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Community information session

Come along and learn more about the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre Project.

Join the project team to hear about the vision, design, construction progress and ask any questions you might have.

Register by emailing


Funded by the Geelong City Deal, the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre precinct will include the construction of the purpose-built convention and exhibition space, incorporating a 1000 seat venue, two large exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, conference facilities and flexible event spaces.

The precinct will also be home to retail spaces for food and beverage offerings, a large public plaza that promises to become a feature of the Geelong waterfront and a 200-room Crown Plaza hotel.

Plenary Conventions has been appointed to develop the project and will soon start on what will be one of the biggest developments in regional Victoria.

The Plenary Conventions consortium will transform the 1.6-hectare waterfront car parking site into a precinct that welcomes locals and visitors alike as part of the Public Private Partnership. The consortium comprises Plenary Group as sponsor and investor as well as hotel and commercial office developer, Built as builder, Woods Bagot as architect, BGIS as facilities management services contractor and Quintessential Equity as commercial office developer.

Early works, including site establishment and preparation will start on site in August 2023. Full construction work will start in late 2023, once all approvals are obtained.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust will operate the Centre once complete. 

The Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre will support 600 jobs during construction and an additional 270 ongoing jobs once the precinct is complete. The hotel will further boost employment opportunities and strengthen the region’s visitor economy.

The Victorian Government is contributing $261 million to the project, with the Australian Government contributing $30 million and $3 million from the City of Greater Geelong – bringing the total commitment to $294 million.

Development Victoria is pleased to be involved with this exciting regional project that will create hundreds of jobs during construction and ongoing jobs when complete.

3,700 sqm event space

600 jobs during construction

270 ongoing jobs


Development Victoria acknowledges the Wadawurrung people as the Traditional Custodians of the land.

Who to contact about this project

Local businesses and suppliers can register their interest through the Industry Capability Network (ICN) Gateway.

For all other enquiries email

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Archaeological Works commencing on site

Public Notice 14/3/22

We will soon commence further archaeological investigation works on the Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre site located between Western Beach Road and Smythe Streets in central Geelong. 

Under the recently approved Cultural Heritage Management Plan and with approval from Heritage Victoria and the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, we are ready to begin the works to look for further indigenous and post-colonial artefacts.

The works are scheduled to start on 20 March 2023 and are estimated to be complete by the end of April 2023, depending on the nature of any findings.

The scope of the works includes continuation of investigative works at the existing ramp leading to Cavendish Street, the excavation of several large pits (25m x 25m) and a number of long trenches (1m x 20m). 

We are looking to maintain as much carparking as we can on site during this time, and some alternative arrangements have been put in place which Deakin University will communicate to its staff and students.

Our team will work to ensure that the site is well-maintained and safe throughout the works period.

More substantive works are expected to begin on site in mid-2023, following the appointment of a preferred bidder.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the works, please do not hesitate to contact us at

About the project

There are 5 key objectives that guide the project team throughout all project stages, from design to construction.

Objective 1.

Position the Precinct as Victoria’s premium regional convention, exhibition and events destination

Deliver a high-quality convention and event facility and hotel which has appropriate flexibility, adaptability and accessibility to attract and accommodate the broadest possible range of events and attendees.

Objective 2.

Revitalise central Geelong

Contribute to the revitalisation of central Geelong by activating the entire precinct through the coordinated master planning, delivery and operation of the convention and exhibition centre facility, public realm and other uses of the Site, and providing the catalyst for other development and public realm enhancements around the Site.

Objective 3. 

Drive the region’s visitor and knowledge economies

Maximise direct and indirect economic benefit by attracting and enhancing business and tourism activity in Geelong and the south-west region of Victoria and complementing and building upon the existing cultural offering within the region.

Objective 4. 

Enhance Geelong’s position as a City of DesignEnhance Geelong’s position as a UNESCO City of Design through excellence in design and sustainability initiatives across the precinct.

Including, achieving excellent design and exemplar sustainability outcomes and a design outcome that recognises the indigenous heritage of the Wadawurrung and appropriately celebrates their enduring influence over the Site and surrounds.

Objective 5. 

Create and capture value

Deliver a facility and precinct by creating, capturing and reinvesting value in the project.

Including, achieving excellent value for money in the construction and efficient and sustainable operation of the facility, and creating and capturing value from complementary activities for the benefit of the Centre facility and enhanced precinct outcomes.

From 2026, a mixed-use tower is to be developed on the site bounded by Cavendish and Smythe Streets. This is intended to include office accommodation and supporting retail elements.

All development will comply with the Central Geelong Framework Plan.

Preliminary works including geotechnical investigations, started in early 2022 and continue through 2023.  

Early works including site establishment and preparation, will start in August 2023, with full construction expected to start in late 2023, after all approvals are obtained.  We expect to see the first event hosted in 2026.


Yes. The precinct development is being delivered in partnership with the private sector. This model is the best way to achieve the best outcomes for the entire precinct which forms an integral part in revitalising central Geelong under the Geelong City Deal.

The model incentivises architectural design excellence for the precinct and it will also facilitate the timely and concurrent delivery of a hotel, capturing greatest possible public value for the government’s investment.


The design will seek to adhere to the following overarching principles:

  • Reflect ‘Geelong’ civic style – unique and beautiful
  • Flexible, multi-functional facility capable of hosting a wide range of events
  • Celebrate views across Corio Bay to Wurdi Youang (You Yangs)
  • Celebrate and protect the site’s Wadawurrung cultural heritage
  • Activate all four street frontages
  • Achieve north-south permeability through the site and enhance connectivity
  • Integrate with the surrounding site context
  • Provide exemplar patron safety, comfort and amenity
  • Minimise trucks and traffic on Western Beach Road and Gheringhap Street
  • Maximise sustainability and accessibility outcomes

The preferred bidder designs, which were unveiled in July 2023, can be viewed on this project webpage.

The Plenary Conventions consortia which the State selected to be the preferred bidder through the procurement process is continuing to develop the design detail. The design will be subject to the approval of the Minister for Planning.

The buildings within the precinct development will vary in height and accord with an approved Incorporated Document (No. S 351) which mirrors the controls of the Central Geelong Framework Plan. The Framework Plan sets out the planning controls for the built form in central Geelong, including building heights, overshadowing requirements and building setbacks.

  1. The Nyaal Banyul convention and event centre building is proposed to be 28 metres tall.
  2. The hotel, proposed to be located in the south-eastern corner of the site, will reach a height of 42 metres.
  3. The office tower, proposed to be located in the southwestern corner of the site, is proposed to be 60 metres tall.

Universal access principles have been a key part of the functional requirements for the project. Despite the slope across the site, the public realm maximises the use of ramps incorporated into landscaped elements complemented by stairs which double as informal seating and respite opportunities. The internal organisation of the facility is welcoming and accessible to all users.

The precinct will be a climate positive project and the Centre aims to be the Southern Hemisphere's most healthy Convention Centre (WELL Health Safety Rating). The centre aims to be Australia's most circular building exceeding benchmarks and policy targets for Victoria's circular economy.

The Precinct comprises many intertwined layers of history including thousands of years of Indigenous settlement, post-colonial surveys and subdivisions, wool warehouses, businesses premises and housing.

The project has sought to recognise all elements of this rich and varied history and to recognise Waverly House through means other than retention, such as a digital interpretation and potential re-use of materials on-site.

Waverly House is proposed to be removed as part of the development to enable the public plaza to be located as the key north-eastern entrance to the site for a seamless link with the Geelong waterfront. The public plaza will be an important community asset and will be used year-round for informal gatherings, public events, and cultural celebrations.

The proposed designs for the Geelong Convention and Event Centre precinct remain subject to planning approval.

Yes. The designs require approval by the Minister for Planning.

For more detailed information on this process, you can visit the Revitalising Central Geelong webpage.

Community Input

The Geelong community have been the biggest advocates for this project. The precinct development responds to the demand for events in this region and will create jobs and stimulate the economy for decades to come.

The project team consulted with the community in 2022 to help finalise the project’s objectives and inform the preparation of the request for proposal (RFP) documentation issued to the shortlisted consortia of developers, designers and builders in October 2022.

Please visit Engage Victoria to view a summary of the key findings.

There will be further opportunities for the community to learn more about the project now that the preferred tenderer has been announced and designs revealed. More details of these opportunities will be released as the project progresses.

Parking and Transport

The agreement between Deakin University and the Victorian Government will enable Deakin to move forward with the construction of a multi-deck car park facility on land opposite the site, which is intended to provide parking for Deakin staff and students. This is expected to be completed in late 2023.

The precinct will support multi-modal transport, noting the proximity (400m) of the site to Geelong Train Station, a significant number of Geelong bus routes and central Geelong’s current and proposed main active transport routes. A carpark will be included in the final design to fulfil the requirements of the Central Geelong Framework Plan to provide car parking for the Centre, the hotel and any other elements of the precinct. It is likely that some of this parking will be available as public parking.

Future operations

The Victorian Government will operate the centre. This will ensure that it can leverage its investments to attract the widest range of conventions, exhibitions, and events to Victoria. The State-owned Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET), which manages the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, will bring its expertise in drawing guests from across Australia and around the globe to Geelong. MCET will work closely with the existing Geelong and regional business events network to engage with local supply chains as much as possible.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust is working closely with the government project team to provide input and expert advice into the planning, design, development, and future operation of the Centre.

Geelong will have a dedicated, locally based management team along with event delivery teams, including opportunities for permanent, part-time and casual employees. The Victorian Government estimates the operation of the centre and activation of the precinct is expected to create 270 ongoing jobs.

Once built, the Centre may host a range of events, ranging from large scale corporate functions to international music and theatre, trade shows and public exhibitions.

Economy and jobs

Nationally, business events contribute around $36 billion to Australia’s economy, about $12 billion of which is in Victoria. In 2019, MCEC alone contributed $1.1 billion to Victoria’s economy. It is anticipated precinct will generate millions in economic benefit to the region.

Each event at the centre will benefit local hoteliers, event organisers, food providores, catering, cleaning and security staff, technicians, logistics and transport operators and more.

As the project is in the early stages, specific staffing requirements are not yet known. Once this is known, positions for the centre will be advertised. Future positions and expressions of interest will be advertised via Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Careers.

Local suppliers interested in participating in the construction of the precinct should register an Expression of Interest.

Updated on 22 September 2023