Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion talks begin

Impression of the redeveloped PCEC.

Negotiations have begun between the State Government and long-term leaseholders Wyllie and Brookfield on expanding the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC).

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said upgrading and expanding PCEC was the long overdue missing piece in developing Perth as a destination and was the industry’s top infrastructure priority.

“Perth has the oldest convention exhibition facility of any capital city in Australia, every other city has upgraded and expanded its facilities at least once if not twice since PCEC was opened,” Hall said.

“Currently Perth is losing out to second tier business event destinations such as Adelaide, Geelong and Darwin that have invested in expanding their convention and exhibition centres.”

Hall said he welcomed the State Government’s focus on developing PCEC and the precinct, as it was a “crucial economic infrastructure that needed to be well designed as the key asset for Western Australia’s visitor economy for the next 30 to 40 years”.

“We have a world-class stadium, area, airport, casino and hotel offering, the missing piece is a world-class convention and exhibition centre, and new attractions and activities around the Perth CBD and Swan River,” he said.

“Developing the whole PCEC precinct provides an opportunity to create new attractions and experiences as well as expanding the convention and exhibition centre and integrate the waterfront from PCEC, through to Elizabeth Quay and Barrack Street Jetty to create the State’s premier visitor destination.

“Unlike the Stadium, the current Convention Centre was not built for purpose as an events venue. It was built under a PPP to save money in the short term but at great long-term cost. We must not repeat that mistake again.

“The Convention and Exhibition Centre must be expanded with enough capacity and capability to compete with other destinations. PCEC is first and foremost job creating economic infrastructure and should be designed for that purpose.”

Hall said key capabilities needed included a new dedicated plenary theatre of at least 4,500 seats and separate dedicated exhibition floorspace.