News & Media

Sci-fi taking new convention centre out of this world

Thousands of science fiction fans from all over the earth – and possibly beyond – will converge on the new Melbourne Convention Centre in 2010 for the 68th World Science Fiction Convention. Major Projects Minister Theo Theophanous announced today that the annual convention of the World Science Fiction Society, which has affiliations in more than 30 countries, will run for seven days in September 2010.
“This science fiction event, Aussiecon 4, has universal appeal and we’re expecting more than 3000 fans to converge on our fantastic new convention centre, generating about $18 million in economic benefit for Victoria,” Mr Theophanous said.
“Melbourne was chosen to host this event because of its world-class Melbourne Convention Centre, which has already attracted 34 international conventions bringing nearly 66,100 delegates to Melbourne and worth more than $350 million to the Victorian economy.”
Aussiecon 4 will include panel discussions on a variety of science fiction subjects, such as technology of the future, writing, publishing, the philosophical and sociological implications of the genre’s works and prestigious Hugo Awards.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre chief executive Leigh Harry said that as most World Science Fiction Conventions were held in North America, it was coup for Melbourne has been chosen as the 2010 venue.
“The Aussiecon 4 convention is another great opportunity to showcase the new convention centre and the city of Melbourne, with delegates arriving from all over the world and all around Australia to join the conference,” Mr Harry said.
Mr Theophanous said when complete, the new Melbourne Convention Centre would provide a great boost to the Victorian economy.
“It is estimated that over 25 years, the convention centre project will boost our economy by $197 million each year and create 2500 jobs,” he said.
“Some of the conventions already won for the facility include the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2009, the International Botanical Congress in 2011 and the International Congress of Paediatrics in 2013.”
Construction on the Melbourne Convention Centre is expected to be completed later this year and is on track to open in 2009.