company of Master Mariners of Australia is a non-profit professional association that is limited by guarantee.

  • Ocean Racing Yacht Club of Victoria (ORCV)

Formed in 1949,renamed in 1972 and incorporated in 1986. The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria is a member club of Australian Sailing, with affiliations to Yachting Australia and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The Club does not operate a clubhouse or marina facility. The objectives of the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria are to develop and expand the sport of ocean racing, coordinate and control all major ocean racing events that are run within or emanate from the State of Victoria.

Other museums in Greater Melbourne exhibiting maritime collections

  • The ‘Polly Woodside’Museum

Property of the National Trust.

Simon Ambrose CEO

Chair Kirsten Stegley

Board Member Jock Murphy

The National Trust has expressed support for a network approach concept to maritime legacy. The vessel floats in Melbourne’s last remaining dry dock on the south bank of the Yarra situated amidst an adult hospitality precinct in the forecourt of the Convention Centre. Consideration should be given to relocating the vessel to a more appropriate and respectful site in order to optimise visitation and improve maintenance eg. Docklands with the Heritage Fleet or the north side of the Yarra.

Note: A decision was made by the National Trust not to create a museum at this site and instead created a children’s education centre.

Floats in dry dock managed by Convention Centre National Trust. Board member Jock Murphy toured Heritage Fleet with Jackie Watts. Very supportive of the Network Concept.

Many stakeholders say that the ‘Polly Woodside’is in poor condition, in last remaining remnant of the dry dock once lining the Yarra. Current location in an adult hospitality precinct adjacent to the Convention Centre if feasible, should be moved to Docklands with the rest of the Heritage Fleet to maximise visitation and improve maintenance. A decision was made by the National Trust not to create a museum at this site.

  • Heritage Victoria

Have an extensive collection of professionally curated and warehoused marine archeological artifacts and archives located in Richmond. Heritage Victoria welcomes any opportunity to bring this marvelous collection into the public realm.

  • Museums Victoria

The majority of museums in Melbourne are managed by Museums Victoria. Rufus Black Chair, Melbourne Museum (met with Jackie 2017)

Lynley Marshall, CEO

Christopher Duse, Manager Strategic Capital Programs

Michael O’Leary, COO

Museum Victoria is responsible for the Immigration Museumon Flinders Street CBD and Scienceworksat Spotswood. Both have some maritime exhibits.

  • RAAF Museum, Point Cook– has seaplanes exhibits.
  • Seaworks Precinct –Williamstown.

Trevor Huggard, Chair

Glen Jones, CEO

Janet Robert Billets, Historian

Very keen to collaborate on the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network Project.

Large heritage shed space, wharfs and slipways. Restoring three operational piers.

  • Mission to Seafarers–Yarra North Wharf, Docklands.

Jackie Watts contacted. Very keen to collaborate on the Maritime Legacy Network Project. Attended meetings at Seaworks and with Jackie Watts.

  • HMAS Cerberus Museum

Royal Australian Navy base that serves as the primary training establishment for RAN personnel. Crib Point on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Public access is limited.

  • Australian National Maritime Museum

Kevin Sumpton, Director/CEO – letter of support March 2015

Mesh Thomson, Victorian Representative, Port of Echuca Discovery Centre

  • Maritime Museums Victoria

Jeff Malley – Committee Member

Very keen to collaborate with Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network Project.

Regional members of the association NOT already referred to in this document include: Pioneer Settlement at Swan Hill, Portland Maritime Discovery Centre, Queenscliff Maritime Museum, Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, Friends of HMVS Cerberus, Cape Otway Lightstation, Flagstaff Hill in Warrnambool, Geelong Maritime Museum. Two MMV members are Victorian river port cities.

Note: City of Melbourne Annual Plan 2018-2019“Advocate to Development Victoria to ensure that Melbourne’s maritime heritage is considered as part of the development of Harbour Esplanade and Victoria Harbour (Goal 8 – A city planning for growth) shall involve researching the appetite of Development Victoria, other government departments and agencies, significant stakeholders, and any potential models, for the establishment of a Maritime Commercial Heritage Museumat Docklands.”

  • Maritime Trust of Australia (MTA) Williamstown

Andrew Campbell, Committee Member

Restoration Project ofHMAS ‘Castlemaine’

  • The Shrine of Remembrance CBD

Dean Lee, CEO. In addition to the Federal defence forces, the Shrine fully recognises and commemorates the role of the Merchant Navy.

  • Bay Steamers Maritime Museum Ltd

See section Heritage Fleet, steam tug ‘Wattle’

Other maritime heritage stakeholder organisations

  • Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV)

Don Garden President 0417 169 018 (Jackie contacted).

RHSV has several maritime heritage enthusiasts amongst membership.

The peak body for historical societies throughout Victoria, Australia. RHSV collect to support the Victorian experience of Australian History.

  • Heritage Council of Victoria

Laura Miles, Executive Director 

The Heritage Council of Victoria recognises, protects and celebrates Victoria’s cultural heritage. An independent statutory body, which advises government and others on conservation and protection of historically important objects and places.

  • Australian Heritage Council (AHC)

The Australian Heritage Council is the principal advisor to the Australian Government on heritage matters. The Council is an independent statutory body, set up under the Australian Heritage Council Act 2003. Members of the Council are appointed for their special expertise in natural, indigenous and historic heritage.

  • History Council of Victoria

Chair Dr Liz Rushen

Margaret Birtley Executive Officer

The peak body for history in Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today.

  • Mission to Seafarers

Chair Neil Edwards, Board Members Nigel Porteous and Gordon MacMillan. As an island nation, Australia relies on seafarers. The work of the Mission to Seafarers is a way of acknowledging their work and hardships, by provision of support.

For their safe and efficient operations, ships depend on seafarers working far from their home and family for months, sometimes years, often in harsh and dangerous conditions.

  • Offshore and Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA)

Board Members Peter Barrow, Reg McNee and Ross Brewer (Jackie Watts in close contact)
Offshore and Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA) was formed in late 2017 when, due to the downturn in the offshore shipping industry, there was considerable fallout. The Farstad Shipping, an early pioneer in the Australian marine industry (having acquired Australian Offshore Services in 2003) undertook a major restructure amalgamating with two other Norwegian ship owners as a minority partner. Resulting from this their Melbourne office was closed. A group of enthusiastic ex seafarers and office staff that had all worked in the industry were dismayed to see a lot of the history and memorabilia disappearing. Consequently, they banded together to try and capture as much of it as possible before it was too late. This was successful and so Offshore and Specialist Ships Australia came into being.

  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

Mick McKinley CEO

Garry Prosser

Responsible for provision of services for national and international shipping, lighthouses and navigational infrastructure and related training.

  • National Trust(Victoria)

Kirsten Stegley, Chair

Jock Murphy Committee Member

Simon Ambrose CEO

  • National Maritime Museum

Kevin Sumpton – Letter of support for Heritage Fleet 3/3/2015

Located in Sydney

  • Maritime Museums Victoria (MMV)

Jeff Malley, Committee Member

A dispersed collection across 14 museum sites


  • Museums Australia(Victoria)

Laura Miles Executive Director

Margaret Birtly – Committee member

Responsible accreditation with National Museum Standards (museum accreditation program)

Museums Australia (Victoria) supports the development of quality museums, collections care, knowledge and specialised skills for museum work.

  • World Ship Society (Victoria)

President John bone

The World Ship Society (Victoria) is based in Victoria, Australia and is one of the many worldwide branches of the World Ship Society, which had its origins in the United Kingdom in 1946.  It is an organisation for anyone interested in ships and shipping history.

The Victorian Branch was formed in 1957 and currently has over 150 members.  The branch arranges visits to ships, excursions to photograph ships and other activities of interest to members.


Commercial maritime stakeholders – ferries, sailing, boating, marine recreation

  • Maritime Industry Australia Limited
  • Australian Pilotage Group. Melbourne and Geelong. Captain Stephen Rabie. See:
  • Boating Industry Association of Victoria– CEO Steve Walker 2018. The Boating Industry Association of Victoria, the peak body for the marine sector, alone represents an industry worth $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy and provides over 17,700 FT. Very supportive of the Maritime Heritage Docklands Network.
  • Maritime Union of Australia. (Division of the CFMEU) Joe Italia, Branch Secretary. The unionrepresents 16,000 Australian stevedores, seafarers, and other maritime workers.
  • Melbourne Passenger Boat Association. Contact Jeff Gordon.
  • PwC Skills, Sara Caplan. Program Lead. The designated National Skills Service organisation granted responsibility for maritime training forecasting and strategic oversight. See:
  • Australian Merchant Navy
  • Maritime Trust of Australia– Andrew Campbell
  • Sail and Adventure Limited– Alan Edenborough
  • Marine Users Group
  • SeaRoad Ferries– Matt McDonald CEO
  • Port Phillip Ferries
  • WestGate Punt
  • Sealink Ferries– CEO Murray Rance (owner Paul Little)
  • Melbourne Passenger Boat Association
  • Water Taxis
  • GoBoats
  • Ocean Racing Club of Victoria– George Shaw
  • Ocean Yacht Stakeholders –numerous contacts
  • Master Mariners– Alex Everard 0438 663 466
  • Victorian Maritime Industry Group– Jesse Miller (Jackie Watts emailed)
  • International Transport Federation
  • MIAL (Maritime Industry Australia Ltd)

Appendix C

Potential funding sources and partnerships Melbourne Maritime Heritage Museum

Given the expressed support of stakeholder organisations, the PPP model seems most feasible.

Community Benefit Contributions:

It is important to note that those property developers granted permission by the State Government to develop specific areas in Docklands, Bolte West Precinct and Fishermans Bend, and the AFL, are required by the State Government to make ‘community benefit contributions’ as part of their development approvals. Such ‘contributions’ may take many forms including elements outlined in this Maritime Heritage Network project.

There are many organisations in Melbourne with an interest in trade/shipping/cargo etc. The support may be grants or in-kind or ongoing.

Lease/Buy Back Arrangement:

A funding option is a medium to long term lease/purchase with a developer. This model has been adopted already by Melbourne University with its Science Gallery.

Some are corporate possibilities are listed below:

Appendix D

Media Reports

Coastal shipping decline part of broader maritime capability crisis AFR 29/1/2019 report

Bringing waterways threads together

Another Blow to Maritime Industry

Marvel announced as new sponsor of stadium

State funds AFL for Stadium Redevelopment

Melbourne Mission becomes home to OSSA Dailey Commercial News, September Issue, 2018 

Public Records Office  See  

Steamlines Newsletter November 2018, item on p.1