GCEC prep work begins

January 31, 2022 BY

From left: Jonothan Cull, SMEC, John Eren, Lara MP, Sarah Henderson, Victorian Senator, Stephanie Asher, Liberal candidate for Corangamite, Mary-Anne Thomas, Regional Development Minister, Paul Fletcher, federal Urban Infrastucture Minister, Christine Couzens, Geelong MP, Darren Cheeseman, South Barwon MP, Martin Cutter, City of Geelong CEO, Adam Kempster, SMEC, Brittany Jackson, SMEC.

PREPATORY work on the new $300 million Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC) is underway, with geotechnical investigations the first sign of development at the former Deakin University foreshore carpark.

A tender for the architect, designer and builder is yet to be issued but is likely to go out in the first half of this year according to Regional Development Minister Mary-Anne Thomas, with the Minster estimating the centre’s opening date to be in 2026.

Days before Christmas the Victorian government announced an additional $120 million for the project “to include a luxury hotel, retail and commercial outlets,” adding to the $141 million already committed. That’s on top of $30 million in federal funding and $3 million from the City of Greater Geelong.

The additional state funding is for the inclusion of a retail and commercial outlets, as well a 200-room luxury hotel that government will “be looking to partner with the private sector on,” according to Ms Thomas.

The precinct will also include a 1,000-seat venue and a 3,700 square metre multipurpose space to allow large and small events to run concurrently.

It’s estimated the project will support 600 jobs during construction and an additional 270 ongoing once complete.