Melbourne’s newest icon opens along the Yarra
Premier John Brumby and Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding joined thousands of Victorians at a family day today for the official opening of the new Melbourne Convention Centre.
“This is a remarkable facility all Victorians can be proud to call their own. It is the world’s most advanced and greenest convention centre and Melbourne’s newest icon,” Mr Brumby said.
“The Melbourne Convention Centre will help Victoria to become one of the most sought after business tourist destinations in the world.
“At a time when we are facing major economic and environmental challenges, this landmark infrastructure investment ticks all the right boxes.
“Our $370 million investment in this project will reap significant benefits including injecting around $200 million a year into our economy and creating 2,500 new jobs here over the operating period. That’s on top of the almost 1,800 jobs created during construction of the centre and commercial precinct.”
The $1.4 billion development in South Wharf includes the convention centre, a major retail development and the new five-star Hilton Hotel which opened in April.
The new centre is connected to the existing exhibition space and includes a 5000-seat plenary hall, a 1500-seat Grand Banquet Hall and is the only convention centre in the world to achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating – the highest environmental rating.
The Convention Centre leads the world in sustainability, as the first large public building of its kind to be awarded a Six Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council.
Mr Brumby said there are already 50 international and 190 national conventions, meetings and seminars booked for the new centre bringing an anticipated 250,000 delegates to the city.
“This world-class centre gives Victoria an international advantage in securing conventions and bringing business tourists to the State,” he said.
“Convention and business tourist visitors on average spend five times as much as leisure tourists.”
The first convention will be the 7th International Conference on Geomorphology in the first week in July. The largest conventions or business events booked at the new centre is the 22nd World Diabetes Congress 2013 which is expected to attract around 12,500 delegates.
Mr Holding said these events are booked years in advance and organisations are lining up to come to Melbourne.
“The desire to come to Melbourne is not just because of the world-class facilities but also because of our great food and wine, our year-round calendar of major events and the close proximity of our regional destinations like the Great Ocean Road,” Mr Holding said.