The NSW Government has confirmed this week it’s election promise to build a new convention centre for Sydney at a cost of $900 million.
The Sydney International Convention and Entertainment Centre was a pre-election promise of the Coalition. It will be built on the site of the Entertainment Centre car park, after which the Entertainment Centre will be demolished. The concept plan includes seating for up to 12,000 people, and a ”multi-function exhibit hall” of up to 12,000 square metres. It is envisaged the centre will host activities from banquets and conventions to rock concerts and sporting events such as basketball, tennis and boxing.
Expressions of interest will be called in September. It is hoped construction will begin in September 2012 and the project completed in 2015. The Planning Minister, Mr Brad Hazzard, has said it was ”about making Sydney centre stage for international events, invigorating tourism and giving the people of NSW an unrivalled world-class venue”.
Too bad about the Would Heritage listed Sydney Opera House that put Sydney on the world map. Still with major deficiencies in acoustics, pit size, occupational health and safety issues for members of the pit orchestra, audience capacity and well overdue for renewal of backstage facilities that are at the end of the life, there is still no light at the end of the tunnel for a similar amount for a major renovation of the Opera Theatre.
It is the Sydney Opera House that put Sydney centre stage for International events and continues to pump $100 millions of dollars on an annual basis into the State economy. Perhaps the new NSW Government needs to think about that !