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Central Pier tenants settle $42 million legal dispute

According to The Age, Central Pier in the Docklands was subject to an emergency evacuation on August 28, 2019, due to safety concerns about its structural integrity.

Five weeks later, a group of businesses commenced proceedings in the Federal Court accusing Development Victoria of gross negligence and incompetence in allowing them to operate while knowing the pier was in danger of collapsing.

This week, the dispute was settled with Development Victoria for a confidential sum.

It comes after the famous pier was subject to an emergency evacuation, with customers given just 15 minutes’ notice to leave.

The 108-year-old pier and all the businesses have remained closed ever since and demolition began in September last year.

Before the evacuation, the pier’s tenants included The Woolshed Pub, function spaces, Cargo restaurant and the Atlantic Group, which operated multiple restaurant and bar venues with 1300 staff.

Atlantic Group chief executive Hatem Saleh said the settlement was achieved after productive discussions with Development Victoria.

“It’s been a challenging number of years for all involved, and we are now getting on with what we do best,” Mr Saleh told The Age.

“We’d like to thank the state government for its support in working to resolve this matter in collaboration with Development Victoria.”

A Development Victoria spokesperson said the details of the settlement were confidential.

“The parties have agreed to resolve the dispute on confidential terms and the proceeding has been dismissed,” the spokesman told The Age.

“We are unable to comment on the terms of settlement, which are confidential.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.