Today, mayoral candidate Mark Jamieson launched his Convention and Exhibition Centre policy. “Our region lacks much of the civic infrastructure that would define us as a city boasting the tenth largest population in Australia”. He said
“As Mayor, I will concentrate council on the things that unite us rather than the things that divide us, as has been seen in the past. A profitable convention and exhibition centre capable of attracting major economic benefit and building community pride is a must”. Mr Jamieson said
“It is already estimated we lose nearly $15 million a year due to our lack of such a facility. That’s almost $300,000.00 a week that could be spent on the Sunshine Coast plus the spending we would attract from visitors further a field on accommodation, restaurants, attractions and retail”. He added
“Our approach should integrate jobs and training opportunities incorporating our schools, USC and TAFE, furthering adding to the local benefit.” He said
“Some Councillors have started to advocate we build a 4,500 seat facility – which I believe is way too many, in stage one and will undermine profitability, foisting extra costs on ratepayers. To put this into context – the Gold Coast Convention Centre is 6000 seats, the Lyric Theatre Brisbane is 2500 seats, and the Brisbane Convention Centre is 10 000 seats”. Mr. Jamieson said
Mr. Jamieson said he believed the maximum we need is 1500 to 2000 theatre seats and 2000 to 3000 flat on the floor convention seats, with the ability to divide this into 4 smaller configurations for various functions. Managing and maximising capacity is the key to financial performance. The opportunity for future expansion needs to be factored in.
“The precinct needs to be a regional, Convention and Exhibition Centre that targets new and additional business beyond that which is currently well served by our suburban civic facilities in Noosa, Nambour and Caloundra”. He added
“We also need to look at ensuring our Convention and Exhibition Centre facilitates the needs of businesses and tourists alike by ensuring access to sufficient 4 to 5 star accommodation on site or nearby, as well as strategic partnering with private enterprise to assist with funding, ongoing promotion and economic viability”. He concluded