Construction has begun at the world-class International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney, part of a $2.5 billion redevelopment of Darling Harbour.

NSW premier Mike Baird and deputy premier Andrew Stoner announced the start of construction this week on what is set to be the largest, fully-integrated convention and exhibition facilities in Australia.

Baird - Stoner

NSW premier Mike Baird and deputy premier Andrew Stoner at the ICC Sydney site

“Over the next two years an intensive construction schedule will be undertaken to deliver the project by the end of 2016,” Mr Baird said.

“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.

“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.

“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, and that a time-capsule will be buried onsite, containing a range of artefacts and information about the history of Darling Harbour.

“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.