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PROJECT: Melbourne Convention Centre

60152 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have lobbied for years for a new convention venue, arguing that Melbourne's existing 1500-seat centre is hopelessly outdated.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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Icanseeformiles said:
SOUND'S GREAT! A few old railway sleepers for retaining walls, maybe some volcanics rocks (with a bit of moss on them preferable) some gravel and they can throw down some of that tan bark stuff. After a couple of trips up the the Dangenongs they can even pinch a cpl of tree ferns. A 'triclon system might be nice but that's probably a bit too ambitious. :laugh:
Add to that the all important water feature (not including the yarra), some crazy paving, and prehaps a pergola and outdoor entertaining area. Lily Pily planted here and there and some nice trees to act as a screen for some privacy from the neighbours. Anything that can be scrounged from a local second hand store is a bonus too that can be used to make a great focal point.
Archi what makes you say that it will turn out black? I see the one near the bridge turning out like FwP but why won't the one a bit further down stay silver? Be shame if that was black too.
Would that be the same crane that was used at those studio apartments across from Melb Uni throughout the year?
Interesting how the auditorium can be altered for different events.
So what height does that make it now?
I'm sick of hearing this stupid "global city" crap. The only people with a serious interest in it are NSW authorities who use it to trick the people of Sydney into accepting high prices and crap transport because it's the price to pay for living in a "global city".

As for the tower I don't care how tall it is provided they have a quality design. Same thing goes for the retail part. A part of the city that will be very visible to overseas guests and influentials should probably have a bit of extra effort put in then some other projects have had.
Both Flinders St and Spencer St stations would have to be heavily modified if not partially demolished and rebuilt. As said above the geography is just not suitable, which is probably why they built a bridge in the first place. The cost would be in the billions and the benefits would be next to nil. It will never happen.
The potential benefits don't come anywhere near justifying the cost. The view isn't worth it. We aren't looking at snow capped peaks or crystal blue ocean. It's just the casino. Not a $1+ billion view IMO.
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