Sunday, 1 April 2012

New International Convention and Exhibition Centre for Aberdeen

International Convention and Exhibition Centre
It was announced this morning that a new International Convention and Exhibition Centre will be constructed on the site of the former Dartbrook underground coal mine just south of Aberdeen, NSW Australia. Construction will commence in May this year, and depending on weather conditions, the completion date is expected to be in January 2014.

Cr Martin Rush, the Mayor of Muswellbrook Shire, expects the International Convention and Exhibition Centre to inject around $90 million into the local economy annually by an estimated 2,433,000 new delegates attending conferences and expositions. “An international-sized convention centre is essential for Upper Hunter to tap into the growing market of high value business visitors that we are currently missing out on,” Cr Rush said. “The Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, the tourism industry and business sector have been calling for an international-sized centre for years. Now we have the opportunity to build one that will encourage more visitors to come to the Upper Hunter and give a valuable boost to our economy.”

“Aberdeen will now be in a position to attract major international conferences and exhibitions that the Upper Hunter currently misses out on. These will bring large numbers of new international convention delegates and visitors to Aberdeen and the Upper Hunter,” he said.

“We are looking to build the International Convention and Exhibition Centre to accommodate the future growth of the Upper Hunter as Aberdeen continues to grow as an international world-class city,” he said.

The Hon. George Souris BEc, DipFMgt, FAIM, FCPA MP. Minister for Tourism Major Events and Hospitality said the centre would “significantly boost the Upper Hunter’s ability to attract lucrative international conferences and events”.

“The announcement by the Muswellbrook Shire Council that it will build a national convention centre in Aberdeen is fantastic news for business tourism in this country,” he said.

“We’ve been lobbying for the best part of two decades for a national convention centre in Aberdeen that could accommodate large international events that we’ve missed out on in the past because we didn’t have an appropriate venue.

“Hosting conferences and conventions is big business. If we want to build on that we need to provide bigger and better facilities or we will lose out to other destinations.

“Sydney has found that out the hard way; it’s missed out on around $500 million over the past five years because of its failure to secure major international conferences,” he said.

“The International Convention and Exhibition Centre will be a fantastic asset for Aberdeen and the Upper Hunter tourism at large, enabling the Upper Hunter to compete on the world stage as an international conference and exhibitions destination” he told The Holiday and Travel Magazine.

“There’s a whole business conference segment that haven’t been able to be accommodated by existing conference facilities and we are excited by the potential to the hotel industry of an additional 4,101,000 visitor nights.

“Economically, the forecasted $790 million in additional tourism spending annually in the Upper Hunter and the creation of up to 1,580 jobs, will be a big boost to the local economy,” he said.

Shopping Centre
The Muswellbrook Shire Council purchased this large site in Aberdeen last week to add to its extensive portfolio of commercial premises it has purchased in the past 2 years. These purchases have included Campbell’s Corner for $3.2 million, Market House for $670,000 and Loxton House for $650,000. The Council has not revealed the purchase price of the land, but said that it was bought at a bargain basement price, as it really was just a hole in the ground covered by a thin layer of soil, with the surface no longer suitable for agriculture. The Mayor said that ratepayers would hardly notice the rate increases needed to fund the purchase price of the land.

The International Convention and Exhibition Centre will consist of 12 Exhibition Halls, 4 Plenary Halls, 4 Theatres, 6 Ballrooms, 3 Auditoriums, an indoor covered arena, 28 Function Rooms, 17 Restaurants, 18 Cinemas, and 39 Foyers.

The site will be developed with a mix of commercial space, retail complexes and apartments. David Jones, Myer, Harrods, Walmart, and Bunnings have indicated they are keen to establish themselves in the new complex.

Local theatre groups are excited by the 4 Theatres to be incorporated into the new International Convention and Exhibition Centre. A representative of the Upper Hunter Combined Amateur Theatrical Societies (CATS) said that each theatre group would be able to have their own Theatre to stage live shows, and patrons would have a choice of productions to see each week. The local theatre groups that are already rehearsing for their opening nights in 2014 are - Muswellbrook Amateur Theatrical Society (MATS), Scone Amateur Theatrical Society (SATS), Bunnan Amateur Theatrical Society (BATS) and Rouchel Amateur Theatrical Society (RATS).

The International Convention and Exhibition Centre will become the new home of Horse Week, the Upper Hunter Show, Aberdeen Highland Games, Merriwa Festival of Fleeces, Tamworth Country Music Festival, World Expo 2016, Bylong Mouse Races, and bingo. These events will now be able to be held indoors without rain turning spectators away. There will be the economic benefits of not expending any money on a new showground, or maintaining existing venues such as White Park, which will be sold off for heavy industry factory sites.

Large Theatre
Car parking for 10,000 vehicles will be provided in a 5 level underground car park. The car park complex will be excavated at no cost to the Council by the former owners of they site, Dartbrook Coal Company. The NSW State Government has already given approval in late August last year to the $57.5 million Dartbrook coal mine extension. This will enable the mine's coal production capacity to increase to 9 million tonnes in 2013 as it enlarges the underground pit for the car park complex

The revolutionary structure of the new International Convention and Exhibition Centre will be unique. A feature will be the absence of windows in the complex. This will conserve heat and eliminate the need to wash coal dust off window panes. To blend in with the local environment all exterior surfaces will be coated in a layer of fine coal dust,  in a process similar to applying a teflon non-stick surface to frying pans. All exterior surfaces will be a black-grey color, which is the new fashion statement color this decade.

To help finance the building of the new International and Convention Exhibition Centre, $4.75 million in funding has been allocated from the State Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Other funding will come from parking meter fees, which will be installed in all street car parking spaces in Muswellbrook, Aberdeen, Merriwa, Moonan, Denman, Scone and Sandy Hollow next week.

The Aberdeen International and Convention Exhibition Centre will be a unique Green Design & Construction to adequately cope with Climate Change. It will feature the longest central vacuum cleaning system in Australia with 115.8km of internal pipeline. The high powered suction created by the generators will mean that only people with sensitive ears will have to wear ear plugs when attending conferences to minimize noise. Smell from waste will be contained in an enclosed mine pit. The first kitchen waste vacuum collection system in Australia will be incorporated in the complex. Kitchen waste will be compressed and vacuum packed before entering the Fast Food outlets in the complex for sale. The Siphonic roof drainage system will be designed for efficient rainwater collection over the 1,960,000 roof area. The 97,000m3 of rainwater in the 19 underground collection pools will be piped into Glenbawn Dam so that it is constantly full.

A name for the new International and Convention Exhibition Centre is yet to be finalised. A consultant was appointed at the weekend for the modest fee of $70,000 to formulate a name that would be recognised world wide. The suggested name is “Up Country International Convention and Exhibition Centre”. This will be backed by the extensive use of slogans to promote the Centre. In areas south of Aberdeen “Up There” will be used to tell tourists and business people where the “Up Country International Convention and Exhibition Centre” is located in Australia, whilst in areas North of Aberdeen “Down There” will be used. “This unique branding will put Aberdeen on the International Map” Upper Hunter Mayor Lee Watts said. "We will be the talking point, not only of Australia, but the world".

Aberdeen Monrail
With thousands of people attending functions, performances, and expos at the International Convention and Exhibition Centre each week, the NSW State Government has announced several strategic transport developments. The F3 Freeway, currently being extended to Branxton, will be further extended to Aberdeen. This will be fast-tracked to coincide with the opening of the International Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2014. The Sydney Monorail will be donated as gift from the Sydney City Council when it is pulled down later this year. It will be rebuilt in Aberdeen, extending from the Aberdeen Town Hall to the Central Transportation Hub of the International Convention and Exhibition Centre. A new high-speed rail, with trains departing every 30 minutes to and from Sydney, will be constructed to replace the existing overgenerous 3 trains each day to and from Sydney.

Further developments about the new International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Aberdeen will be made known when revealed.


  1. Bit flash eh/ for Aberdeen - and they haven't got a proper stand alone medical facility.

    1. This whole article must be a hoax, surely?