Friday, June 21, 2024

New Geelong events precinct deal signed

The Federal and Victorian Governments, along with the City of Greater Geelong Council, are continuing to progress the delivery of the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre precinct, with an agreement signed today to pave the way for works to begin.

Victorian Minister for Regional Development, Gayle Tierney confirmed a formal Partnerships Victoria agreement between the Victorian Government and Plenary Conventions has been signed for the project, which is a commitment of the tripartite Geelong City Deal.

The precinct partnership includes confirmation that Plenary Conventions will invest an initial $120 million to secure what will be Geelong’s largest hotel, with a further $130 million earmarked to create a mixed-use development within the precinct down the track.

The Victorian Government is contributing $423 million towards the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre precinct, with the Australian Government contributing $30 million and the Council allocating $3 million.

Following extensive community engagement, the plans now include a state-of-the-art convention and events centre, a 200-room Crowne Plaza hotel, large public plaza, hospitality spaces and a commercial office tower.

Forecasts have shown the new hotel could attract up to 300,000 additional overnight visitors to the city by 2030.

Minister Tierney said the partnership approach will enable the precinct to host a wide range of events, from large corporate conferences to international music gigs and local community gatherings. 

“This project is the result of years of advocacy and community engagement to harness the potential of Geelong’s waterfront precinct – bringing long term benefits in employment and tourism that will positively impact generations to come,” she said.

More than 1,450 jobs will be supported during construction and 700 new jobs will be created once the precinct is open – with a focus on ensuring local workers and contractors are sourced wherever possible, said Federal Member for Corio, Richard Marle. 

“Geelong is one of the fastest-growing regions in Victoria and the country, which is why we’re ensuring that local infrastructure grows with it through the Geelong City Deal,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to see this partnership agreement locked in, because it means that this transformative convention and event centre precinct is one step closer to being a reality.

Local community organisation gforce has been asked to recruit 28 local apprentices and trainees to work on the project.

“This project is supporting local jobs, will create a range of significant economic opportunities, and will give local businesses in the Geelong region the confidence to expand their operations,” said Mr Marles.

Geelong’s Western Beach cliffs are an important cultural and spiritual place for Wadawurrung people, and Plenary Conventions are working with Traditional Owners to celebrate this culture through the precinct’s design – including the public plaza that will see the return of events and community gatherings to the site, a place where the Wadawurrung people gathered together for thousands of years.

The Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre is expected to be complete in 2026 and will be one of the first major civic developments in central Geelong under the Central Geelong Framework Plan – the 30-year vision to support growth and change in central Geelong.

The precinct is part of the Geelong City Deal, which is revitalising the city and regional economy, encouraging visitors to spend more time in the region by showcasing its natural assets.

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