Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 August 2009) . . Page.. 3689 ..
My government has invested more than $9 million on the design and construction of stage 1 of the Belconnen Arts Centre. This includes a visual arts gallery, large foyer, dance studio, two creative workshops, community meeting room, three artist studios, an arts lounge and surrounding landscaped area for outdoor festivals, concerts and major events, as well as being a state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable facility.
The centre caters for people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and abilities. The building is fully accessible to people with disabilities, and hearing loops are located in both the foyer and the dance studio. The centre has been designed to allow for future development, which will include a major performing arts theatre, additional studios, classrooms, administrative spaces and a restaurant.
The centre’s management will be independent of government, run by the Belconnen Arts Centre Inc, which has been established to manage the centre and will receive ongoing government funding of $300,000 a year through a deed of grant from the government.
Instrumental in the establishment of the Belconnen Arts Centre has been the important work by the Belconnen community arts officer at Belconnen Community Service over the past four years. I particularly acknowledge the work of the late Jan Wawrzynczak, who was the community arts officer for a number of years, and his commitment and dedication to this project.
Labor’s commitment to the arts in Belconnen does not stop at the Belconnen Arts Centre. The government will continue to provide theatre access in Belconnen and has recently invested $100,000 in upgrading the Belconnen Theatre in the Belconnen Community Centre. The arts in Belconnen are also being supported through the ACT government public art program. There are a number of announcements to be made tomorrow at the opening of the Belconnen Arts Centre.
A key arts organisation in Belconnen is also, of course, the Strathnairn Arts Association. Strathnairn offers a range of facilities for artists, art audiences and the community. It was announced as part of the 2009-10 budget that a number of capital works will be undertaken at Strathnairn over the next year, including the development of a bronze foundry, which will fill a gap for the whole ACT community, as well as landscaping works to improve accessibility and functionality. In addition to capital funding, Strathnairn receives $19,000 though the ACT arts fund’s project funding category.
Another important arts initiative in Belconnen is located at Billabong Aboriginal Corporation. The ACT strategic Indigenous arts development initiative is a joint initiative between the ACT government and the Australia Council for the Arts. Its purpose is to achieve long-term benefits for the ACT’s Indigenous arts community and includes support for nascent, emerging and developing Indigenous artists. In 2008-09 this initiative provided $40,000 to Billabong Aboriginal Corporation to assist with costs of employing an Indigenous arts coordinator to facilitate arts programs for the community.