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PROJECT: Melbourne Convention Centre

60251 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have lobbied for years for a new convention venue, arguing that Melbourne's existing 1500-seat centre is hopelessly outdated.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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:| Approx. 90m from street level and render below (yet again :|) to show positioning:

Hilton @ Convention Centre

looks pretty good, but im not mad on the open-carpark. How big will this convention centre be?

I guess its going to have a cafe/resturant precinct?
They even try to make the carpark look pretty on the render by making it textured. I hate open carparks too. Such a waste of space and so ugly. If they didn't build carparks people would have to use PT.
The car park is just temporary I think, the space will be built over in later changes. No point in making it special if it just gets knocked down again.
And the main convention hall itself will hold 5000..
The carpark will accomodate the expansion of the Exhibition Centre which may or may not include another tower.
anypix around?
A recent article , giving some insight into some ....

Interior characteristics of this new centre :)

OK to expand convention project
Clay Lucas and Royce Millar
February 21, 2007

THE builders of the controversial $1 billion Melbourne Convention Centre have been secretly given permission to expand the project, a decision that has angered Melbourne City Council and the State Opposition.

There is also growing anger that the State Government has failed to publish a contract with developer the Plenary Group on the Government website, despite vowing to do so last year.

Planning minister Justin Madden has granted the consortium approval to expand the Hilton Hotel on the banks of the Yarra by five storeys to 19 levels.

And the minister is set to consider a request from the consortium to increase a retail and residential tower that is part of the project by nine storeys to 30 storeys.

The news has increased anxiety within the State Government over the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to deliver major public infrastructure.

Senior figures within the Government fear the Plenary Group's plans for the commercial and residential aspects of the massive project will create an eyesore on the banks of the Yarra.

There are fears of a repeat of Southern Cross Station, where many believe a cutting-edge train station design was spoiled by the addition of a massive discount retail centre next door as part of the PPP.

There are similar concerns that the elaborate five-star Convention Centre may also be compromised by an inferior retail precinct next door.

The same architects that worked on the Spencer Street discount retail centre are working on the retail aspects of the Convention Centre.

The Age believes State Architect John Denton has raised concerns about the project. He wants the design of the retail and commercial aspects of the development to mesh better with the cutting-edge Convention Centre design.

The State Opposition yesterday attacked the Bracks Government over both the Convention Centre development, and its handling of PPPs.

"This is a government that promised openness and transparency and yet, 12 months on, a secret contract remains hidden from public view or is yet to be formally signed," Major Projects spokesman David Davis said.

Yesterday the Government's Major Projects office blamed the Plenary Group for the delay in publishing the project's contract.

In October an all-party Public Accounts and Estimates Committee found that the lack of public documents on PPPs prevented the committee from concluding whether PPPs were delivering value for taxpayers' money in Victoria.

Soon after, Treasurer John Brumby pledged that, if re-elected, Labor would be more open about PPPs including publishing value-for-money and public interest statements within three months of a PPP deal being closed.

The $1 billion convention centre deal with the Plenary Group was announced by Steve Bracks on February 22 last year.

The Plenary Group last night released a statement saying it was happy to build the extra levels on the Hilton Hotel "at no cost to government".
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Let them build it as big as they want afterall its THEIR money.Typical hyocritical response by the pathetic and out of touch local Liberal Opp no wonder big business has deserted them and they got such a thrashing at the election,
Let them build it as big as they want afterall its THEIR money.Typical hyocritical response by the pathetic and out of touch local Liberal Opp no wonder big business has deserted them and they got such a thrashing at the election,
I pretty much agree, however we need an opposition asking questions like this so that we can get the best possible buildings on this site.

Will Denton's input have any effect?
Let them build it as big as they want afterall its THEIR money.Typical hyocritical response by the pathetic and out of touch local Liberal Opp no wonder big business has deserted them and they got such a thrashing at the election,
You said that but you don't find it worrying that the retail precinct is being designed by the people who designed the wonder that is DFO on Spencer Street?
tayser; The Plenary Group last night released a statement saying it was happy to build the extra levels on the Hilton Hotel "at no cost to government".[/QUOTE said:
^^ ha ha, they make themselves appear generous. But seriously, who cares if the buildings get taller. 30 levels isnt all that high anyway. As long as they look good of course & it doesnt compromise the size/quality of the actual convention centre. These days, 5000 seats seems to be the minimum you need to draw a good crowd.
I don't know why anybody would have issues with the height of the tower being increase to the same height as Yarras Edge 1 but the design of the tower in that rendering is awful.

I am praying that is not the final design or else we could be in for another Southern Cross/DFO disaster. Hopefully the government has learned something from that and will not let them just build any old crap on such a signfiincqat site next to an important public building.
The Council report said the Hilton would be 25 storeys (an increase of 5-7 stories). :? Don't know what's worse, the Austexx tower or the render. The office component seems too bulky and it's hard to tell what's glass and what's concrete on the apartments above, hopefully it's just conceptual.
RE the danger of the Convention Centre retail turning out like Spencer Street's DSO - doesn't quite jell for me.

It's one thing to have a major discount outlet next to a
rail station servicing regional areas, and quite another on what you might expect for upmarket international tourists coming to a riverfront convention centre, and staying in a Hilton Hotel.

I think commonsense dictates it will be much better,
if a bit touristy. Anyway, let's face it, it's a corner of the city and riverfront that desperately needs more people/ life.
All good.:2cents:
Sydney is already running scared about our new Centre!

Sydney losing big bucks and business visitors
February 21, 2007 - 1:44PM

NSW reputation as a hub for business tourism is threatened by a severe shortage of facilities, new reports have revealed.

Research commissioned by Tourism and Transport Australia (TTF) and the Property Council of Australia has found Sydney's lack of convention and exhibition centres is costing the city more than $218 million a year.

The shortfall could cost Sydney's economy $3.8 billion and 30,000 jobs between 2009 and 2016, the report said.

TTF managing director Christopher Brown said Sydney was at risk of losing even more business tourism to its southern rival once new facilities open in Melbourne.

"When the new Melbourne convention and exhibition development opens, Sydney will lose its status as the premier destination in Australia," Mr Brown said.

"Convention and exhibition facilities are critical business infrastructure and represent a city's ability and willingness to do business.

"If Sydney loses its 'business face' it will slip in its reputation as a global city."

The research, conducted by Chicago-based HVS International and URS Australia, recommended Sydney's convention facilities should be expanded to accommodate an additional 2,000 people, and that exhibition space should be increased by 15,000 to 20,000 square metres.

It also recommended that the NSW government should commit more than $8 million annually to compete effectively with Melbourne.

Mr Brown has urged NSW Premier Morris Iemma to increase the state's tourism budget.

His plea followed Mr Iemma's refusal yesterday to offer any increase in government funding for the sagging sector, even though the premier conceded his government had failed to capitalise on the city's higher profile following the 2000 Olympic Games.

TTF figures show state government funding for tourism in NSW declined 14.8 per cent from $54.1 million in the 2002-03 budget to $46.1 million in 2006-07.

Tourism expenditure by domestic visitors in the state had also declined by $923 million since 2000.

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^^ GOOD! F*CK EM!:lol:

It's time people realised that the whole of Australia's business reputation doesn't revolve around Sydney and that Melbourne is willing and making an effort to put it on the map.

IMO we will see more tourists, business travellers and hopefully new airlines as a result of this convention center.

I think Sydney is slowly starting to lose its star status to the world and I would like to know from anyone if they think that Melbourne's status will be raised to a "global city" as a result of this.

Firstly thanks tayser for posting that article. I wouldn't worry about the renders with that report, and so what a few more stories? With buildings a little further out & also along the river, much higher up!? ...and we'd hope Bronteboy's common-sensical outlook is right.

As for the report auslankan posted, I was always taught in economics & all economic journals tell us that it's healthy to have competition (Qantas743 take note), and to give another city bit of a jolt. Our economy is not big enough to have elsewise. I don't think Sydney is about to quiver in its pants just yet, but it should be taking note & planning ahead. Truth is and reality being, Sydney is not as visionary as Melbourne has been, but that may change with EDH blah-de-blah.

Share it around, it's all good. Why would you want to wish badly on others?

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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.
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