State Budget activates cultural tourism for Queensland

THE Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced an additional $41.8 million investment in Queensland's arts sector over the next four years to generate regional arts activity and cultural tourism opportunities.

"Queensland has a reputation for presenting some of the best arts and cultural experiences in the country, with exhibitions and productions exclusive to our state attracting national and international interest," the Premier said.

"This budget will reinstate funding for blockbusters at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).

"Over the next four years, $10.8 million will be allocated to QAGOMA, including an incentive of up to $2 million to match sponsorship funding raised by the Gallery to secure blockbuster exhibitions," she said.

"Since GOMA opened in 2006, the Gallery has hosted exclusive exhibitions featuring Warhol, Picasso and Matisse, as well as collections from the Met in New York, the Pompidou in Paris and the Prado in Madrid, drawing millions of people to our state, generating significant economic impact through overnight visitor expenditure and bolstering the state's profile as an international arts and cultural destination of choice."

The Premier said matched funding incentives to QAGOMA and the Queensland Museum had the potential to double the impact of government investment by generating sponsorship funding.

"Queensland Museum will deliver unique cultural tourism benefits with up to $4.5 million over four years of matched funding to upgrade permanent gallery and exhibition spaces across its network," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The Premier recognised the value of arts infrastructure in generating cultural and economic returns.

"Queensland Museum will maintain the state's priceless collections across its network of museums in Toowoomba, Townsville and Ipswich, and its storage facility at Hendra with funding of $7 million over four years with an additional $1.5 million to the Gallery for plant and equipment.

"We have allocated $3 million towards cultural infrastructure including the refurbishment of the Cremorne Theatre at QPAC which will see the redesign of staging and seating areas.

"In Cairns, my government has allocated $15 million toward the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC), subject to the outcome of Federal Government funding and a business case," the Premier said.

"To be delivered by Cairns Regional Council, CPAC has the potential to support economic development, including the creation of local construction jobs, as well as opportunities for state and national performing arts companies to bring their productions to Far North Queensland."

In 2016-17, the Government will provide an increase of $18.8 million for a total of $191.6 million for operating expenses of the arts portfolio including the state's arts statutory bodies: the Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Screen Queensland and Queensland Theatre Company.

Ms Palaszczuk said the budget provided support for regional arts access through the Playing Queensland Fund (PQF), presenting communities with new productions as well as shows from the state's home companies: the Queensland Ballet, Queensland Theatre Company, Opera Queensland and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

"PQF has been bolstered by $3 million over four years to continue its success and extend the reach and number of touring arts, including performances, educational programs and workshops.

"Today's budget reinforces my commitment to Queensland's arts sector to deliver economic and cultural benefits to millions of people across the state."

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