Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, has called on the Victorian Government to urgently get on with the job of delivering the Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre and adjacent five-star hotel, which is putting Geelong’s preparedness for the Commonwealth Games at risk.
“Unless construction of the convention centre and 200 room five-star hotel begins next month, this vital infrastructure will be not completed in time for the Commonwealth Games,” Senator Henderson said.
“I am advised that construction tenders must be finalised and shovels in the ground by July if there is any chance of completing this project before the games begins in March 2026. With Geelong already suffering from a hotel rooms shortage*, failing to deliver the convention centre and hotel in time for the Commonwealth Games would seriously harm our international reputation.”
The Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre is being delivered under the Geelong City Deal, an initiative of the former Coalition government which provided $30 million towards the project.
“There is $30 million of federal money for the convention centre and yet we have seen no interest in this project from Richard Marles or Libby Coker,” Senator Henderson said.
“The Albanese Government is only interested in stripping money from our region, whether it be the Howitzer defence project, Geelong Fast Rail or two successive Labor budgets which delivered nothing new for Geelong. Since being elected over a year ago, Labor has treated our region with contempt.”
“It is imperative that federal and state Labor urgently start the convention centre build and start to prioritise regional Victoria. Under Daniel Andrews, this project has been on the go-slow, just like so many other local projects managed by the state government,” Senator Henderson.
“More broadly, the Victorian Government’s planning for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in regional Victoria, is woeful. The state government has not confirmed how the Games will be funded, and key infrastructure such as the aquatic centre in Armstrong Creek and housing in Waurn Ponds will only be temporary which is another broken Labor promise to our region,” Senator Henderson concluded.