Exclusive by Bethany Williams
The developers conservatively estimate the fountain show would generate at least $230 million for Victoria each year. The plan, being touted by the FCT Flames and Avante-Garde de Studio, has the support of the Docklands Chamber of Commerce, which says it would put Docklands on the map as a visitor destination.
“It will make Docklands a must-see destination,” Chamber of Commerce president Joh Maxwell said.
FCT Flames general manager of business development Mark Ryan said the proposal paired both fountains and flames, something he says has never been done in a permanent attraction. “Fountains captivate the crowds and we have designed a permanent show for Docklands that will be one of the best in the world,” Mr Ryan said.
The fountain, which could also be transformed into a floating performance and event stage, would be located in Victoria Harbour, at the end of Central Pier.
Choreographed to music, the fountain would be programmed to music during the day and flames, pyrotechnics, video projection and lasers could be added at night for an even more awe-inspiring show.
With each show running for around 15 minutes, the fountain could be programmed to run multiple times per day or just a few nights per week.
It could also be programmed to match particular themes or special events.
Music would play a big part in the fountain show but wouldn’t disrupt surrounding residents, with speakers designed to direct sound below the first floor. The fountain show could also play silently, with viewers tuning in via wi-fi headsets.
Readers can get a better idea of the scope of the proposal by visiting the Docklands TV YouTube channel and watching this clip click here.
The consortium responsible for the proposal includes FCT Flames, the company that built the cauldron for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Athens Olympic rings and the London petals.
“In fact, if you have watched any of the Olympic games since 2000, you have seen our work,” FCT Flames CEO David Retallack said.
“We are the best in the world at entertaining the masses with flames and we want to do this in Docklands.”
The company is working in partnership with Peter Kok of Avante-Garde de Studio, which has built iconic fountain shows internationally.
“My work is very distinctive and you will know the dancing cranes in Singapore or the fantastic Banpo Bridge in Korea,” Mr Kok said. According to Mr Kok, the fountain and flame show would be a unique attraction in the southern hemisphere and would generate over $230 million in economic activity annually.
The proposal is yet to receive council or state government approval and has not been funded.
Mr Ryan said the fountain would cost over $10 million to build along with annual operating costs of $600,000, but foresaw no issues with securing funding for the project.
“At a cost of over $10 million we believe that corporate and state investment will bring this project to life easily.”
According to Mr Ryan, the fountain would easily provide a return on council, state and corporate investment through increased visitation, increasing investment returns on Docklands properties, advertising revenue and sponsored events.
“We know in Dubai the fountain system cost $230 million and has paid for itself 10 times over,” Mr Ryan said. “We believe this would revitalise Docklands within 24 hours.”
The Docklands Chamber of Commerce is certainly convinced by the plan.
“Looking at the figures around the world where these things are in play, they attract very large numbers every day,” Mrs Maxwell said. “The chamber is supporting it from a business perspective because it will help activate our businesses, our charter boats, our restaurants,ß∑ our entertainment.”
“It complements what we already have here and it’s family friendly.”
According to Mr Ryan, Docklands is the perfect location for the fountain and flames show.
“Docklands is a wonderful development that needs energising and there needs to be a real reason for the public to visit, to stay and to enjoy its unique ambience,” he said.
“A harbour, in the midst off a city makes it perfect for the fountain show.”
What do you think of the Docklands fountain show proposal? Do you think it will put Docklands on the map? Let us know by completing our survey here