In a groundbreaking move, the Cook Labor Government is entering negotiations for the redevelopment of Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC), unveiling ambitious plans that promise to redefine Perth’s waterfront and provide a substantial economic uplift for Western Australia. The proposed project, presented in a concept proposal by Wyllie and Brookfield, is currently under formal evaluation by the State Government.
The envisaged redevelopment aims to not only revitalize Perth’s waterfront but also generate a long-term economic boost for the region, paving the way for a new wave of construction jobs and employment opportunities across diverse industries. The proposal outlines the creation of an iconic waterfront precinct along the Swan River, featuring a world-class convention space designed to attract major business events to Western Australia.
Premier Roger Cook, alongside Deputy Premier Rita Saffioti and representatives from Wyllie and Brookfield, unveiled the visionary plans for the iconic waterfront precinct. Premier Cook emphasized the immense potential of the riverfront, stating,
“There is huge potential on our riverfront, and this proposal would deliver an iconic new precinct that opens up major tourism and hospitality opportunities for WA, helping to diversify our economy and create local jobs.
“The Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre is the oldest and smallest major convention centre in Australia. My Government wants to see the precinct redeveloped to attract lucrative business events, while creating a place of pride on the river for all Western Australians.”
Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC), originally built in 2004 with a long term lease held by Wyllie and Brookfield until 2039, offers a unique opportunity for redevelopment. The proposed project includes the refurbishment of the existing Convention Centre building to enhance its capacity and capability, creating space for new major business events. Additionally, the plan encompasses the development of a premium hotel, residential apartments across diverse affordability levels, and commercial and innovation spaces.
Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti emphasized the transformative impact of the project, stating,
“This is a massive opportunity to transform our city’s waterfront and truly cement our status as a world-class destination to visit and do business.
“A redeveloped Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre will be particularly important in attracting major business events to our city, which would be huge for our local economy in bringing more visitors strong business events tourism will help underpin further tourism investment in this State.”
The Cook Labor Government is making a substantial investment, totalling hundreds of millions, to catalyse job creation, economic vitality, and small business support in our city. This strategic allocation of funds encompasses pivotal projects such as the ongoing expansion of Elizabeth Quay, the development of the ECU Inner City Campus, the comprehensive revitalization of Yagan Square, the renewal initiative for His Majesty’s Theatre, and the forthcoming overhaul of the Perth Concert Hall.
This comprehensive strategy reflects the government’s commitment to urban renewal, aiming not only to develop infrastructure but also to create a more vibrant, attractive, and functional urban landscape. The initiatives collectively signify a tangible effort to enhance the overall quality of life in Perth, positioning it as a dynamic hub for work, commerce, and recreation.
Perth’s Minister for Lands, John Carey, has also provided his perspective on the paramount importance of revitalizing the prime land parcel, characterizing it as currently underutilized.
“As the Minister for Lands and the Member for Perth I know firsthand, and most people would agree, that this is prime riverfront land that has been severely underutilised for far too long.
“We can do much better than a box on the river.
“This is a first exciting step in re-imagining the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, which gives us the unique opportunity to look at options to boost housing supply and to create another iconic tourism and hospitality destination in the heart of the Perth CBD.”
Early estimates, based on an independent economic study, suggest that the redevelopment could bring billions of dollars in economic benefits to the state, fostering tourism and hospitality activities. The project’s business case is set to be finalized and presented to the State Government for evaluation in mid-2024, marking a crucial step toward realizing the ambitious transformation of Perth’s waterfront precinct.
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