Jul 7, 2010

Gillard Labor Government to invest in Cairns’ future

Gillard Labor Government to invest in Cairns’ future

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

July 7 2010

The Gillard Labor Government has thrown its support behind a world class cultural precinct for Cairns, pledging up to $40 million over two years to help fund the construction of a performing arts centre.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said a new, modern performing arts centre would help breathe new life into the region’s economy, deliver a shot in the arm of the local tourism industry and reinvigorate the City’s cultural life.

“In partnership with the Council and the Queensland Government, we’re determined to put Far North Queensland on the map as a cultural destination and add to the enjoyment visitors to the region already experience,” said Mr Albanese.

“Equally, this project would be a great example of our Economic Stimulus Plan at work creating economic activity in a region particularly hard hit by last year’s global recession and still enduring an unemployment rate twice the national figure.

“This announcement of Federal funding is a tribute to the strong and persistent representations from local MP Jim Turnour. In less than three years, Jim has developed a reputation in Canberra as a fierce advocate for this beautiful part of Australia.”

Leichhardt MP Jim Turnour said: “I am determined to develop Cairns as Australia’s premier tropical city. This requires first class services and facilities and Cairns is in desperate need of a new performing arts centre.

“The Cairns Civic Theatre is too small, out dated and run down. It isn’t a fitting performing arts facility for a modern city like Cairns particularly as one of the nations top tourism destinations.

“A new regional performing arts centre is the priority and should be the first stage in the development of the cultural precinct.”

The Infrastructure Department will continue working with the Cairns Regional Council to finalise the business case and detailed funding proposal needed before any Federal funding can be released.

The proposed multimillion dollar performing arts centre is an essential part of the Council’s larger, longer term vision of a Cultural Precinct which would also house a museum, regional arts centre, public plaza and cruise ship terminal – a vision with the potential to inject $30 million into the region’s economy each year.