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M.I.C.E. Venues

 April 21, 2004
Melbourne To Build A New 5,000-Seat Convention Centre

 Melbourne is set to become home to Australia's largest exhibition and convention centre following an announcement on Tuesday, 20th April 2004 by the Victorian State Government of plans to build a new 5,000-seat Convention Centre. The new Centre, which will have the capacity to host single conferences for up to 5,000 delegates or two concurrent 2,000 delegate conferences will be built adjacent to Australia's largest exhibition centre, the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, on the south bank of the city's Yarra River.

Making the announcement as part of the Government's economic statement, the Premier of Victoria the Hon Steve Bracks said his government is committed to ensuring Melbourne's reputation as Australia's major business, events, science and biotech capital continues to grow. "The new Convention Centre, to be opened in 2008, will make Melbourne the destination of choice in the global convention market," Mr Bracks said. "It will bring major economic benefits to the State of Victoria, including an estimated increase in Gross State Product of $197 million per year and approximately 1,000 jobs during the construction phase."

The Government has committed up to $370 million towards the construction of the new Convention Centre facilities, which includes a $43 million contribution by the City of Melbourne.

Minister for Tourism the Hon John Pandazopoulos also added that the project would boost Victoria's status as a world-class tourist destination. "A new convention centre will ensure tourism remains a major driver of growth in Victoria and will further strengthen our position as a thinking capital, attracting world leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering, medicine and law," said the Minister.

Whilst final plans for the new Centre are yet to be confirmed, Chief Executive for the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre Mr Leigh Harry said the Convention Centre will be physically joined to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre creating one single facility enabling organisers to hold major international and national conferences and exhibitions together under one roof.

"The exhibition space and new plenary hall will be supported by multi-functional breakout rooms including meeting rooms and a ballroom, pre-function spaces, assembly space and food and beverage facilities, underground parking and the latest audio visual and communication infrastructure," said Mr Harry.