Ipswich's $68m centre will deliver 'significant benefits'
THE ECONOMIC and social benefits of the $68million convention and exhibition centre at the Ipswich Showgrounds are set to be immense.
Stage one got a boost when One Nation leader, Senator Pauline Hanson, handed over an $8.9million cheque courtesy of Treasury. Ipswich Show Society vice-president Darren Zanow said the economic impact report was impressive.
"The nett present value analysis suggests substantial net benefits of approximately $83.8million flowing from the proposed convention and exhibition centre, with a benefit-to-cost ratio of 1.94 and an internal rate of return of 20 %," he said.
"This indicates the project offers significant social benefits well in excess of costs."
Mr Zanow said the centre would promote regional economic growth, supported by Ipswich becoming a competitive location to host major regional and state conferences and business events.
"It will increase economic productivity and capacity, measured in the number of visitors and economic value that is brought to Ipswich when hosting large scale conferences, business and community events," he said.
Mr Zanow said the "additional flow-on business and employment in local amenities and services that cater to an increase in visitors and long-term sustainable tourism". On the subject of partnerships, Mr Zanow said the redevelopment of the showgrounds would "facilitate new partnerships with schools, universities, community organisations and other local institutions to fulfil similar strategic objectives for alleviating social, economic and health related inequities that contribute to disadvantage".
The multi-use nature of the of the centre would also significantly improve Ipswich's disaster management and evacuation capabilities. "That is especially once the master plan is completed and existing facilities are integrated with the convention and exhibition centre," Mr Zanow said.