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Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

ProjectMelbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
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Aus and NZ

Australia and New ZealandTourism
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The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is an architectural and economic triumph.

Developed to increase Melbourne’s business tourism market, the project facilitated the urban renewal of a former industrial site into an active tourism, mixed-use retail, hotel, residential and food-and-beverage precinct.

Project facts


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Victorian Government

Value (NPV)

A$1.4 billion

Our role

Financial adviser

Equity investor

Financial arranger

Project manager

Asset manager


Brookfield Multiplex

Service provider

Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions


NH Architecture and Woods Bagot

Financial close

May 2006

Completion date

January 2009

Expansion value

A$350 million

Expansion builder


Expansion financial close

May 2016

Expansion completion date

July 2018

Contract terms

Design, build, finance and maintain for 25 years

Project website


2019 awards

  • Gold, Architecture – Commercial – Constructed, 2019 Melbourne Design Awards
  • Voice/Data Communications & Audio Visual Award, 2019 NECA State Excellence Awards

2016 awards

  • EarthCheck Gold Sustainability Certification 2016

2010 awards

  • National Architecture Award 2010
  • Victorian Architecture Medal 2010
  • Australian Construction Achievement Award 2010
  • Environmentally Sustainable Design, 2010 Australian Interior Design Award
  • National Environmental Excellence Award, 2010 Urban Development Institute of Australia

2009 awards

  • Excellence in Property Awards, 2009 Australian Property Institute
  • President’s Award, 2009 Australian Property Institute
  • Built Environment Award, 2009 Banksia Foundation
  • Industry Council Award, 2009 IMEX Green Meetings

2008 awards

  • National Infrastructure Award for Government Partnership Excellence 2008

It remains one of the finest examples of value-capture in global PPP infrastructure markets, attracting a more than $1 billion investment in a five-star quality hotel and a mixed-use development of more than 100,000 square metres.

With a 6 Star Green Star Design rating it is also one of the greenest convention centres in the world.

Expansion project

In mid-2018 Plenary, in partnership with the Victorian Government and private partners, completed a $350 million expansion of the broader South Wharf precinct.

The project included a 20,000-square-metre expansion of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, a new 347-room, four-star quality hotel and a new 1,150-space multi-level car park.

The expansion increased MCEC’s total size to more than 70,000 square metres, ensuring it remains the leading destination for business tourism and events in Australia.

Local economic impact

Job creation

Up to 1,300 people worked on site during construction of original Melbourne Convention Centre project.

More than 1,500 new permanent jobs have since been created by the private sector investment in the mixed-use retail, office, hotel, residential and food and beverage precinct.

More than 700 people were employed during construction of the expansion, which will also see tens of millions of dollars of work generated for Victorian businesses and suppliers.

Now complete, the expanded precinct is adding more than 900 ongoing jobs.

Design features

Environmental design

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star Design rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, and gold certification by leading tourism certification group EarthCheck, setting the global standard for sustainable convention centre design.

Flexibility seating and operable walls

A main feature of MCEC is its main hall, a flexible space that can be used as a 5,500 seat auditorium. The largest operable walls in the southern hemisphere and a unique retractable seating system allow the hall to be divided into three separate theatres, one with capacity for up to 2,500 people.

The hall is celebrated as a ‘building within a building’, wrapped by more than 16,000 square metres of foyer and event space, and banquet and meeting rooms.

Asset management innovations

Plenary’s operational model provides significant innovation through a unique risk-and-reward sharing mechanism between Plenary and Brookfield GIS.

This cost-effective but hands-on approach allows significant savings to be returned to the State while ensuring Plenary is heavily incentivised to maintain the asset to a high standard throughout its life.

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