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25 July 2023


The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre precinct development is a step closer, with the announcement of the preferred bidder to build the much-anticipated project, the unveiling of proposed designs today.

The Australian Government is investing $30 million in the project as part of the Geelong City Deal, with the Victorian Government contributing more than $260 million and $3 million from the City of Greater Geelong.

The project will transform the 1.6-hectare waterfront car parking site into a world-class precinct, with the construction of a purpose-built convention and exhibition space.

There will be a 1,000-seat venue, two large exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, conference facilities and flexible event spaces.

New retail spaces will feature hospitality offerings, a large public plaza will become a feature of the Geelong waterfront and a new 200-room hotel under the Crowne Plaza brand will boost local visitation.

More than 600 jobs will be created during construction, with an extra 270 ongoing jobs created once the precinct is complete – driving more economic growth and employment opportunities.

The Victorian Government is helping local organisation gforce recruit almost 30 new local apprentices and trainees who are experiencing disadvantage in entering the workforce.

These apprentices will be employed full-time for the duration of their apprenticeship and until they secure full-time employment with private contractors.

The project consortium includes Plenary Group, Built, Woods Bagot, BGIS and Quintessential Equity.

The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation is being consulted on the precinct’s design, identity and recognition of local cultural heritage.

Once complete, the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will be managed and operated by the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Trust (MCET) that operates Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – cementing Victoria as a premier global destination for events.

Preliminary site works are underway and construction is set to begin shortly, with the convention centre and hotel expected to be complete in 2026.

The precinct development is the centrepiece of the $500 million Geelong City Deal, a collaborative plan to transform the region by the Australian and Victorian governments, and the City of Greater Geelong.

Quote attributable to Victorian Minister for Regional Development Harriet Shing

“This project is a game-changer for a rapidly growing region, generating hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars into the local economy - once complete it will be yet another drawcard for this vibrant, prosperous and beautiful part of the state.”

Quote attributable to Member for South Barwon, Darren Cheeseman MP

"The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre precinct is a fantastic addition to our region. The construction of the centre is a welcomed boost for Geelong, creating hundreds of jobs for local trades and providing an unmatched experience for Geelong apprentices."