Council seeks cash for culture
THE Townsville community has been called on to pledge $ 3 million over five years for the city’s arts and culture hub as part of the proposed Waterfront development project.
The precinct would include an exhibition hall, gallery and performance spaces and would take pressure off the city’s ageing art and cultural facilities.
A report presented to the Townsville City Council at yesterday’s Community and Cultural Committee meeting said the existing facilities are “in desperate need of revitalisation and expansion”.
After a showing of support from local stakeholders, the committee endorsed a recommendation to set up an account to safeguard community donations to partially offset the costs of the facility, which would be built as part of the 97ha Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area.
Donors will be able to use the deductible gift recipient status of the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery to claim a tax deduction.
The community support is part of a three- pronged approach to fundraising for the new cultural infrastructure, with the rest expected to come from government grants and corporate sponsorship.
Committee chair Cr Sue Blom said the contribution campaign was an initiative of the arts community, including Umbrella Studio and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.
“In this way the community can both demonstrate support and contribute,” Cr Blom said.
Mayor Jenny Hill was not in favour of council creating a trust for the donations and said a grassroots project, led by the community, would generate more support.
“This occurred many years ago ... when we sought support for the Museum of Tropical Queensland, but it wasn’t run this way because there were some problems,” she said.
“The way it was run then was the business community set up the fund, donated to the fund and used that money through a committee they organised to do some of the lobbying for a dollar for dollar campaign.
“My concern is if it’s run by council, you might not get that support as they did previously.
“We want the whole community to be involved, so it’s really got to be a ground up approach.
“That way you will attract the attention of the government.
“There is a difference between having the council driving and the community leaders driving.”