NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner announced today that construction has begun at Sydney’s world-class convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct - called the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney – a project that is part of a $2.5 billion redevelopment of Darling Harbour which will create thousands of jobs.
Mr Baird and Mr Stoner also announced a time-capsule will be buried on site, containing a range of artefacts and information about the history of Darling Harbour.
“Today marks the start of construction on the largest fully-integrated convention and exhibition facilities in Australia, and over the next two years an intensive construction schedule will be undertaken to deliver the project by the end of 2016.
“The construction of the new $1 billion convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities is part of a larger $2.5 billion redevelopment – the Darling Harbour Live project.
“The site will be swarming with excavators and bulldozers and up to 12 cranes will dot the city skyline as work swings into full gear.
“At the peak of construction, there will be more than 1,200 workers on site, and at least 50 apprentices will work on the project over the duration providing an attractive opportunity for vocational training.
“In total the project will provide 3,700 jobs during construction and a further 4,000 jobs on completion.
“Once completed the new world-class convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities will ensure Sydney remains the first choice in Australia and the Asia Pacific for the lucrative business events industry,” he said.
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said Darling Harbour’s 20-hectare renewal, together with Barangaroo’s bold $6 billion redevelopment, the $1.6 billion Sydney Light Rail program, and the pedestrian precinct at The Goods Line, will completely reinvigorate the western flank of the city.
“The transformation of Darling Harbour alone will provide a boost to the State’s economy, with an estimated $5 billion to be generated in economic benefit during the next 25 years,” Mr Stoner said.
“The creation of thousands of jobs during construction and thousands more once the project is complete will provide a significant boost to the economy.
“While the revitalisation of Darling Harbour is underway, Sydney will continue to play host to a range of major conventions.
“Up to 20,000 delegates from more than 150 countries will attend the 105th Rotary International Convention which begins this weekend at Sydney Olympic Park.
“The Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island will also hold many of the city’s annual events and exhibitions, ensuring Sydney remains open for business.
“Darling Harbour will continue make a positive contribution to the State’s visitor economy, with the NSW Government working with local businesses to ensure a wide range of exciting and engaging events continue to attract visitors to the area while construction is underway,” he said.
Mr Stoner said the transformation of Darling Harbour would pay respect to the area’s rich history.
“As we herald in the next chapter in Darling Harbour’s story, we have been mindful to keep the history of the precinct’s continual evolution alive for future generations by dedicating a time capsule,” Mr Stoner said.
“The time capsule contains mementos, video, imagery and information about Darling Harbour on the cusp of its biggest change in 25 years.
“From its Indigenous heritage, early colonial years, industrial use as a goods yard, railway node and port to its revival as an events and entertainment destination, Darling Harbour has always been a place for people and a centre of innovation.
“The $2.5 billion Darling Harbour Live redevelopment will build on that legacy with state-of-the-art major events venues, a new city neighbourhood, as well as new open public spaces, water features and improved pedestrian connections into this much loved part of Sydney,” he said.