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Bigger and better Geelong Convention precinct

JMR with Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCEC) precinct, which is the centrepiece project of the Geelong City Deal, will receive an additional $120 million from the Victorian Government to include a luxury hotel, retail and commercial outlets.

Victorian Minister for Regional Development, the Hon Mary-Anne Thomas MP, was today joined by Federal Senator for Victoria the Hon Sarah Henderson to announce the project’s new scope.

The additional funding builds on the existing $141 million commitment from the Victorian Government, $30 million from the Australian Government and $3 million from the City of Greater Geelong – bringing the total project value to $294 million.

The precinct will include a 200-room luxury hotel and commercial spaces, and a 1,000-seat plenary venue which will be developed with 3,700 square metres of flexible multipurpose space to allow large and small events to run concurrently.

The GCEC will support 600 jobs during construction and an additional 270 ongoing jobs once complete. The hotel will further boost employment opportunities and strengthen the region’s visitor economy.

The Victorian Government will soon release an expression of interest for architects, designers and builders, ahead of a stakeholder engagement process.

Details of commercial opportunities to activate the precinct and create better connections to the CBD and Western Beach, such as the hotel, will be determined through the EOI process.

The Victorian Government and Deakin University have agreed on a sale process to enable the transfer of ownership of Deakin’s waterfront car park site to the state, subject to approvals.

This will allow the GCEC to be built on the car park site, paving the way for works to start on the precinct next year. Deakin University will separately construct a replacement car park facility at a nearby site.

The project is being funded by all three levels of Government through the Geelong City Deal – now valued at more than $500 million – which is a 10 year plan to revitalise Geelong through the delivery of critical infrastructure.

The Victorian Government also announced today it will invest $400,000 through the $10 million Regional Recovery Fund to support Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine, and Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism to implement a Business Events Attraction platform. It is designed to promote the region as a business events destination outside the summer peak season.

The project features an online platform, $50 per delegate rebate and promotion to attract business conferences, trade exhibitions and other business events to the region.

The GCEC and the Business Events Attraction platform are just two of the many projects the Victorian Government is delivering across the state. To find out more about the Centre and other projects in your region, visit

For more information on the Geelong City Deal visit

Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Regional Development, The Hon Mary-Anne Thomas MP:

“Our significant additional funding expands the City Deal and is a wonderful Christmas present for the people of Geelong.”

“This is an exciting step forward for the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which will deliver hundreds of jobs and bring bigger and better events to Geelong.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP:

“The Geelong City Deal is a commitment from all three levels of government to deliver transformational infrastructure projects that enhance the liveability and vibrancy of the city.

“The GCEC is the centerpiece of the Deal, and set to deliver hundreds of local jobs, provide a boost to the visitor economy, and strengthen Geelong’s reputation as a go-to events destination.”

Quotes attributable to Senator for Victoria the Hon Sarah Henderson:

“The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre will deliver a very significant boost for our local economy, both during construction and once operational.”

“It will also provide our magnificent waterfront and city by the bay with an incredible asset to drive tourism and our visitor economy.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens MP:

“We know we will only get one chance to create what will be one of the most significant projects in this region’s history – one that will create jobs and stimulate the economy for decades to come.”

“A centre of this size located on Geelong’s spectacular waterfront will be a magnet to events of all sizes from across the state, the country and internationally.”

Quotes attributable to City of Greater Geelong Mayor, Stephanie Asher:

“I welcome this outcome for Geelong and am pleased to hear the project is moving forward as planned.”

“Geelong is Victoria’s second biggest city and offers some of the best hospitality and tourism opportunities in Australia, with a waterfront precinct that rivals any in the country, so has deserved a convention centre precinct that will enable even more people to come and explore all we have to offer.”

Quotes attributable to Executive Director Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine, Brett Ince:

“We are pleased the precinct will include a luxury hotel, which will be a significant boost to the region’s tourism market beyond the support it will provide the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre.”

“Geelong and the Bellarine is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for business events and initiatives like our Business Events Attraction platform will only boost this further.”

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