News & Media

Major projects drive jobs through Victoria’s ingenuity

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s new innovative seating system, the first of its kind in Australia, will be manufactured and installed by local Victorian companies, the Minister for Major Projects, Theo Theophanous has announced. “This innovative seating system – built right here in Victoria by Victorians – will be capable of converting an empty ballroom into a tiered theatre with 5000 seats in less than 10 minutes,” Mr Theophanous said. “The Gala seating system is without question the world’s leading-edge technology. It will allow flexibility in seating configurations and provide the greatest speed and operational efficiency in event change over. “For example it will allow the Plenary Hall, which has a maximum capacity of 5000 people, to be subdivided into three smaller plenary configurations of one for 2500 people and two for 1500. “It’s a credit to Victorian ingenuity and government policy that they were able to be manufactured right here in our own backyard, in another example of how we are creating more job opportunities for Victorians through the delivery of our major projects across the state. “The Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) provides Victorian companies with the opportunity to participate in major projects and is the reason three Victorian companies – in Wantirna South, Cheltenham and Williamstown – will share contracts worth $15 million to produce the seating system.” The firms to win a share of the contract are Metaltec, based in Cheltenham, who will supply the structural and mechanical elements of the seating system; Camatic Seating, based in Wantirna South, who will supply the seating; and Control IT, based in Williamstown, who will supply the electrical and electronic control systems. The Brumby Government, the Industry Capability Network, Plenary Group and Multiplex have been working together to maximise the Victorian and Australian contribution to the centre. “The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is a place where exciting products and technologies are put on display. It should, and will, be a showcase for Victorian skills and ingenuity,” Mr Theophanous said. Multiplex’s Project Engineer, Les Craig, said the seating system meets some unique demands. “When folded down as a floor, the system has to be able to withstand 44-tonne trucks driving over it. It requires a specially-designed displacement air-conditioning system,” Mr Craig said. It has to be converted into a number of floor finishes, including a dance floor, and ensure that any breakages or spills don’t damage the mechanics, electronics or seats.”