IT’S time to climb every mountain and turn the dream of a Sunshine Coast Arts, Convention & Entertainment Centre into a reality, Coast MP Fiona Simpson said.
Ms Simpson welcomed the Council’s identification of the importance of the regional facility in the Maroochydore CBD and the setting aside of land – but urged them to bring forward their roadmap to deliver it.
A keen musician and patron of local theatre and choir groups, Ms Simpson said it was vital that Council not leave its run too late but put together a comprehensive submission to seek funds from the $8.6 billion “Strong Choices Investment Program“.
“Anyone who suggests that this can be delivered without Council is dreaming,” Ms Simpson said.
“We need more than dreams – we need a roadmap and as this project is on Council land and will be owned by Council, they have to also own the process. That’s important so it doesn’t burden ratepayers but helps them.
“There is a great opportunity to seek funding for a properly scoped, rigorously planned Arts, Convention & Entertainment Centre which will benefit ratepayers, not burden them.
“I am keen to work with Council on their roadmap to deliver this and would urge them to make it a high priority as a part of a vibrant future for the Maroochydore CBD and the whole of the Sunshine Coast.
“I believe the best way to sustainably deliver this project is for co-investment from Council, State and Federal Governments and most importantly – the private sector who are best placed to deliver an international five star hotel which complements the site.
“A project such as this can be staged to grow but first it must start.”
Ms Simpson said that the $8.6billion “Strong Choices Investment Program” included $100 million for Cultural Infrastructure but there was also $500 million for projects with Local Government co-investment which was a possible source.
For the public to have their say about how they want the “Strong Choices Investment Program” funds spent they can go to www.strongchoices.com.au. Ms Simpson said that the Government’s plan is to cut the State’s debt burden and to reinvest funds from the sale or lease of 11% of the State’s assets. This would fund the “Investment Program” and reduce the State’s $80billion debt burden which costs $450,000 per hour in interest repayments.
“For Coast State Government MPs, our first priority for regional infrastructure is the duplication of the North Coast rail line – this is necessary to unlock the public transport network and get people off the road between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane,” Ms Simpson said.
“One of Council’s priorities is the Sunshine Coast Airport upgrade – a very important project – and the State has contributed millions of dollars of strategically important land to Council to help them facilitate this.
“However, the Arts, Convention & Entertainment Centre is also important to the Sunshine Coast and must be driven by the project owner, the Council. I’m keen to work with them and urge their support to move this project up the list of their priorities.”
“I am looking forward to working with Council so that Sunshine Coast can make or hear beautiful music – as well as build the jobs that come through a proper convention centre.”