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MCEC begins expansion

09 Jun 2016

MCEC begins expansion Image

By Nicholas Li

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has stated a more than $300 million expansion project.

The development will add new multi purpose event space, as well as space for new exhibition halls. Meeting and banquet rooms, a 331-room hotel and a multi-storey car park will also be developed.

Financed by the State Government, MCEC and the Plenary Group, the expansion is expected to generate an extra $167 million annually for the Victorian economy, and generate hundreds of job in Southbank.

Acting Premier James Merlino said the expansion would cement Victoria’s position as a one of the world’s best hosts.

“Victoria is the national leader when it comes to major business events, and this expansion will help keep our hotels full, our restaurants and bars buzzing and our economy strong,” he said.

At a Future Melbourne Committee meeting on May 17 the City of Melbourne was unable to consider the proposal after four councillors declared a conflict of interest.

The owner of MCEC has provided political donations to finance the election campaigns of four councillors, including Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

The matter therefore fell to director city planning and infrastructure Geoff Lawler.

Mr Lawler said the project would go ahead with council approval, with the City of Melbourne to make submissions to MCEC to ensure appropriate bike paths for cyclists.

“We do not believe the Normandy Rd bike link, upon which the development will partly rely, is up to scratch essentially,” he said.

In addition to bike path upgrades in the area, the development will also add a bridge connecting the new car park to South Wharf DFO.

MCEC chief executive Peter King said business at MCEC would continue as normal during the expansion.

“We’re excited to continue our business as usual operations while our new building is constructed and we look forward to sharing more details as they become available,” he said.

The expansion is expected to be completed halfway through 2018.

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