VIC Govt invests $120m to build a bigger Geelong convention precinct

Monica Gameng   |   January 10, 2022
Artist impression of the convention centre (cr: Australian Property Journal)

The Victorian Government is investing an additional $120 million to deliver a bigger and better Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is the centrepiece of the Geelong City Deal. 

The new funding commitment will expand the scope of the project to include a luxury hotel as well as retail and commercial outlets. 

This investment builds on the existing $141 million funding from the State Government, $30 million from the Australian Government and $3 million from the City of Greater Geelong, taking the total project value to $294 million. 

“Our significant additional funding expands the City Deal and is a wonderful Christmas present for the people of Geelong. 

“This is an exciting step forward for the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which will deliver hundreds of jobs and bring bigger and better events to Geelong,” Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas MP said. 

The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre precinct will now include a 200-room hotel and commercial spaces along with a 1,000-seat plenary venue with a 3,700-SQM flexible multipurpose space that can cater to large and small events happening at the same time. 

The project is also anticipated to support 600 jobs during its construction and a further 270 ongoing jobs once up and running. In turn, the new hotel will further boost employment and help strengthen the visitor economy in the region. 

“The Geelong City Deal is a commitment from all three levels of government to deliver transformational infrastructure projects that enhance the liveability and vibrancy of the city. 

“The GCEC is the centrepeice of the Deal, and is set to deliver hundreds of local jobs, provide a boost to the visitor economy, and strengthen Geelong’s reputation as a go-to events destination,” Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher MP said. 

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for architects, designers and builders will soon be released ahead of the project’s stakeholder engagement process. The EOI process will also highlight details of commercial opportunities that will “activate the precinct and create better connections to the CBD and Western Beach”. 

The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre is proposed to be built on the waterfront car park site previously owned by Deakin University. The Victorian Government and Deakin University have already agreed on a sale process that will transfer the ownership of the site to the state, which is still subject to approvals. 

“The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will deliver a very significant boost for our local economy, both during construction and once operational,” Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said. 

“A centre of this size located on Geelong’s spectacular waterfront will be a magnet to events of all sizes from across the state, the country and internationally,” Member for Geelong Christine Couzens MP said. 

In addition to the $120 million funding commitment, the Victorian Government will also be investing $400,000 through the $10 million Regional Recovery Fund to help implement a Business Events Attractions platform, supporting Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine as well as Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism. 

The platform is designed to promote the region as a destination for business events outside the summer peak season. This project will include an online platform, $50 per delegate rebate along with promotion to attract business conferences, trade exhibitions as well as other events to the region. 

“Geelong is Victoria’s second biggest city and offers some of the best hospitality and tourism opportunities in Australia, with a waterfront precinct that rivals any in the country, so has deserved a convention centre precinct that will enable even more people to come and explore all we have to offer,” City of Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said. 

“Geelong and the Bellarine is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for business events and initiatives like our Business Events Attraction platform will only boost this further,” Executive Director Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine Brett Ince said. 

Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts; Regional Development Victoria – Delivering for Rural and Regional Victoria; Geelong Independent; G21 Geelong Region Alliance 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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