Coun­cil seeks cash for cul­ture

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE PEEL char­lie. peel@ news. com. au

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.”

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