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Consortia shortlisted for new Sydney Convention and Exhibition precinct

Consortia shortlisted for new Sydney Convention and Exhibition precinct
December 1, 2011

The creation of Sydney's new 12-hectare convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct at Darling Harbour is progressing with three strong consortia shortlisted to build and operate the facilities.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said the consortia were a mix of local and international players with a depth of experience in construction and maintenance as well as operations and events.

The consortia are:

• Destination Sydney - comprising AEG Ogden Pty Ltd, Lend Lease Project Management and Construction, Spotless Facility Services Pty Ltd, Lend Lease Developments, Capella Capital Pty Ltd and InfraRed Capital Partners Ltd.
• Key Partners - comprising Laing O'Rourke Australia Construction Ltd, John Laing Investments Ltd, Macquarie Capital Group Ltd, GL Events and Honeywell Ltd.
• VeNuSW - comprising Plenary Group Ltd, Brookfield Multiplex P/L, Brookfield Multiplex Services Pty Ltd and Suntec Int. Convention & Exhibition Services Pte Ltd.

Premier O'Farrell said today's announcement meant his Government was a step closer to delivering on its election commitment to provide a world-class Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment precinct, stating "we are extremely pleased with the calibre and competitiveness of the consortia submissions. All three have local and international experience across all aspects of the tender, which means we are in a strong position as we progress creating this world-class facility."

Infrastructure NSW (INSW), which is managing the project, received Expressions of Interest from the three proponents following a six week Expressions of Interest period (from 30th September to 11th November 2011).

INSW has invited all three proponents to move forward in the tendering process following a thorough evaluation of their submissions against the published criteria.

The three consortia now enter into a negotiation phase with the NSW Government. A Request for Proposals is expected to be issued in March next year, with the preferred tenderer selected by the end of 2012. The precinct is due to be complete late 2016.

The Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment precinct involves expanding and enhancing the international convention, exhibition and entertainment complex, including developing new facilities and refurbishing existing facilities across the Darling Harbour precinct.

Premier O'Farrell added that "it will provide Sydney with unified convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities that befit Australia's global city and will enable us to compete with the best in the world. It will also bring

Darling Harbour's entertainment facilities into the 21st Century with a multipurpose entertainment centre.

"There has been consultation with industry and local businesses and organisations during 2011 and Infrastructure NSW will expand this consultation during 2012 to make sure that we understand stakeholder views about the project.

"We are working to a tight timeframe, with completion of the expanded and new facilities by 2016, so it is important that views are taken into account and we have a facility that makes us competitive in the longer term."

The Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), which has been instrumental in coordinating industry feedback on plans for the proposed convention and exhibition centre precinct, welcomed the news that three consortia have been shortlisted for the build and operation.

EEAA General Manage Joyce DiMascio added "we look forward to collaborating with the short-listed consortia to give them every opportunity to understand the needs of the major users. Sydney has one chance to get this right and we would like to help in achieving that outcome.

"We have been very heartened by the (NSW) Government's commitment to getting the brief right for the precinct - articulating the new vision for Sydney will be an important next step."

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