NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard, today announced a 15,000 square metre temporary exhibition centre will be built at Glebe Island to ensure Sydney retained business during the closure and redevelopment of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre from the end of 2013 to 2016.

The new precinct will be known as Glebe Island Expo, with Infrastructure NSW reportedly soon calling for requests for proposals from companies that can design, build and operate the temporary facility.

Jumping on the story early was the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia which welcomed the announcement.

EEAA general manager Joyce DiMascio said it was good news that Sydney could stay open for business during the rebuilding of the centre at Darling Harbour and the industry looked forward to being fully briefed on the details of the site.

“We are pleased the government is committed to business continuity. Identifying Glebe Island Expo is an important milestone, but even more important now is getting the finer details and speeding up the process as this decision is months overdue,” Ms DiMascio said.

“There are tens of thousands of people whose income is derived through the staging of exhibitions – the benefits also spill over to hotels, hospitality and retail all over the city. Exhibitions and events generate around two million visitors a year to Sydney so are crucial to the economy.

“Glebe Island is close to the city and offers a solution for the Sydney International Boat Show, one of the 65 major events affected by the closure of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is in everybody’s interest to make sure this site works.”