The Melbourne Star ferris-wheel will permanently shut down according to its owners, as their bankrupt company enters liquidation.
The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel has often been derided as a poor imposter of the London Eye, and occasionally ridiculed for spending more time stagnant than in motion.
For many, it was a symbol of the promise of Docklands that was never delivered. However, now Melbourne faces the far-worse prospect of a permanently-stagnant wheel by the harbour, after the company behind the wheel pulled the plug.
What you need to know
- The Melbourne Star has been permanently closed after 15 years
- COVID lockdowns have sent the wheels’ owners into liquidation
- It remains unclear whether the Victorian government will step in to save the wheel
Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.
“A giant observation wheel has been a part of the city’s skyline for more than 15 years, during which time we have welcomed millions of guests from Australia and all over the world,” general manager, Nicole Hill said.
“Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions and sustained shutdowns, adding to pre-existing challenges of operating amid increased high-rise development and changes in the Docklands area, has made it impossible to sustain the business.
“The directors of the wheel are absolutely committed to doing the right thing by our dedicated team and have made arrangements to ensure all our employees will be paid their full entitlements.”
The wheel was first constructed in 2009 – predicting 1.5 million visitors per year – but has spent a significant portion of its life stagnant due to repairs or other considerations.
Victoria today reported 246 cases, with a sharp spike in mystery cases. Around 30% of the state’s population is currently fully vaccinated, with a further 50% having a single dose.
For more information on the Melbourne Star’s closure, visit here.