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July 1, 2009

Work starts on multi-million dollar expansion of Brisbane venue

Construction will commence at the end of June on a major extension to a venue in the centre of Brisbane worth AUS$ 130 million.

The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Grey Street will feature five levels of boutique meetings and event space. Opening 2011, the venue, represents a 50% increase in the existing centre’s convention facilities, and plans to establish itself “as one of Australia’s most flexible meetings and events venue”.

As it stands, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is Australia’s most awarded convention venue and officially ranked among the top three convention centres worldwide by the Association Internationale des Palais de Congres.

The newly expanded centre will be the only convention centre in Australia with three standalone tiered plenary halls able to accommodate from 400 to 8,000 with a total of 42 separate meetings and event spaces.

The expansion will deliver an additional 250 events each year to Brisbane and create in excess of 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the first 15 years of operation.

The 24,000-square-metre development will have direct access to South Bank’s Grey Street, the vibrant retail and restaurant hub of the unique South Bank Precinct and home to Brisbane’s thriving cultural and arts community.

With its iconic contemporary design, the new Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Grey Street hopes to enrich the architectural landscape of South Bank.

The venue’s general manager, Robert O’Keeffe, explained that the expansion is specifically designed to meet an increasing demand for conferences of 400 and 600 delegates, and will provide greater flexibility in accommodating concurrent events of different sizes.

“The new development will strengthen the centre’s position in a fiercely competitive global market, while reinforcing Brisbane’s growing international profile and appeal as a leading destination for business events,” he said.

The expansion comes at a time when the centre has 277 future bookings for conventions, including 90 for international events, the highest level of convention bookings held since the it opened in 1995.

“Brisbane’s growing appeal and positioning as Australia’s new world city together with the additional and advanced facilities of Australia’s newest and most flexible meetings and events venue is a powerful proposition on which we intend to capitalise to the fullest,” said O’Keeffe.

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