Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion proposal put before Government

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AUSTRALASIA – Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has submitted plans to the Government for a 12,500sqm extension following “its most successful six months ever”.

Chief Executive of MCEC, Peter King told CMW that plans are in place to transform the car park in front of the Hilton hotel into 12,500sqm of exhibition space that will be connected to MCEC.

“A lot of conventions these days have big exhibition elements so it will give us much better flexibility. We are at full capacity at the moment and we need some space to grow; customers are coming to us looking to grow their business and they can’t grow unless we have more space,” he said.

King said the full business case has been presented to Government and they are in budgetary discussions now, which will conclude in May. “It will either be knocked on the head or announced, but we have enormous public and industry support, so we are hopeful it will get the go ahead.”

King believes Melbourne have led the way in working with the government to recongise the benefit of business events in the last decade. “There is some really progressive government leadership between Melbourne and the Government and they have invested in not only supporting with funds but also supporting infrastructure spending, and they get the fact that there is an underlying economic benefit. It is of course a constant engagement to sell this messgage and that’s what this Business Events Week is all about – getting broader recognition for what the industry can do,” he said.

If the Government approve the extension plans, MCEC are looking to complete the build towards the end of 2016, just before Sydney’s redevelopment opens.

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