AUSTRALIA - Chief executive of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Leigh Harry, is confident the Victoria state government will sign off a AU$250m (US$209m) project for a new exhibition centre extension at the Melbourne six-star green facility.
Harry told a press conference at IMEX in Frankfurt he expected the decision to be made by the government by November 2010.
The new exhibition centre will be built in the existing car park area, now that the state authorities have sanctioned a AU$17.7m spend to build a new car park on the precinct.
"Expansion is imperative," said Harry. The new exhibition facility would bring the total event space at MCEC up to 45,000sqm.
Harry expected work on the extension to be finished by early 2014 provided the go-ahead came this year.
Harry also welcomed the launch of the Global Green Alliance of international convention centres, including MCEC, ACC Liverpool and Cape Town ICC.
"Three of the great venues in the world are to work together to share their initiatives and experiences," said Harry.
The MCEC would help lead the way on green issues, said Harry, noting the centre's newly-launched microsite on CSR and sustainability issues.
He also said the exhibition industry was "still lagging behind" as a sector in terms of waste disposal, with plenty of work still to be done.