The COVID-19 situation meant Councillors, Directors and other senior management were unable to meet in Council Chambers, due to social distancing requirements. It was the first time in living memory, since Council was established in 1869, that it has been unable to meet in its official Chambers forum.
The extensive venues available at the MECC offered the perfect solution. The combined 333 square metre space provided by the MECC’s four meeting rooms delivered a large flexible area in which the Council meeting was set up, with the Mayor Greg Williamson and a Councillor colleague actually pacing out the room to ensure it not only met but exceeded the distancing requirements.
Also highlighting the MECC’s technological capacity, the meeting was livestreamed on the MRC website, on YouTube as well as Facebook, due to the general public being unable to attend in person to view proceedings, as well as friends and family witness the swearing-in of new Councillors It is anticipated that Council meetings will continue to be staged at the MECC for the foreseeable future.
Andrew Bobeldyk, manager, MECC and Events said the convention centre was pleased to provide Council with the socially-distanced venue it required and also assist with the technology requirements.
“In the absence of our usual conference, exhibition and theatre events, the MECC team was delighted to swing into action to set up the venue and deliver it to those viewing via the various channels. With strong forward bookings for 2020 and 2021, we’re looking forward to welcoming conference clients back to the MECC, many of whom are multiple-repeat clients and have subsequently become the MECC’s firm friends. We wish them and their families all the very best of good health as we await more buoyant times.”
The purpose-built MECC is the largest banqueting and convention facility between Brisbane and Cairns. It incorporates a 1090-seat auditorium and two plenary halls, with capacity to seat 1500 delegates theatre-style or 800 guests banquet style. Four meeting rooms, a 100-seat studio space, two foyers, and a selection of break-out rooms complete the picture. The centre sits within a dedicated precinct which includes the contemporary Artspace regional art gallery and expansive Civic Lawns.