Industry just wants centre built

DESPITE all the controversy about the design and the location of the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, WA’s meetings industry just wants one thing – to have it built.

Perth’s need for a dedicated convention and exhibition centre was probably first flagged in 1972.

Since then interest in the centre has waxed and waned with different governments.

On July 5 Multiplex bid to build a centre capable of seating 2,500 delegates with 8,000 square metres of outdoor exhibition space, 17,000 square metres of indoor exhibition space.

The Meetings Industry Association of Australia’s WA branch believes a centre of the size proposed is essential to attract major conventions to Perth.

Perth does not have facilities to win bids for conventions with more than 1,000 delegates.

There are venues that can hold up to 2,500 delegates in plenary sessions but lack enough exhibition space and break out rooms.

Exhibitions usually pay for conferences.

Four conferences, bringing a total of 6,000 delegates and an estimated delegate expenditure of $20.8 million, have been booked into the PCEC for 2003 and beyond.

Perth Convention Bureau managing director Owen Cook said it was business that would have previously been lost to Perth.

“The city couldn’t meet these conferences’ requirements without this centre,” Mr Cook said.

“It’s amazing the sort of business it brings.

“Who knows whether this will encourage another airline to come to Perth.”

There has been a substantial increase in the flights coming from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to Perth.

The WA Government believes the PCEC will be worth $2.2 billion to the State over the first 10 years of its operation.

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