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Champagne Socialist
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http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/18/1082226636118.html

New convention centre, bridge for city's west
By Royce Millar
City Reporter
April 19, 2004


A new footbridge over the Yarra linking Southbank and Docklands will be part of a $330 million convention precinct the State Government is expected to announce in its April statement tomorrow.

The precinct's centrepiece will be a 5000-seat convention centre, or plenary hall, earmarked for the former Mazda site next to the Exhibition Centre, widely known as Jeff's Shed.

Business groups have lobbied for years for a new convention venue, arguing that Melbourne's existing 1500-seat centre is hopelessly outdated.

The State Government has been tight-lipped about details of the April statement and has refused to confirm whether the convention centre project would be included.

Government sources said they expected the project to be a public-private partnership, with a private group building the centre and leasing it to the government.

The managers of the existing exhibition centre - a government-appointed trust - are likely to run the new centre.

But the project will hinge on support from the Melbourne City Council, which will be under intense pressure tomorrow to contribute $43 million, including about $15 million for the bridge.

Yesterday's Government announcement that it would return control of Docklands to the council was clearly timed to encourage the council to support the convention centre.

Yesterday a town hall source said the council had demanded it get Docklands back in return for a contribution to the convention centre.

A private town hall briefing today will be the first formal council discussion on the project. A special council meeting to vote on the contribution has been hastily called for tomorrow to coincide with the April statement.

Lord Mayor John So strongly supports the new centre. He will have the numbers to approve a council contribution.

But the council is split, with as many as four of the nine councillors possibly opposed to council involvement.

Finance committee chairman and former Labor Party member Kevin Chamberlin said yesterday the council administration had confirmed that a large contribution would result in service cuts, a rate rise, or both.

If the convention centre was to be a public-private partnership the council should not contribute, he said.

The Committee for Melbourne called on the council to back the project.

"People come to these conventions with millions of disposable dollars and this has a remarkable knock-on effect for business in the city," executive director Janine Kirk said.

State MPs and councillors have questioned whether Melbourne needs a new centre, when existing venues such as the Docklands football stadium can seat 5000.

But the chief executive of the existing Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, Leigh Harry, said that to compete for international conventions, Melbourne needed a centre with a large plenary hall, a large exhibition space, and plenty of smaller meeting rooms.

He said no existing Melbourne venue provided all three.

Mr Harry said among world cities Melbourne had slipped from fourth to 25th in the number of international conventions hosted.

He said that Melbourne's lack of convention capacity made it ineligible for 320 major international conventions.
 

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Yeah the big Con centre has gotta happen, and I like the idea of the Mazda site - perfectly located next to the biggest Exhibition Centre around and all Melbourne City attractions.

Yes I too tire of hearing about 'Yet another bloody bridge' but I think a bridge between Docklands and Southbank is needed..

But then again thinking about it - thats exactly what the Yarra's Edge bridge is for - and it's not far at all from the Mazda site. Whilst up the other end the Spencer St bridge isn't that far either.
 

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More news in today's Age

Business to get a $1bn boost

By Darren Gray, Royce Millar
April 20, 2004
More than $1 billion of initiatives to boost Victoria's economy will be among key measures in a major economic plan to be released today by the State Government.


They include Government funding for a 5000-seat convention centre, support for the controversial Port Phillip Bay shipping channel deepening project and cuts to business red tape.


Cuts to WorkCover premiums of up to $200 million a year will also feature in the statement, to be released by Premier Steve Bracks. A 5000-seat convention centre to be built on the south bank of the Yarra, next to the Exhibition Centre, is one key project. It will cost about $370 million and be built with a mix of Government, private sector and Melbourne City Council money.


The economic blueprint will also include a commitment to accelerate the controversial channel deepening project. It is expected to cost about $500 million, but it remains unclear how it will be paid for.


Other projects to improve road and rail services in the port area are likely to be announced. Other measures include:

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A $2.5 million State Government contribution to establish a new freight and logistics centre in Melbourne.



A $5 million commitment to move the wholesale fruit and vegetable market from its Footscray site, possibly to Dandenong South or Werribee.



An $11 million program to boost Victorian exports.



Plans to streamline planning, including improvements to local council procedures flagged by Planning Minister Mary Delahunty last year.



A new priority development zone to help start housing development in activity centres designated in the Government's 30-year planning blueprint, Melbourne 2030.



Treasurer John Brumby yesterday said the Government would not increase debt or taxes to pay for the proposals. "This is about giving business a bit of a hand along, so that they can generate the jobs that Victorians want to see in our state," he said.


The economic statement comes in response to concern that Victoria's economy has slowed.


Economics forecaster Access Economics has predicted the state's economic growth will trail the nation this year, while the value of Victorian merchandise exports slumped by $3.8 billion last year.


"There will be a range of areas where we cut costs, cut regulation, streamline regulation, and there'll be a range of new initiatives in terms of public sector infrastructure," Mr Brumby said.


The Australian Industry Group's Victorian director, Timothy Piper, called the statement a positive step, but he urged payroll tax relief for exporters.


Opposition Leader Robert Doyle said there would be little new or exciting in the statement.


"I fear it's just another media stunt, more words not action," he said.


Melbourne City Council will vote today on whether to contribute $43 million for infrastructure around the proposed convention centre, including a $15 million footbridge across the Yarra.
 

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Space problems putting the squeeze on

Melbourne is missing out on hosting large international conferences because of its small convention facilities, the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau says.

Melbourne is ranked eighth in Australia for its convention capacity, behind such cities as Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast.

The State Government will announce plans for a larger convention centre today, but the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre's 1500-seat theatre will not accommodate the 2500 delegates attending the coming international health conference.

The director of the World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education, Tom Seddon, said delegates who would not fit into the theatre for the plenary sessions would watch proceedings on a video screen.

"It would be a lot easier if there were a big plenary hall... that is something that Melbourne definitely needs to fix if they want to get this sort of international conference in future," he said.

The bureau said Melbourne had already missed out on 115 conventions with more than 1500 delegates each.

Of these, 54 per cent said the city's capacity constraints were the reason for not choosing Melbourne.

Bureau chief executive Garry Kingshott said Melbourne was bidding for nine international conferences with more than 1500 delegates. The conferences, to be held between 2008 and 2011, would bring the city an estimated $160 million.

The bureau has identified another 76 conferences with more than 1500 delegates that it could bid for in the next five years. These conferences are worth about $823 million.

Mr Kingshott said it was disappointing that Melbourne's lack of convention space excluded it from bidding for more conferences.

Mr Kingshott said there was growing competition from other cities in Australia and Asia to host conferences.
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/19/1082357112015.html
 

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zion said:
A $5 million commitment to move the wholesale fruit and vegetable market from its Footscray site, possibly to Dandenong South or Werribee.
Standby for Footscray Rd to be earmarked for major redevelpoment in 10-15 years time.

I've had my eye on this road for a while. Although currently occupied by the Fruit Market, Shipping Ports, Freight Maintainence etc. - it's a perfect grandiose wide boulevard entering into Docklands just waiting to happend - in the tradition of Melbourne's other great boulevard entries (St.Kilda Rd, Flemington Rd, Victoria St, Royal Pde)

Remember you heard it here first!
 

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Champagne Socialist
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The full Economic plan document: http://www.dpc.vic.gov.au/CA256D800027B102/Lookup/LeadingtheWay/$file/040321leadingtheway.pdf

looks nice and wordy, just freaking well implement it!
 

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This a great news overall with all the major business groups really giving the Bracks govt the thumbs up.The Convention Centre alone will generate 5 billion dollars over the coming years according to the industry spokesman.
 

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Melbourne Zealot
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Looks like it's on, along with upgraded rail to the Port, the dredging of the main shipping lanes and the convention centre! It better be an architriumph that graces the covers of archimags all over the world! somebody give DCM a call...MUAHAHAHAHHH!
 

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IMO its the wrong site...why not incorporate a new convention centre with plans to upgrade the aquarium, across the road from the existing convention centre, in the carpark that separates the rail viaducts? It would involve some creative space usage, but an innovative solution is (always) possible. From the news releases it looks as though an architectural solution to the Mazda site has already been documented/modelled; does anyone know whose work this is?

Blue
 

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smooth operator
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$1 billion dollar project

thats right, haven't read the article yet but the new convention centre will be worth $1 billion. Included will be highrise residential and hotel towers, retail and a stack or restaurants

Blabby, article online?
 

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Developer
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The premier siad yesterday that the total value of the project would be $800 million. $370 million for the convention centre, $43 million for the new bridge and other works to be done by the city of Melbourne and $400 million for the new hotels/residnetial component.

So it will cost about the same as Southern Cross Station. $400 million should be enough to build a couple of 40 storey towers, nice gap fillers on the south bank of the Yarra between YE and the Southbank Towers.
 
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The Hun today.
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,9350593%5E2862,00.html

Bracks tips centre will create 3600 jobs

Tanya Giles, Jeremy Kelly and Peter Mickelburough
22apr04

AN $800 million vision for Southbank was unveiled by the Bracks Government yesterday as it embarked on the big sell of its economic agenda.

Premier Steve Bracks and Treasurer John Brumby said the new Melbourne Convention Centre would be a landmark in the Southbank redevelopment, with a 5000-seat hall, ballroom and food and beverage outlets.
The Government is to invest $370 million for its construction.

Mr Bracks said private sector investment of up to $400 million would develop hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and possible residences around the Exhibition Centre, on the banks of the Yarra River. A further $43 million of infrastructure and other outlay was promised by Melbourne City Council.

The plans were revealed as the Government detailed $1.9 billion of cuts to land tax and WorkCover premiums to 250 business leaders at a breakfast function.









The Government predicted up to 1000 construction jobs and 2600 continuous jobs would result from the convention centre, as well as a $197 million-a-year boost to the state economy.

Lord Mayor John So said the convention centre would ensure the Docklands would continue being a vibrant part of the city.
 

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Just realised that a big successful convention centre could just be the stimulus for the big Shangri-La Hotel development over the bridge at Village Docklands ??
 

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Alarm over $800m convention centre
April 21, 2004 - 2:47PM
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/21/1082395905656.html?from=storyrhs

Victorian opposition leader Robert Doyle today sounded the alarm over costs for a new convention centre which appear to have doubled overnight.

The government pledged $370 million towards the 5,000-seat plenary hall as a key part of its business action plan, unveiled yesterday.

At the launch, Premier Steve Bracks said the construction cost was expected to be around $370 million, although he noted that the private sector contribution was still to be finalised.

But at a business breakfast this morning, Mr Bracks described the project as an $800 million development.

"So yesterday, the construction cost was $370 million," Mr Doyle said.

"Today, the premier announces that the construction cost is $800 million.

"How can you create a $400 million dollar black hole overnight? And that's what Steve Bracks has done."

Mr Doyle quoted from the government's economic statement which said: "The construction cost of the core Convention Centre buildings is expected to be around $370 million."

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The Melbourne City Council has also committed $43 million to the project and after a business breakfast this morning Mr Bracks revealed he expected "get more than $400 million extra in added value on site".

"The state government is putting in almost $370 million -- around $360 something million -- which will be in our budget in two weeks' time," Mr Bracks told reporters.

"I'm very pleased that the City of Melbourne has confirmed at their council meeting and the mayor has confirmed today that they're contributing some money as well.

"The private sector investment will be in other related activities - hotels, restaurants, some residential development - lifting it to an $800 million development and something which is really going to drive investment and job growth for Victoria."

Mr Doyle said the funding for the project should have been "clearly and specifically detailed" during yesterday's announcement for investors and the Victorian public.

"Instead of that, after one day, one of the major projects that Steve Bracks has announced is already under considerable question," he said.

"Is it $370 million? Is it $800 million? Where is the extra money coming from?"
 
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dynamoultraclean said:
Alarm over $800m convention centre
April 21, 2004 - 2:47PM
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/04/21/1082395905656.html?from=storyrhs

Victorian opposition leader Robert Doyle today sounded the alarm over costs for a new convention centre which appear to have doubled overnight.

The government pledged $370 million towards the 5,000-seat plenary hall as a key part of its business action plan, unveiled yesterday.

At the launch, Premier Steve Bracks said the construction cost was expected to be around $370 million, although he noted that the private sector contribution was still to be finalised.

But at a business breakfast this morning, Mr Bracks described the project as an $800 million development.

"So yesterday, the construction cost was $370 million," Mr Doyle said.

"Today, the premier announces that the construction cost is $800 million.

"How can you create a $400 million dollar black hole overnight? And that's what Steve Bracks has done."

Mr Doyle quoted from the government's economic statement which said: "The construction cost of the core Convention Centre buildings is expected to be around $370 million."

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The Melbourne City Council has also committed $43 million to the project and after a business breakfast this morning Mr Bracks revealed he expected "get more than $400 million extra in added value on site".

"The state government is putting in almost $370 million -- around $360 something million -- which will be in our budget in two weeks' time," Mr Bracks told reporters.

"I'm very pleased that the City of Melbourne has confirmed at their council meeting and the mayor has confirmed today that they're contributing some money as well.

"The private sector investment will be in other related activities - hotels, restaurants, some residential development - lifting it to an $800 million development and something which is really going to drive investment and job growth for Victoria."

Mr Doyle said the funding for the project should have been "clearly and specifically detailed" during yesterday's announcement for investors and the Victorian public.

"Instead of that, after one day, one of the major projects that Steve Bracks has announced is already under considerable question," he said.

"Is it $370 million? Is it $800 million? Where is the extra money coming from?"
Just shows what a dickhead Doyle is and as usual running off at the mouth knocking anything the Government does> The other $400 will be private investment something a Liberal eader is supposed to know something about.
 

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From what I'm reading its implicitly clear that the cost of the convention centre itself is the $370million dollar figure. Doyle might have landed a solid punch with the Scoresby Freeway but he should carefully consider the numbers before attempting to sway public opinion concerning Bracks' credibility - which is by no means a lost cause! Doyle could be onto a winner if he just learns to stop shooting from the hip.

Blue
 

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smooth operator
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billy stop your bitching, you sound like a woman

as for the $1 billion figure, that will be reached with the $175 million taken to extend Jeff's Shed and another $100 million to redevelop the existing convention centre. the highrise elements are a minimum $200 million. $370 million for the new hall and $43 million for infrastructure

all of the above are part of the precinct development according to the AFR.
 

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Melbourne Zealot
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Any architects? Pics of the new centre? It better be an archi-marvel!
 

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From the AFR:
Southbank at heart of $1bn spend
Apr 22
Karina Barrymore

Melbourne's Southbank precinct is to have almost $1billion in new development, including a hotel, restaurants, high-rise residential and retail outlets, as part of a state government proposal to build and fund a new convention centre.

The new developments are planned to surround the $370million convention centre on land owned by the Victorian government west of the city and next to the Docklands precinct.

Premier Steve Bracks revealed yesterday the new precinct would be opened to private developers in a partnership arrangement linked to the construction of the 5000-seat convention centre.

The development offer appears to be designed to reduce the government's financial outlay for construction of the convention centre by offering tenderers the right to develop surrounding land.

The Victorian government plans to build the centre on land next to the existing Melbourne Convention Centre and to offer the adjoining land for private development.


The adjoining land, the former Mazda manufacturing site, was purchased by the government about four years ago for up to $20million.

Its acquisition at the time was justified because it was planned to be used to extend the convention centre, which is colloquially known as Jeff's Shed. But the extension was subsequently delayed.

The extra land surrounding the convention centre and the former Mazda site will now primarily be used for private development ventures, including high-rise hotel and residential projects, adjoining Mirvac's Docklands precinct.

Mr Bracks said yesterday the new convention centre would be the centrepiece of an $800million-plus redevelopment of the surrounding Southbank precinct.

A breakdown of the government's proposal showed the total planned development at the site was almost $900million.

As well as the $370million convention centre, a further $175million will be spent extending the exhibition centre and up to $100million is to be spent redeveloping the old convention centre.

Also, the Melbourne City Council will spend $43million on a new footbridge and other capital works, and at least $200million on the new hotel, residential developments and restaurant precinct.
 
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