Lenders unveils a greener new arena at showgrounds redevelopment
The redevelopment of the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds was progressing well and would rejuvenate a priceless community asset Minister for Major Projects, John Lenders said today when unveiling a major stage of the project.
Mr Lenders visited the Showgrounds to inspect the progress of work on the $108 million redevelopment and unveiled the newly completed 4300 seat arena. The overall development is on track for completion in time for the Royal Melbourne Show in September.
“The redevelopment of the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds is breathing new life into one of Victoria’s great icons and the new arena is a great example of the magnificent spectacle hundreds of thousands of visitors can expect in September,” Mr Lenders said.
“This project rejuvenates the Showgrounds and is a great example of sustainable redevelopment while maintaining the history and heritage that has made it such a special place for generations of Victorians.
In another first for the Showgrounds the nearly 700 new trees and shrubs planted as part of the redevelopment will be kept using recycled water.
“Nearly 500 new mainly-native Australian trees and nearly 200 shrubs and ground-cover plants have been planted on the site as part of the redevelopment. A hard-wearing, easy-care grass was chosen for the main arena which will host the Grand Parade and animal shows, all adding to a more sustainable and greener Royal Melbourne Show than ever before,” Mr Lenders said.
“Massive water tanks constructed under the main Exhibition Hall which can store 300,000 litres – roughly equivalent to a third of an Olympic-sized swimming pool – and the recycled water they collect will be used to irrigate the main arena.”
Construction work is progressing with renovation of the heritage-listed Public Stand underway and several new buildings taking shape, including the new Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria’s headquarters, the Town Square Pavilion and the Grand Pavilion.
“The Grand Pavilion will be the centrepiece for the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds and will provide 8,000 meters of covered exhibition space when complete” Mr Lenders said.
“It will provide a better home for the show and a modern venue to promote the Victorian agribusiness sector.”
“Once completed, the redevelopment will provide a versatile, high-quality multi-purpose venue which can be used for the Show and for other events throughout the year.”
The Royal Melbourne Showgrounds redevelopment project is part of the Victorian Government’s major investment in infrastructure with an $11 billion program planned over the next four years.