Major upgrade for MCEC will keep Victoria number one


Minister for Tourism and Major Events media release 5 May 2015.

To attract more visitors to our state, the Andrews Labor Government will boost our major event bids and build the best sports and conference venues in Australia.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is why Victoria is the national leader when it comes to staging lucrative major business events, contributing $274 million to Victoria’s economy each year, but new facilities interstate mean we have to work hard to stay number one.

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget includes provision for Stage Two of MCEC which is expected to cost between $190-210 million and will create hundreds of jobs. The significant expansion will ensure Victoria will still boast Australia’s largest convention and exhibition space.

The project will add thousands of square metres of new exhibition space, more multi-purpose space, and links to the existing Melbourne Exhibition Centre and Melbourne Convention Centre.

The completion of Stage Two will result in an additional 74,000 international visitors annually, who spend an average $693 each day while in Melbourne. That’s a $167 million boost to our economy.

The Budget will also invest an additional $80 million to safeguard our status as the events capital of Australia and sporting capital of the world.

Victoria is already home to the Australian Open tennis, the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Spring Racing Carnival, and we will soon add the International Champions Cup soccer to our calendar. But we can’t become complacent.

The new boost will help our state bid for more events, which in turn keep our hotels full, our restaurants and bars buzzing and our economy strong. It means more jobs and a stronger state.

Major events are a key driver of Victoria’s tourism, the state’s second largest export behind education. Tourism generates 205,000 jobs and delivers more than $19 billion to the economy annually.

Business events boast the greatest yield of all tourism sectors, as delegates routinely spend up to six times as much as holidaymakers.

The Victorian Visitor Economy review – the first of its kind in nearly two decades – will study the major events of cities in Australia and around the world. We will use the review to map out a plan to help Victoria grow.

The Budget provides $70 million to upgrade Geelong’s Simonds Stadium, increasing the ground’s capacity to 36,000 so Geelong can host more major events. A further $4.8 million will help elevate the Kardinia Park precinct to trust status, preserving the historic ground well into the future.

The Budget also includes $31.5 million to upgrade Eureka Stadium with a new grandstand and lights so it can host AFL games, and $25 million to develop a first-class cricket facility at the historic Junction Oval in St Kilda, capable of hosting Sheffield Shield matches and international events.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren

“Upgrading the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre means more floor space, more corporate conventions, more overseas visitors and more jobs for Victorians.”

“Major events keep our hotels full, our bars buzzing and our economy strong. No one does events quite like Victoria, but we can’t become complacent. We have to work hard to stay number one.”