First sod turned on Gippsland Arts Centre

Media Release

FN050/2017

03 April 2017

Joint release with:

Russell Broadbent

Federal Member for McMillan

Jaala Pulford

State Member for Western Victoria

  • First sod turned on West Gippsland Arts Centre upgrade.
  • Upgrade will attract new events and tourists.
  • Centre will create new local jobs.

The first sod has been turned on the West Gippsland Arts Centre upgrade, with the project set to create new local jobs and increase tourism.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the $13.4 million investment would mean bigger and better shows for the local area.

“I aim to build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, a high-quality centre for performing arts does just that,” Minister Nash said.

“This project is expected to create 160 direct jobs during construction, along with another 21 ongoing jobs, which is a great outcome for the region.”

Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent said the extensive upgrades would provide a great stopping point for tourists visiting the region.

“The upgrades will include a café, upgraded theatre capacity, and an increased ability to hold major conferences, business and community events,” Mr Broadbent said.

“This region has a lot to offer and I am keen to see visitors take advantage of what this facility has to offer, including the ability to host major events.”

“It's great to see the number of jobs created already and I am looking forward to its completion in mid-2018.”

Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said the upgraded facility would put Gippsland on the map as a cultural tourist destination.

"This is about putting West Gippsland on the world stage."
"The West Gippsland Arts Centre Redevelopment Project will help promote Warragul as a performing arts destination, increase visitation, and create jobs," Ms Pulford said.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Council Joe Gauci said he was delighted to see all three levels of government working together to support the community.

“This project is something that we are really passionate about and have been advocating for the last 18 months, so to see the site fencing in place and the start of the construction works is an exciting thing,” Cr Gauci said.

“Next year when the project has reached completion and the centre is reopened, bigger acts will be able to take centre stage at a first-rate facility and perform to a larger audience making this a really great tourist destination.

“Baw Baw Shire is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Victoria and this upgrade project will ensure this regional gem is brought to its full potential for our community to enjoy into the future.”

The Coalition Government committed $4 million toward the project, with the Victorian Government ($4 million) and Baw Baw Shire Council ($5.4 million) funding the remainder.