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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2280 ..


centre is also funded from this program. It will provide the documentation required for the construction phase. The government has committed $8 million to this construction project at Gorman House in the coming years, to celebrate its 50th year as a community arts facility in 2024.

Recent investment totalling $880,000 over four years in arts facilities, including $245,000 in the last financial year, has enabled upgrades to five arts centres across the ACT: Ainslie Arts Centre, Gorman House arts centre, Strathnairn Arts, Tuggeranong Arts Centre, and Watson Arts Centre. These upgrades have focused on improvements to aged heating and cooling systems.

In the last financial year, the better infrastructure fund invested $315,000 in arts facilities. Works have included the replacement of the heating and cooling system in the main theatre at the Street Theatre, as well as the refurbishment of its costume and props storage area.

Works have also been completed at Strathnairn Arts, including upgrades to the kiln shed roof and the public toilet facility. I was at Strathnairn Arts at the weekend viewing the Squares exhibition. I will give it a shout out; it is highly worth attending and viewing.

A $5.9 million investment in a major refurbishment of the former transport depot at Kingston is underway and nearing completion. Upgrades include new roofing, new lighting, a new electrical system, and public toilet upgrades. As I spoke about in the Assembly in early June, the former transport depot will reopen soon, following the building remediation required due to the lead dust found during construction. The first event at the site will be the city’s beloved Old Bus Depot Markets. I am delighted to hear that, and I am sure all other Canberrans are too.

The depot is a key community facility centrally located within what will be the Kingston arts precinct. The ACT government’s investment in the depot is part of the overall investment being made in the broader site known as the Kingston arts precinct.

Investment in this precinct is the government’s next major commitment to arts infrastructure in Canberra, and the biggest commitment to the visual arts to date, at $78 million. It will include a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art space; and purpose-built facilities for the Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Craft ACT, M16 Artspace and PhotoAccess, who are joining the Canberra Glassworks and Megalo Print Studio as the founding resident organisations.

Combined with accommodation for visiting artists, a theatrette, workshop space, outdoor event space for 5,000 people, 2,000 square metres of retail activation and a multistorey carpark, the precinct is Canberra’s future place for celebrating and strengthening creative and cultural practices. The organisations I mentioned have recently undertaken some facilitated workshops, and some excellent ideas and collaboration came out of that.

In addition to the Kingston arts precinct, a new Canberra Theatre precinct in the city was highlighted in the 2019 ACT Infrastructure Plan. The new theatre precinct is a


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