News & Media

Showground’s new big top is bigger than big

The Royal Melbourne Showground’s new big top, one of the largest tent structures in Australia, is set to become a landmark feature of Melbourne’s skyline, the Minister for Agriculture, Bob Cameron, said today. Mr Cameron today launched the 8,000 square-metre Grand Pavilion, which is a central feature of the Bracks Governments $108 million redevelopment of the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Flemington. “The Bracks Government is breathing new life into the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds to give families a great venue to come together and relax in Victoria’s largest family event – the Royal Melbourne Show,” he said. “We are building Victoria a better home for the much loved Show while delivering a modern and versatile venue to promote and showcase the State’s agriculture sector. The new Showgrounds will provide an even better location for the coming together of country and city Victorians.” Mr Cameron said the Grand Pavilion was about half the size of the playing surface of the MCG or the equivalent of 30 tennis courts. “We hope the flexibility of the Grand Pavilion and other surrounding venues will mean increased business and event opportunities for the Showgrounds and the State as well.” John Fox from the Royal Agricultural Society said the Grand Pavilion would be the centrepiece of the Showgrounds redevelopment project which is on track to be delivered on time for the Royal Melbourne Show in September.” Mr Fox said bumper crowds were expected at this year’s show. “The Showgrounds look and feel completely different and I am sure Victorians will be excited to look around the new site at the 2006 Royal Melbourne Show. It preserves the best traditions of the Show, and the Showgrounds, while allowing it to renew the Show for the 21st century.” The Minister for Major Projects, John Lenders, said the redevelopment was a joint venture between the Bracks Government and the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria with financial partnership provided by Badcock & Brown. “We are preserving the past through restoring heritage buildings on site and delivering new facilities including a new headquarters for the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria in the Town Square Pavilion, a new 10,000-square meter exhibition space and a new outdoor arena,” he said. “The Showgrounds project is part of the Bracks Government record $12.6 billion investment in infrastructure across the State that is creating jobs and opportunities for suppliers and contractors as well as providing better facilities for all Victorians to use now and in the future.”