The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) was alarmed by the news that Infrastructure NSW (INSW) terminated negotiations with the preferred consortia formed to design, build and operate the interim exhibition centre at Glebe Island.
In the past four working days, the association has met with INSW three times and received assurances that the facility can be built in time for the opening to the 2014 events calendar.
On Thursday 23 May 2013, 120 members of the EEAA heard from INSW Project Director Tim Parker who assured the industry the facility would be operating by January 2014.
The Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner also contacted the association to reassure the industry that the Government was confident it would deliver the interim facility.
While this assurance is welcomed, the association is most concerned that six months has been lost in what was an already very tight construction schedule.
We have been informed the Government has commenced negotiations with the under bidder, GL Events to build the facility and with operator, AEG Ogden which is the company that will operate the new centre at Darling Harbour.
Our focus now is on ensuring that the Government delivers:
– A facility that opens on time
– A facility that is at least 25,000sqm of quality semi-permanent structures of a consistent standard and not hospitality tents
– Project staff with the competency to bring this project to a conclusion
– No increase in price charged for use of the interim centre
– Additional funding resources to ensure crucial timelines are met
– Integrated transport to ensure people can get to and from the site
– Marketing support to ensure the location of the site and its proximity to Darling Harbour venues, hotels and attractions is communicated.
The Government’s job is to focus its resources on getting a result. The industry and the thousands of companies that exhibit at trade and consumer shows have had enough uncertainty. There is not more time to waste.
Today, the EEAA met with Infrastructure NSW (INSW), GL Events, AEG Ogden and APP for an update on the project and to give industry the opportunity to comment on the scenarios currently being proposed by INSW in order to meet the January 2014 opening deadline.