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Premier must explain stance on gallery funds

Friday, 11 February 2011

On his first visit to Bendigo as Premier Ted Baillieu will have the opportunity to get up to speed on the Bendigo Art Gallery's major upgrade that he previously refused to support.

"During last year's election the Labor Government provided $3.8m towards an expansion of Bendigo's Art Gallery."

"These funds were never supported by the Liberal-National Coalition."

"I am sure tonight, the Premier will see for himself just how important it is to support Australia's leading regional art gallery."

"Labor backed the $7.5m major expansion to Bendigo's Art Gallery in partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo. We made this commitment because the Gallery is a vibrant cultural facility that attracts visitors that in turn creates jobs for Bendigo."

"During the campaign, Labor's funds and the Gallery upgrade were ‘dismissed' by the Liberal representative in Bendigo East." (see attached article).

"The Premier and his party refused to back the Art Gallery's expansion."

"Tonight is an opportunity for the Premier to explain to Bendigo if he now supports a project that will bring many jobs and tourists to our city," Ms Allan said.

Bendigo Art Gallery to get $7.5m facelift
LAUREN HENRY
17 Nov, 2010 04:00 AM

BENDIGO Art Gallery will undergo a $7.55 million upgrade, complete with a new exhibition building, gallery space with moveable walls and a gallery entrance.

The state government has already guaranteed $3.8 million for the project, adding to the City of Greater Bendigo's $3.325 million, and $450,000 from philanthropic contributions.

Labor Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan announced yesterday that the state government would also commit $2.1 million towards the construction of a 900-seat community theatre at the old jail - adding to $8 million announced in the May budget for Bendigo Senior Secondary College's performing arts centre.

The City of Greater Bendigo, which in conjunction with the college will manage the proposed new theatre, will pursue further federal government funding for the estimated $21 million project.

City of Greater Bendigo councillor and Bendigo Art Gallery board member Rod Fyffe said the art gallery expansion was stage two of an overall vision for the arts precinct.

The upgrades include a major extension to the rear of the gallery; construction of a collection storage space; a new loading dock and exhibition management zone; expansion and refurbishment of the existing entrance building to include a new entrance and ticketing hall, an altered gallery entrance and modifications to the gallery reception and gallery shop areas.

Cr Fyffe said the upgrade was a key project for Bendigo and would foster culture and economic development in the city.

Ms Allan said the project would drive new jobs and transform the View Street precinct into a national regional arts hub. But Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Michael Langdon dismissed the art gallery upgrades. "While providing money for the art gallery will be welcome by many, I believe my proposals, including investing $2 million into Eaglehawk Primary, building a $630 million world-class Bendigo Hospital with an integrated cancer centre on one site and increasing local police more than stack up,'' he said.

Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum questioned the new theatre's proposed location and how much the community had been consulted on changing the venue for the theatre from The Capital to the college.

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