Today the Chair of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Tourism, Jeremy Hanson MLA, tabled the Committee’s report on its inquiry into a new convention centre for Canberra.
Mr Hanson said that the report made ten recommendations intended to move forward the process for the eventual construction of a new convention centre.
“There have been discussions about a new convention centre in Canberra for decades. In recent years those discussions have focused on the Australia Forum proposal. Much work has gone into this proposal for a national convention centre that could house significant national and international meetings. All parties agree that such a centre would require substantial Federal funding and that has not, to date, been forthcoming.”
“The Committee has recommended that stakeholders of a new convention centre in Canberra acknowledge that the Australia Forum is unlikely to be constructed in its proposed form. The Committee recommends that stakeholders create functional requirements and a design brief for a “Capital Region Convention Centre” for the ACT Government to consider”.
Mr Hanson noted that, while the Committee was recommending a change of focus, much of the work completed on the Australia Forum was still relevant.
“The proposed site for the Australia Forum, on London Circuit next to City Hill, remains the Committee’s preferred site for a new convention centre and the Committee has recommended that the government reserve it for this purpose while the direction of a future convention centre is discussed. With the new government office block under construction and possible changes related to light rail stage 2 and the Canberra Theatre Centre this is an area of Civic undergoing significant change.”
“While the existing National Convention Centre continues to do an excellent job in hosting events, it faces constraints in its ability to host both exhibitions and banqueting events. The Committee has recommended that the ACT Government investigate a temporary solution to Canberra’s lack of large scale banqueting facilities. “
“Although constructing a new convention centre in a single development would be preferable, this may not be feasible within budget constraints. The Committee has suggested a long term staged approach to realising the vision of a new convention centre for the ACT region.”
The Committee heard from a range of stakeholders on what Canberra’s convention needs were and how they could best be met. The Committee also examined that various reports that had been commissioned to look into this issue.
Mr Hanson said that “The Committee hopes that all parties can work together to move the ACT closer to the opening of expanded convention facilities to serve the ACT and the Capital Region.
For further information please contact:
The Chair, Mr Jeremy Hanson MLA on 620 50133
The Committee Secretary, Mr Hamish Finlay, on (02) 6207 0129 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.