Dec 16, 2009

Construction begins on Katherine Regional Cultural Precinct

Construction begins on Katherine Regional Cultural Precinct

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 16 2009

Residents of Katherine in the Northern Territory today came a step closer to the completion of their new Regional Cultural Precinct with the official commencement of construction works.

Warren Snowdon, Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, and Gerry McCarthy, Northern Territory Minister for Arts and Museums were on hand in Katherine to turn the first sod with Anne Shepherd, Mayor of Katherine Town Council, and Samuel Bush-Blanasi, Deputy Chairman of the Northern Land Council.

Minister for Infrastructure, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, said the Katherine Town Council had received $3 million for the project as part of the Rudd Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan.

Mr McCarthy said that the Northern Territory Government dedicated a further $4 million to the project through the Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts.

The funding will be used to construct a new regional art gallery and outdoor performance centre aimed at encouraging greater social interaction amongst the culturally diverse community.

“The Arts and Cultural Centre will be a pivotal component of the new Regional Cultural Precinct in Katherine, providing a venue for conferences, functions, exhibitions, performing arts and expos,” Mr Snowdon said.

Mr McCarthy said that the precinct will attract high quality productions and encourage visitors to the area while also developing a strong cultural focal point for the Katherine community.

“It will draw the town together and celebrate its struggles and successes.”

“I’m told that 100 jobs will be created during the construction of this project and 5 ongoing local jobs will be created once the project is completed,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr Albanese said that in partnership with every council in the country the Rudd Labor Government is delivering more than 3,300 small and larger scale building projects like this one, including new and refurbished public libraries, sporting facilities, parks and playgrounds, and child care centres.

“In fact, we’re making the single largest federal investment in community infrastructure through the more than $1 billion Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr McCarthy and Mr Snowdon acknowledged the further contribution of $800,000 by the Katherine Town Council and congratulated the Council and the local community for getting behind this important project.