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Palaszczuk Government funds new cultural hub for Rockhampton

The Palaszczuk Government today announced a commitment of $8 million over two years to support a new art gallery in Rockhampton.

“Rockhampton’s art collection is one of the best in the world and it deserves a world class gallery that will attract art lovers from all over the world,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said that the project was part of the changing face of Rockhampton.

“The plans to relocate the Gallery to become part of a new cultural hub in the Rockhampton CBD means the Gallery will be front and centre in a changing cityscape,” Ms Trad said.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the $8 million budget allocation followed a $2 million investment in 2017-18 towards initial planning for the Rockhampton Art Gallery relocation.

“We strongly support the plans to relocate the Gallery as part of a broader strategy to revitalise the city centre and provide opportunities for local businesses,” she said.

“I now call on the Federal Government to support the growth of one of Australia’s leading regional galleries, with this new State funding subject to the confirmation of a $10 million contribution from the Commonwealth.”

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said a new cultural hub would deliver significant benefits to the Rockhampton community.

“This is a key infrastructure project that will grow the local arts sector, generate jobs for artists, arts workers and the local construction industry and attract more tourism expenditure in the region,” he said.

Mr O’Rourke said the Rockhampton Art Gallery played a leading role in the story of the city for more than half a century. 

“The successful and well-loved Rockhampton Art Gallery is the only regional gallery in Australia to hold a representative collection of the 'greats' of the Australian modern and contemporary periods with work from artists John Brack, Arthur Boyd, Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan, Jeffrey Smart and Margaret Olley.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the Gallery also delivered a comprehensive program of events.

“This is an active, vibrant and inclusive space for the local community and visitors to enjoy,” she said.

“A new home for the Gallery means more exhibition and public programming space, expanded commercial areas and amenities and more storage and loading space.

“The Palaszczuk Government is working hard to ensure a strong future for the arts and this investment recognises the critical role arts infrastructure plays in the cultural vibrancy of Queensland.”