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State budget creates solid platform for arts and culture

The Palaszczuk Government is investing in the long-term future of the arts sector, with $183.3 million in new funding being allocated to build and maintain vital arts infrastructure and deliver initiatives in Queensland.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was working hard to secure a strong future for the arts.

“This budget recognises the critical role infrastructure plays in the cultural vibrancy of the state,” Minister Enoch said.

“The budget provides an infrastructure investment of $145.75 million to the Queensland Cultural Centre, which will go a long way to supporting one of our greatest assets that attracted 6.5 million visitors in 2016-17.

“As part of this investment, we have committed $125 million over four years towards a new theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and $20.75 million to go towards maintaining essential services and infrastructure, and introducing sustainability initiatives across the Cultural Centre.

“The budget will also provide QPAC with a funding uplift of $8 million over four years to lead a Queensland-wide approach to develop and deliver digital arts content to regional arts venues, schools and homes.

“This means QPAC’s simulcasts of exclusive productions will continue to engage audiences across the state to broaden the reach and enhance access to QPAC’s offerings.”

Minister Enoch said the Budget also included more funding for exclusive events and exhibitions that are major tourism drawcards.

“Blockbusters at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) will continue with a $6 million top up over two years from 2020-21 to 2021-22,” she said

“This funding has already delivered strong cultural and economic outcomes, with last year’s Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe exhibition attracting a record breaking 269,000 visitors.

“This helped the Gallery achieve a record year of more than 2.17 million attendances in 2017.”

The Palaszczuk Government will also continue to focus on connecting young Queenslanders with reading, with an annual commitment of $5 million to continue the statewide First 5 Forever initiative.

“We are making an ongoing commitment to continue First 5 Forever to provide direct support to Queensland families and primary caregivers in building a literary foundation for children aged 5 and under,” Ms Enoch said.

The Government is also investing $8 14 million to support Queensland Ballet’s redevelopment of its home at the Thomas Dixon Centre, which will enable the company to realise its growth ambitions.

Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was also committing $8 million over two years to support Rockhampton Regional Council’s plans for a new $31.5 million art gallery, with this funding subject to the confirmation of a $10 million contribution by the Federal Government.

“This investment follows an allocation of $2 million in the 2017-18 State Budget to support Council develop its plans for the gallery,” Ms Enoch said.

“In addition, we are also investing $15 million towards the new Cairns Regional Council’s Cairns Performing Arts Centre over two years from 2017-18.”

Ms Enoch said the new budget commitments bolstered the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing investment in arts and cultural experiences that captivate audiences across the state.

Over the forward estimates, the Queensland Government will also continue to invest $162.3 million into the arts sector including contestable funding programs such as the Queensland Arts Showcase Program, the Backing Indigenous Arts initiative and Playing Queensland Fund, support for major festivals, and our state’s four home companies.”