Page 3007 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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At the Street Theatre, the upgrades which have been completed will enable the Street Theatre staff, who previously worked from a temporary demountable cabin, to now work in a professional environment and take the Street Theatre into the future. There is also provision for visiting artists or groups to use the administrative spaces to progress their work. The rehearsal space will enable a wide range of theatre, dance and other performing arts people to rehearse in a purpose-built venue. The improved dressing rooms provide performers with appropriate backstage facilities and the cafE will add to the vibrancy and the experience of the Street Theatre. The new administration suite of offices has a number of individual work stations designed to allow for independent producers, visiting companies or individual artists to operate on a short-term basis while presenting performances at the Street theatre—all while developing new work as part of the Street Theatre’s program. This will allow the Street Theatre to continue to broker new projects, programs and partnerships in a model of dynamic creative performing arts hubs. I commend the work of Caroline Stacey and her team at the Street Theatre and I look forward to the exciting productions that the facilities will enhance.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, you mentioned arts hubs in your answer then. What is the progress with the Kingston arts hub and when will we see construction start?

MS BURCH: In this budget you will see a commitment to progressing Kingston as a visual arts precinct. A key part of that precinct is to have Megalo relocate. I was pleased to go to their first formal membership exhibition just recently. If those opposite have not been there, I encourage you to go. I think that the renovation of the old LDA offices has been a fantastic bit of construction work and renovation work. I know that Megalo are pleased in many ways to be home.

The Kingston area has a long history and association with print. So it was always right and fitting for Megalo to be part of that precinct, which they have now become part of. Already the synergies and conversations between the Canberra Glassworks and Megalo have continued. We will continue to work to make sure that Kingston is developed into the visual arts precinct that we have all hoped for. It has always been a very strong personal disappointment of mine that in many ways that progress and that vision has been stalled through the activities of members in this place.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, what other work is the government doing to progress the arts hubs vision to plan for the future needs of Canberra’s arts community?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Berry for her interest in the arts. As I have mentioned, the government has made significant progress in establishing the three arts hubs, and this budget makes considerable investment towards that, not just at Kingston and Ainslie but also in one of Canberra’s most important community arts assets in Gorman House Arts Centre.

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