About the project
What are the objectives of the project?
There are 5 key objectives that guide the project team throughout all project stages, from design to construction.
Objective 1. Position the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre as Victoria’s premium regional convention, exhibition and events destination
Deliver a high-quality convention and exhibition facility and hotel which has appropriate flexibility, adaptability and accessibility to attract and accommodate the broadest possible range of events and attendees.
Objective 2. Revitalise central Geelong
Contribute to the revitalisation of central Geelong by activating the entire precinct through the co-ordinated master planning, delivery and operation of the convention and exhibition centre facility, public realm and other uses of the Site, and providing the catalyst for other development and public realm enhancements around the Site
Objective 3. Drive the region’s visitor and knowledge economies
Maximise direct and indirect economic benefit by attracting and enhancing business and tourism activity in Geelong and the south-west region of Victoria and complementing and building upon the existing cultural offering within the region.
Objective 4. Enhance Geelong’s position as a City of Design
Enhance Geelong’s position as a UNESCO City of Design through excellence in design and sustainability initiatives across the precinct.
Including, achieving excellent design and exemplar sustainability outcomes and a design outcome that recognises the indigenous heritage of the Wadawurrung and appropriately celebrates their enduring influence over the Site and surrounds.
Objective 5. Create and capture value
Deliver an outstanding Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre facility and precinct by creating, capturing and reinvesting value in the project.
Including, achieving excellent value for money in the construction and efficient and sustainable operation of the facility, and creating and capturing value from complementary activities for the benefit of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre facility and enhanced precinct outcomes.
What will be included in the precinct?
In addition to the convention and exhibition centre and hotel, the precinct will include public realm that celebrates the connection with the waterfront, retail spaces including food and beverage outlets to activate the space, and potentially other opportunities which could include commercial or residential developments. All development will comply with the Central Geelong Framework Plan.
When will construction start?
Early works started in 2022 and will continue throughout 2022 and 2023.
Main works on site will start in 2023 after a project partner is selected and all approvals are obtained.
We expect to see the first event hosted in 2026.
How can I keep up to date on the project’s progress?
Project updates will be published on Development Victoria and Regional Development Victoria’s websites.
You can sign up to receive project updates at Engage Victoria.
If you have a question or want to learn more about the project, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the government using a PPP model to deliver the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre?
Yes. The project is being delivered in partnership with the private sector. This model is the best way to achieve the best outcomes for the entire precinct which forms an integral part in revitalising central Geelong under the Geelong City Deal.
The model will incentivise architectural design excellence for both Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the precinct and it will also facilitate the timely and concurrent delivery of a hotel, capturing greatest possible public value for the government’s investment.
Who is managing the procurement and construction of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre?
Regional Development Victoria is responsible for the implementation of the Geelong City Deal and is working in partnership with Development Victoria to deliver the procurement and construction of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
What are the design principles of the project?
The design will seek to adhere to the following overarching principles:
- Reflect ‘Geelong’ civic style – unique and beautiful
- Flexible, multi-functional facility capable of hosting a wide range of events
- Celebrate views across Corio Bay to Wurdi Youang (You Yangs)
- Celebrate and protect the Site’s Wadawurrung cultural heritage
- Activate all four street frontages
- Achieve north-south permeability through the site and enhance connectivity
- Integrate with the surrounding site context
- Provide exemplar patron safety, comfort and amenity
- Minimise trucks and traffic on Western Beach Road and Gheringhap Street
- Maximise sustainability and accessibility outcomes
What will the design of Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and other buildings look like?
The final design of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centreand other buildings will be determined by the PPP partner selected through the RFP process, responding to the final Central Geelong Framework Plan, to the satisfaction of the Minister for Planning.
For Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre itself, the PPP partner will deliver a high-quality facility that meets government’s required functional specifications, including a 1,000 seat plenary and 3,700m2 of multi-purpose space that can host a wide range of business, community and social events.
The Framework Plan will effectively establish a ‘planning envelope’ for all buildings on site, including preferred building and street frontage heights, site density and mandatory street setback and overshadowing requirements.
In 2021 a Ministerial Advisory Committee held public hearings and received input from the Geelong community. The final Framework Plan is expected to be implemented by the Minister soon.
More detail on this process can be found at the Revitalising Central Geelong webpage. Once designs are finalised, they will be released to the public.
To keep up to date on the project, please see ‘How can I keep up to date on the project’s progress?’
How tall will the buildings be?
The height of the various elements of the development will be informed by the Central Geelong Framework Plan. The draft Plan exhibited for public consultation in 2021 provided for buildings of up to 60 metres, 42 metres, and 28 metres height in different parts of the project site.
What opportunities are there for community input?
The project is offering opportunities for the community to have its say along the way.
The community and many organisations in Geelong have already participated in consultation activities about the project, including commenting on key design principles and objectives for the precinct.
Responding to what we’ve heard to date, government has adopted some key project and design principles for the project which will be required of the PPP Partner – see ‘What are the design principles of the project’ above.
Community consultation closed in August 2022, please visit Engage Victoria to view a summary of the key findings.
To keep up to date on the project, see ‘How can I keep up to date on the project’s progress?’
Parking and transport
Where will current users of the Deakin Waterfront Carpark be able to park?
The agreement between Deakin University and the Victorian Government will enable Deakin to move forward with the construction of a multi-deck car park facility on land opposite the site, which is intended to provide parking for Deakin staff and students.
Will the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre precinct include parking?
The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre project will support multi-modal transport, noting the proximity (400m) of the site to Geelong Train Station, a significant number of Geelong bus routes and central Geelong’s current and proposed main active transport routes. A carpark will be included in the final design to fulfil the requirements of the Central Geelong Framework Plan to provide car parking for the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre facility, the hotel and any other elements of the precinct. It is likely that some of this parking will be available as public parking.
Traditional owner engagement
How are the traditional owners of the land being engaged, and how will indigenous culture be acknowledged in the precinct?
The Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC) have been closely engaged with the government project team throughout the development of the project requirements during 2022. This includes a set of design principles provided by WTOAC, recognising the traditional use of the site as a gathering place and the opportunity to reflect this as it is again to be a gathering place for all peoples. WTOAC will continue to be involved with the project team, working with the private sector designers to ensure indigenous culture is appropriately acknowledged in the precinct.
Who will operate the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre?
The Victorian Government will operate the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This will ensure that it can leverage its investments to attract the widest range of conventions, exhibitions, and events to Victoria. The State-owned Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET), which manages the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, will bring its expertise in drawing guests from across Australia and around the globe to Geelong. MCET will work closely with the existing Geelong and regional business events network to engage with local supply chains as much as possible.
Will the operator be involved in the design of Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre?
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust is working closely with the government project team to provide input and expert advice into the planning, design, development, and future operation of the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
How many employees will be located at Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre?
Geelong will have a dedicated, locally based management team along with event delivery teams, including opportunities for permanent, part-time and casual employees. The Victorian Government estimates the operation of the centre and activation of the precinct is expected to create 270 ongoing jobs.
What sort of events will Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre host?
Once built, Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre may host a range of events, ranging from large scale corporate functions to international music and theatre, trade shows and public exhibitions.
Will Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre be used as a venue for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games?
There are currently no confirmed plans for the use of the venue as part of the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Economy and jobs
How much will Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre inject into the Victorian Economy?
Nationally, business events contribute around $36 billion to Australia’s economy, about $12 billion of which is in Victoria. In 2019, MCEC alone contributed $1.1 billion to Victoria’s economy. It is anticipated Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will generate millions in economic benefit to the region.
What kinds of local jobs will be created?
Each event at Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will benefit local hoteliers, event organisers, food providores, catering, cleaning and security staff, technicians, logistics and transport operators and more.
How can I register my interest to work at Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre?
As the project is in the early stages, specific staffing requirements are not yet known. Once this is known, positions for Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will be advertised. Future positions and expressions of interest will be advertised via Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Careers.
Local suppliers interested in participating in the construction of Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre should register an Expression of Interest.