Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island’s biggest public show yet was officially opened today by NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner as the first of 60,000 visitors arrived by water and by land for the 47th Sydney International Boat Show.
Mr Stoner cut the ribbon to mark the start of the five day event, which will inject $450 million into the NSW economy and provide work for about 5,000 people.
Mr Stoner said this year for the first time the Sydney International Boat Show was being held across two harbour side locations – its traditional home at Cockle Bay Marina at Darling Harbour as well as the interim exhibition venue at Glebe Island.
“The NSW Government opened Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island in February 2014 so Sydney’s exhibitions and trade shows can continue to thrive while the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) is built at Darling Harbour,” Mr Stoner said.
“While enjoying the on-water displays at Darling Harbour, visitors to the Boat Show will see the precinct’s transformation in action, which along with world-class convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities will deliver great new public spaces for everyone to enjoy.
“Darling Harbour has always been a place for people and this urban regeneration project will provide an impressive new setting for the Boat Show from 2017 onwards.
“During the Boat Show a free ferry shuttle between Darling Harbour and Glebe Island will give attendees a great opportunity to spend some time on the water, and shuttle buses will also operate between Central and Glebe Island,” he said.
Mr Stoner said the NSW Government was protecting the exhibition industry’s important economic contribution of around $100 million per year to NSW through Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.
“The industry supports thousands of exhibitors and associated businesses such as designers, riggers, electricians, builders, event experts and hospitality staff who make their livelihood from large exhibitions,” he said.
“Visitors who return to Sydney for the Boat Show in 2015 and 2016 will see first-hand the progress at ICC Sydney, which will open in late 2016 as Australia’s largest and first fully-integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment centre.
“Construction works are well underway, with piling and foundation work on track and the first tower cranes now in operation.
“ICC Sydney will completely reinvigorate Darling Harbour and affirm Sydney’s place as a premier destination for international business events.
“A testament to the growing global interest in the $1.1 billion venue is the recent announcement of ICC Sydney as the 2018 venue for Sibos, the most prestigious financial services event in the world.
“Sibos is the 14th international event to be secured for ICC Sydney, and brings the combined estimated economic impact of these events to more than $128 million.
“We are investing in our infrastructure and our people so we can continue to attract leading events in business, science, governance and the arts to Sydney,” Mr Stoner said.