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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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Me too. I used to work in those sheds. I've always wondered why they're heritage listed - after all they're only sheds.
Amen brother! I've always argued that because something was the first to use a mechanical crane, or the first place to use electric shears on sheep doesn't mean it should be heritage listed. It should be heritage listed on its historical value as well as current use within the community. If it's used for rave parties or what have you, knock it the **** down.
 
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