Toowoomba arts get a boost

Media Release


08 September 2014

Joint release with:

Ian Macfarlane

Federal Member for Groom

Paul Antonio

Mayor of Toowoomba City Council

Located in the heart of Toowoomba’s cultural precinct, the $5.5 million Toowoomba Regional Arts and Community Centre officially opened to the community today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the centre would play a significant role in the community’s arts culture.

“The Australian Government is strongly committed to community wellbeing and supporting community infrastructure for stronger regional economies,” Mr Truss said.

“That is why we are investing in projects like this one across Australia’s regions, including the delivery of more than $300 million to almost 300 Community Development Grants projects and initiating a $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund to start in 2015-16.”

Federal Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane said the project would increase ongoing development and social enhancement by promoting the region as a cultural centre.

“This project will enable an expanded visiting performing artists’ outreach programme targeted to youth across the Darling Downs and South West region,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Toowoomba region Mayor Paul Antonio said the Toowoomba Regional Arts Community Centre would operate as a medium-sized, flexible venue for performing arts, with the capacity to host film, dance, theatre, comedy and other performances.

“In the coming year, the Empire Theatre precinct is expected to attract close to 85,000 visits by local attendees and a further 35,000 visits by people from outside the immediate area,” Cr Antonio said.

“Empire Theatres, a company owned by Toowoomba Regional Council, will operate the Centre to deliver community access to affordable world-class cultural and arts events.

“This project has been a wonderful community-driven initiative and wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of the Federal Government as well as local businesses and individuals in Toowoomba who donated more $1.5 million toward the centre’s construction.

The Australian Government contributed $2 million to the development of the Toowoomba Regional Arts and Community Centre, with Toowoomba Regional Council investing $2 million and the Empire Theatre investing a further $1.5 million in the project.