THE economic and social value of the Cairns Performing Arts Centre has been recognised today with news that the project has secured $10 million under Round 3 of the Federal Coalition Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch congratulated Mayor Bob Manning and Cairns Regional Council on the strength of their application, which clearly articulated CPAC’s social and economic benefits for the region.
“I advocated very strongly for this project because as a long-time supporter of regional arts, I know that a healthy, vibrant arts sector is critical if we want more people to live and work in Northern Australia,” Mr Entsch said.
“This is a very good result for the Far North, considering it was such a hotly contested funding round with many more applications submitted than there were funds available.”
The Cairns Performing Arts Centre will be a purpose-built space that will dramatically improve the facilities available for performers, artists, patrons and community events for the next 50 years.
“The all-round benefits will be substantial because as a city, we’ll be able to host more high-quality productions, attracting visitors from further afield as well as giving Far Northerners the chance to enjoy local, national and international events,” Mr Entsch said.
“We’re already seeing local contractors being employed during the construction phase and there will be more opportunities for local jobs and indigenous training and employment during the operational phase.
“Our commitment today of $10 million also ensures the Queensland Government’s commitment of $15 million is locked in, providing certainty for Council as they work to complete construction on the CPAC by early 2018.”
Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the local projects funded under NSRF Round 3 would make a huge difference in their communities.
“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and quality local infrastructure is a big part of that,” Minister Nash said.
“Whether it’s cultural and healthcare facilities, tourism infrastructure or a great sports precinct, I’m proud to be delivering to Far North Queensland.
“Some 479 applications were lodged under Round 3 – only the very best were successful.”
A full list of successful round three National Stronger Regions Fund projects will be available on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website on Friday, 7 October at www.infrastructure.gov.au