Premier opens 2006 Royal Melbourne Show
The wait is over for hundreds of thousands of Victorians who will flock to the 2006 Royal Melbourne Show – the first event to be held at the redeveloped Showgrounds which have undergone a $108 million transformation.
Premier Steve Bracks, and the President of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), Jack Seymour, officially opened the Show this morning and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the completion of the redevelopment.
Mr Bracks said the Victorian Government has provided the $108 million for the redevelopment – the most significant in more than 120 years.
Visiting the redeveloped site on the first day of this year’s Royal Melbourne Show, Mr Bracks said the redevelopment had breathed new live into Showgrounds while ensuring the ‘Best of Shows’ had a secure home at the ‘Best of Showground’.
“You can’t help but be impressed with the changes, including the careful restoration of heritage buildings and the exciting new buildings and outdoor spaces,” Mr Bracks said.
“The Show is Victoria’s biggest public event, bringing together country and city as well as providing 11 days of excitement, entertainment and the showbags.
“Many of the heritage buildings were dilapidated but we’ve been able to restore them to their former glory including the Public Grandstand, Centenary Hall and the Horse Pavilion.
“The new Grand Pavilion, the largest permanent tent structure in Australia, and the Grand Boulevard, which snakes its way through the site, will become iconic features of the Melbourne Showgrounds.
“Importantly, we’ve also created an event and exhibition site that can be used year round and will build on Melbourne’s reputation as a major event destination.”
Joining the Premier at the showgrounds today, Minister for Agriculture, Bob Cameron, said the project had secured the future of the Royal Melbourne Show at the Flemington site.
“The Victorian Government has worked with the RASV in ensuring the Showgrounds redevelopment would secure the future of the Royal Melbourne Show at this site,” Mr Cameron said.
The Royal Melbourne Show runs from 21 September – 1 October at the Melbourne Showgrounds in Flemington.
The new buildings and facilities include:
A 8,000-square meter Grand Pavilion, a new landmark building for the Showgrounds and Melbourne,
A new 10,000-square meter Exhibition Pavilion, which can house livestock,
A new 4,300-seat outdoor arena, capable of holding two horse competition rings,
A Grand Boulevard linking the grassy spaces and events areas, and
The new headquarters for the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria.Heritage buildings that have been renovated and restored as part of the redevelopment include:
Centenary Hall, an art-deco hall built in 1934 and now restored to its original condition,
The heritage-listed Public Grandstand, built in 1915 with new seating,
Pie in the Sky, the heritage-listed and popular meeting point which was built in 1977.