International Convention Centre Sydney update

Spice caught up with International Convention Centre (ICC) CEO Geoff Donaghy to find out how things are progressing.

ICC Sydney Hero Convention-5MG

Spice caught up with International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) CEO Geoff Donaghy to get a progress report.

Did you know that the new ICC Sydney will be almost 50 per cent bigger than than old Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre? Did you also know that its 8000-seat theatre will replace the Sydney Entertainment Centre that will close at the end of 2015?

There’s plenty to know about this $1 billion project so read on for a summary of where things are up to and what some of the key features are.


  • More than 16,000 tonnes of steel and 110,000 tonnes of concrete removed from site, exceeding the recycling target of 90 per cent of the demolition materials.
  • More than 32,000 cubic metres of concrete have been poured to date, more than 30% of the total.
  • Piling for new buildings is now complete with over 1,500 piles created, and concrete structural works are well underway with seven tower cranes in operation, the largest of which can lift 20 tonnes at 90 metres.


  • ICC Sydney is registered to the internationally recognised LEED® green building certification program (LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and is set to achieve a Gold Certification.
  • ICC Sydney is expected to operate with optimal resource efficiency because of smart, design strategies integrated with cost efficient and renewable technologies.
  • Rainwater harvesting and reuse plus additional hydraulic design aim to reduce potable water use by 14% compared to Australian standards; and a centralised main plant is expected to save 20% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the Building Code of Australia standard.
  • ICC Sydney will also be home to Australia’s first community funded PV array in a CBD, generating 545MWhr of power per year.

Economic benefits:

  • 20 major global business events for ICC Sydney with an estimated economic benefit to the State of $150m have been confirmed including The International Association of Restructuring Insolvency Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL) World Quadrennial Congress 2017, The International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference 2017, International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation (ICC WCF) World Chambers Congress in 2017, World Accountants Congress 2018 and Sibos 2018, which alone will bring 6,000 delegates to Sydney and is expected to generate $50 million for the NSW economy.
  • ICC Sydney is a AUD 1.1 billion project.
  • The centrepiece of the NSW Government’s $3 billion transformation of Darling Harbour, which was initiated to cement Sydney’s position as the Asia Pacific’s premium major events destination.
  • 20-hectare site including a luxury headquarters hotel, reinvigorated and new public spaces, new pedestrian connections and a cosmopolitan city neighbourhood.
  • Once operational, ICC Sydney will employ more than 300 full time and up to 1,500 casual staff all of whom will undergo an intensive training schedule prior to opening.

Precinct features:

  • Ideally positioned in the heart of the city in a harbour front setting
  • ICC Sydney will open adjacent to a new global financial services hub, burgeoning media and technology sectors in neighbouring suburbs, an emerging Knowledge Valley plus more students and start-ups born of neighbouring universities and colleges at its door step.
  • Just 8km from international and domestic airports

Key venue features:

  • Convention facilities will be capable of holding three fully separated, self-sufficient, concurrent events across.
  • In addition to a large 8,000 seat theatre, ICC Sydney features 2,500 delegate tiered plenary theatre, 1,000 delegate tiered plenary theatre
    and 800 delegate flat floor plenary area.
  • Premium banqueting space for more than 2,000 people will become Australia’s largest ballroom. The ballroom will cater to 3,500 people in cocktail mode.
  • Total exhibition capacity of 35,000 square metres, including 2,500 square metres of multipurpose space.
  • An open air event deck of 5,000 sqm includes a bar and lounge featuring spectacular city views.
  • Adjacent luxury headquarters hotel with 600 rooms.
  • World’s best practice technology will include high bandwidth, venue-wide wireless connectivity, GPS way finding, dynamic and interactive HD digital signage.
  • ICC Sydney will offer world class quality, presentation and delivery of its exclusive food and beverage catering for all events held across the venue. With a focus on local providores, the team is committed to delivering superior quality at a competitive price.
  • From basic data projection to full project management, custom set builds and larger than life screens, ICC Sydney’s event production department will oversee the integration and implementation of all events.
  • 8,000 square metres of total meeting room space across more than 70 rooms that link to both the convention and exhibition areas.
  • ICC Sydney has a red carpet arrival area and purpose built registration zones as well as a dedicated VIP suite, speaker preparation rooms and business suites.
  • Internal access to all facilities across the venue is complemented by a diversity of access points into the venue.
  • A renewed and upgraded public domain, with outdoor event space for up to 27,000 people and improved pedestrian access from Chinatown, Central Station, Ultimo, Pyrmont and the city centre.

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