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PROJECT: Melbourne Convention Centre

60091 Views 502 Replies 91 Participants Last post by  CP Doom

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have lobbied for years for a new convention venue, arguing that Melbourne's existing 1500-seat centre is hopelessly outdated.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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This one's a bugger to get a decent ground-level view of from the Jeff Shed side...

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Eureka! said:
She doesn't just come to a city and screw any random. Does she???
*cough* Millsy *cough*

Anyway, apparently there's this Convention Centre being built?
Nice update there smb - pic #1 is teh winnah
going by the size, when the rest of this tower crane arrives it'll be something to behold.
Just noticed this morning that it's gone up, and a big bugger it is too.

Will try to grab some shots this evening.
Cheers Fav. Yeah, when I went past yesterday evening it didn't look so massive. But from Queen's Bridge first thing in the morning when you're not used to seeing anything of that height in the area, it did stick out like the proverbial canine gonads.
Looks like the puppy's been dealt with...

Meanwhile, not far away...

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Can the two trolls please take it to the Scumbar? (Erektion and Shumway, thanks for the brief interlude of sanity).
Fav, I don't think huge "noterity" is going to motivate people. And you spelt "heaps of gash" wrong :)

Some date estimates would help a few of us to catch the right thing at the right time... oh, and NOTHING rocks harder than the Wiggles. Except maybe that delightful young Timberlake fellow.
I've got a couple of an empty tower from yesterday morning, but they're crap.
Yeah, let's knock those pyramids while we're at it. Stoopid Egyptians and their dead king parties wasting valuable real estate...
Nah, these are the first I've done in ages. Can rejig the colour if you want 'em in non-poofter-arty-wanker flavour.
Yeah, it happened while I was steaming the hams
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