The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is open again for business after months of closure due to the pandemic, in what will be a boon for the tourism and event sectors.
Queensland Treasurer, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and the Minister responsible for BCEC Cameron Dick said part of the Queensland Government economic recovery strategy, Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, the Palaszczuk Government is focussed on getting as many Queenslanders back to work as soon as possible.
“Keeping Queenslanders in jobs is vital as we deal with the worldwide economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
“While the pandemic continues to accelerate globally, with more than 50 000 cases overnight in the US, and more than 9 trillion dollars forecast to be wiped off global economy this year, government remains resolutely focused on doing whatever we can to get Queenslanders back to work.
“The BCEC has 207 permanent staff, and up to 550 casual staff who are hired for events, so it’s really pleasing to know that over coming weeks and months, we’ll be seeing workers and visitors return to this job-generating venue.
“Events will kick off in August, which is another positive step forward to help deliver Queensland’s plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs as we move forward towards economic recovery, off the back of strong health response.”
Mr Dick said all Queenslanders had a right to be proud of this achievement.
“Only a few months ago, the Convention Centre was being considered as an emergency overflow venue if required during the pandemic, so it’s really down to the hard work of Queenslanders that the centre is reopening so quickly.
The Treasurer said BCEC had received approval from Queensland Health to resume operations under the Centre’s Site Specific COVID Safe Plan.
“We also need to ensure that we’re looking after the health and safety of people and ASM Global, together with the Palaszczuk Government and health authorities, have developed a plan that covers all areas of the Centre’s operation and is underpinned by hygiene, health and safety protocols of the highest standards.
“The sheer size of the venue enables the physical distancing requirements that are currently required as part of the mitigation measures against COVID-19.”
BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe AM said it’s yet another sign of green shoots in the recovery of the economy for the locals.
“We are looking forward to welcoming events back to the Centre and doing what we do best, attracting much sought after and high yield business events to Brisbane and Queensland,” Mr O’Keeffe AM said.
“We are receiving enquiries every day and have hundreds of bookings already over coming months.”
The BCEC is managed by ASM Global on behalf of South Bank Corporation, and CEO Professor Bill Delves said the BCEC was one of the jewels in the crown of the South Bank Precinct.
“The BCEC is a vital part of our South Bank precinct, offering a world-class centre for events, while enabling its visitors to also enjoy one of the prime entertainment and recreation destinations in Brisbane,” Professor Delves said.
During 2018-19 FY the Centre provided an economic benefit of $300 million to the State’s economy with 1158 events attended by 816,953 visitors.