Blog by Clay Lucas, reporter at The Age, 03 8667 3064 or 0439 828 128. Reporting on city issues around Melbourne.
Coalition Government to expand Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
27 October 2014
Premier Denis Napthine and Tourism Minister Louise Asher today announced plans to expand the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) to include a multi-purpose convention and exhibition facility, a new hotel, extra car parking and more retail outlets.
“The Coalition Government has commenced negotiations with Plenary, an existing partner with the State through a PPP contract for the MCEC, to consider how an expansion of the Centre can be integrated into the existing development,” Dr Napthine said.
“Business events generate economic benefits of around $1.2 billion each year to Victoria. Collectively, business events provide not only economic benefits but also the constant positioning and profiling of Victoria nationally and internationally. They drive tourism, employment growth, industry development and business linkages.
“The western precinct which incorporates the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the surrounding shopping and dining areas is popular with tourists and locals alike, and the expansion will be able to capitalise on this,” Dr Napthine said.
Ms Asher said the first key step involves developing an appropriate master plan for the precinct to ensure the MCEC remains a world-class facility attracting conventions and exhibitions from around Australia and the world, generating significant economic activity.
“Demand for exhibition space means the Centre is currently turning away around 20 per cent of business.
“These negotiations will allow Plenary an opportunity to put forward an expansion proposal to provide integrated services with an expanded Exhibition Centre,” Ms Asher said.
The 2013-14 financial year was the most successful on record for the MCEC, with 1,030 events attracting 680,955 delegates, including 21 international conventions catering for 31,079 delegates and 57 national conventions with 40,241 delegates.
Mayor Bernadene Voss, 17 May 2016:
The site and building have been used as a corner hotel for more than 100 years.
Despite its age, the original building has been altered and doesn’t meet the threshold of local significance when compared to more intact examples in the city.
Officer assessment and advice suggest the London Hotel is not of local architectural or cultural significance and does not warrant heritage protection.
The officer’s view is supported by multiple studies which all came to the same findings.
Based on this assessment, Council will not request the Minister for Planning apply an Interim Heritage Overlay.
Yesterday, Council received formal notification of the lodgement of the application for review at VCAT.
Council has been analysing the substantial amount of information lodged with the application, reviewing the advice of its internal experts and thoroughly considering the community concerns raised in the more than 100 objections received prior to making its decision and therefore did not determine the application within the prescribed 60 days.
The receipt of more than 100 objections would likely have led to the matter going to VCAT via appeal, therefore Council not making a determination has quickened this process.
The application was lodged on 8 December 2015 by Urbis Pty Ltd, however further information in relation to progress this application was not received until 5 February 2016.