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News November 2, 2020

How a re-elected Palaszczuk Government will benefit music

Senior Journalist, B2B
How a re-elected Palaszczuk Government will benefit music

The sweeping return of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s ALP government on Saturday (October 31) will be a boost for Queensland’s music and arts.

The big winners in contemporary music will be festivals, venues and First Nations musicians.

In early October, Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch released Creative Together 2020–2030 – A 10-Year Roadmap for Arts, Culture And Creativity In Queensland which aims to renew and transform the state through arts, culture and creativity.

The sector contributed $8.5 billion directly, and $3.8 billion indirectly, to the Queensland economy in 2016–17 and supports employment for around 92,000 residents.

“We have the skills, talent, creativity and resilience right here in Queensland to recover and provide hope through the arts,’ Enoch said at its launch in the foyer of Bille Brown Theatre.

The parcel included the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package to initiate new business models, skills & attitudes, and ways to diversify as the sector emerges from COVID-19.

The $9 million already committed has been put aside for independent small to medium-sized arts organisations with a focus on venues, including a new live music club in Burleigh Heads.

The new $150 million theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre will seat 1,500 to 1,700 punters and could draw 300,000 more visitors a year.

The $175 million Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct (WEP) will include a 40,000 seat performing arts venue for music festivals and major events.

The precinct at Wellcamp is near Toowoomba and will include motorsports, a road safety training and driver education facility and a hotel for 5,000 guests.

The Government provided $15 million to the spectacular new Cairns Performing Arts Centre, $2 million to the redeveloped Bille Brown Theatre, and invested $5.9 million to redevelop the former Cairns Centre of Performing Arts which reopened in February this year as Bulmba-ja Art Centre.

Among events getting funding is the Brisbane Festival, which in 2017 presented the works of 36 Queensland-based arts organisations and injected $36.7 million into the economy.

First Nations musicians get a hand-up with more funding, career and marketing opportunities.

They, and arts workers and arts centres, get to play a larger role in decision making related to Indigenous arts, culture and heritage policy and investment.

“Expressions of interest have opened for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland to join a First Nations Arts and Cultures Panel, which will strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ voices in shaping cultural strategy, policy and investment decisions,” Enoch said.

Music and the arts will play a greater role in the state’s mental health and wellbeing initiatives.

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