Canberra should be a compelling site for large-scale national and international sporting, cultural and professional events. The city’s current infrastructure is insufficient for a national capital and urgently needs upgrading to provide a home suitable for our growing number of professional sporting teams and to attract major touring music acts and large conferences.
Our existing stadium is at the end of its useful life and our convention centre has been operating at capacity for the past decade, preventing growth of the local conference and event sector. These two key pieces of infrastructure are major expenses and should be seen not as costs but, rather, as investments with the potential to transform our CBD and radically uplift the Canberra Region tourism sector. If designed innovatively and with an eye to the future, a new Civic precinct development headlined by a new National Convention Centre and National Multi-Use Arena capable of hosting major sporting and music events can revitalise our city and elevate Canberra’s status on the global stage.
The works to Parkes Way proposed in this plan open up new design possibilities and allow the convention centre and multi-use arena to be constructed within walking distance of each other as part of a larger innovation and entertainment district made possible by the reopening of the city-to-lake corridor. This will maximise the efficiency of both venues, boosting the economic return on the investment in their construction. If closely situated to one another, the two venues will be able to share back-of-house facilities, parking, staffing and even operators, forming a combined precinct that can be serviced by a new suite of hotels, restaurants and bars with substantial surge capacity for when major events come to town. The result will be an utter transformation of our City Centre, creating huge ongoing economic opportunities for local businesses and a major boost in entertainment options for Canberrans.