Yesterday the Palaszczuk Government announced a commitment of $8 million over a span of two years with plans of supporting a new art gallery in Rockhampton. The project is set to be a major part of the ‘changing face of Rockhampton’, and generate jobs within various commercial and creative fields.
“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 enthusiastically on the matter.
The Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch, said that the ‘$8 million budget allocation shadowed a $2 million investment in 2017-18 towards initial planning for the Rockhampton Art Gallery relocation. The plans to relocate the current gallery to become a part of the new cultural hub means the Rockhampton Art Gallery will be a front and centre in the Rockhampton’s changing landscape’. A new home for the art gallery is set to provide additional exhibition and public programming space, expanded commercial areas and greater amenities/storage space.
“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,” the Minister 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.”
The new cultural hub is also set to deliver significant benefits to the surrounding community. Member for Rockhampton, Barry O’Rourke is well acquainted with the role that the art gallery has played in the story of their city.
“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.
“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,” said O’Rourke in a statement. Along with this news, the new gallery is also set to deliver a comprehensive program of events, with hopes to become an active and vibrant space for local community and visitors to enjoy.
“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,” said Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga.