Campaign Underway to Expand Melbourne Venue
The Exhibition and Events Association of Australasia (EEAA) will seek additional funding from the State Government of Victoria for the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). The EEAA has been critical of the state’s latest budget plan, which overlooked funding for the exhibition industry.
Industry players hoped the US$1 billion redevelopment of Darling Harbour in Sydney, which includes 40,000 sq. m. of exhibition space, would spur further expansion activities. According to the EEAA, expanding the MCEC will increase business tourism spend by an additional US$151 million. EEAA reports that a total of 11,000 exhibitors participated in 361 exhibitions held across Australia in the second half of 2011, of which 17 percent took place in Victoria and 36 percent in New South Wales.
Joyce DiMascio, general manager of EEAA, said “The industry has been advocating support for this vital piece of infrastructure but the tight budget has favoured other urban and regional initiatives. We understand that the Government does support the expansion of exhibition facilities but due to pressure to fund other programs, it would appear we must still continue to build the case for investing in this crucial piece of events infrastructure.”