A major milestone towards creating the world class Rockhampton Museum of Art was reached today, with the main structure now in lockup stage.
The Rockhampton Museum of Art will be the largest in regional Queensland and will feature two flexible gallery spaces, three multi-purpose education spaces, a restaurant and retail space and a function area on the top floor overlooking the Fitzroy River.
The project has received funding from all levels of government, with the Australian Government, State Government, and Rockhampton Regional Council coming together to turn the idea into a reality.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $10,000,000 investment in the development of a cutting-edge art gallery in Rockhampton epitomises the commitment to the regions.
“On top of incorporating both permanent and programmable gallery spaces, this investment will see the delivery of three education rooms, a retail space and a café,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The Australian Government remains committed to supporting our regional, rural and remote communities right throughout our nation, whether it is roads, rail or world-class cultural facilities we are developing the Australia of the future.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said she welcomes the news of the Rockhampton Museum of Art meeting the next construction milestone.
“The new state-of-the-art building will build on Central Queensland’s rich cultural history and will allow Rockhampton Regional Council to display a more diverse array of art pieces from the local area and around the entire country.
“The Rockhampton Museum of Art will be a ground-breaking addition to the town and it’s a great example of what can be achieved when all levels of government work together to benefit the region.
“The Rockhampton Museum of Art was a commitment of mine in the 2019 election and it is wonderful to see it take shape and reach milestone after milestone. I am looking forward to seeing the Museum of Art’s doors open soon and seeing residents of Central Queensland and tourists enjoy it for the years to come,” Ms Landry said.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke MP said the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment of $15 million for the new Rockhampton Museum of Art was an investment in the local economy and community.
“This is an exciting stage for a project that will deliver significant cultural tourism outcomes for the region, along with opportunities for local artists,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“Approximately 800 tradespeople are being inducted over the course of the build, 80 per cent of whom are locally-based. This work for local tradies and suppliers has come during a critical time for our region as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Importantly, the project will continue to contribute to our community’s workforce, wellbeing and regional growth far into the future.”
Rockhampton Region Acting Mayor Neil Fisher said:
“I need to start off by saying just how grateful we are to our Federal and State funding partners: the Rockhampton Museum of Art simply would not have happened without them.
“The progress of work that’s been achieved over of the past few months is significant, and now we are in the wonderful position of being able to say that the roof is on, the windows are in, the structure is finished: all major external façade works are almost complete!
“We’ll now be focusing on the internal fit outs and testing and commissioning various electrical and mechanical systems so the museum is ready to open to the community later this year.
“It’s going to be a source of local pride not just for the Rockhampton Region, but for Central Queensland as a whole. Kids and communities from the bush to the beach will now have this world class facility within driving distance.
“This project is not only creating jobs and helping the economy during the COVID-19 downturn, but it will continue to pay dividends for Rockhampton Region and beyond in years to come as an outstanding community facility and a drawcard for tourists.”
Rockhampton Region Communities Councillor, Drew Wickerson, said:
“I am so excited that we’re now at this stage with the Rockhampton Museum of Art.
“When completed, it will be six times the size of the existing gallery and house the works of some of Australia’s most significant artists including Margaret Olley, Arthur Boyd, Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan, and Jeffrey Smart.
“We will also be able to host nationally significant travelling exhibitions which we weren’t able to accommodate before. This will be great for our community and also entice others to visit.”
Rockhampton Museum of Art is funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and through the Building Our Regions program; and Rockhampton Regional Council.