Funded in the Geelong City Deal, construction is on track to start early 2022.
Business events in Australia are a high yield component of the tourism industry, currently generating $17 billion annually. Geelong is an award-winning convention destination, but a lack of suitable convention space limits our ability to capitalise on this growing national conference market.
Of the 368 events per year required in the G21 region, 16 per cent are booked outside the region because of deficient facilities.
The proposed Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will include a conference venue with the capacity for 1,000 plenary delegates. It will provide 3,000m2 of exhibition space, banqueting facilities, meeting rooms, a business centre and retail outlets.
A G21 region Convention and Exhibition Centre will position the region as a viable, well-located option that complements Melbourne facilities and stamps Victoria as a global and national competitor for business events.
The project is becoming increasingly urgent as other regional centres establish competitive facilities; Townsville, Mackay, Cairns, Alice Springs, Hobart for example.
The Convention and Exhibition Centre will deliver a purpose built, private public partnership funded centre for conventions and exhibitions including:
- multipurpose format to accommodate small to medium size events
- seating for up to 1,000 people in banquet setting
- 1,000 seat auditorium with smaller theatrettes
- 3,000m2 pillarless exhibition / display area
- ancillary facilities including parking, retail and associated facilities
- provision for a 4-star hotel of at least 200 rooms as part of the complex.
Benefits for Victoria and the G21 region
A Convention and Exhibition Centre in the G21 region will:
- provide a direct and indirect economic impact of $350 million to the regional economy during the construction phase
- provide an annual direct and indirect economic impact of $50 million to the regional economy once operational
- support 600 jobs during the peak construction period
- create 270 ongoing jobs in the regional economy (direct and flow on jobs)
- create an architectural landmark for Central Geelong and the waterfront
- promote the region to potential employees and investors
- provide a boost to regional tourism – 39 per cent of conference delegates return to a region with their family.
What has been committed
The State Government has committed:
- $141.2 million towards a Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre through the Geelong City Deal
- the Convention Centre’s redevelopment to be a ‘strategic project’, requiring it to use 90 per cent local content under the Victorian Government’s Local Jobs First policy
- funding towards the Geelong Development Authority to commission a business case that will form the basis of a funding application and development decisions.
The Federal Government has committed:
- $30 million towards a Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre through the Geelong City Deal.
The Geelong Convention & Exhibition Centre will be located at Deakin’s waterfront campus car park.