Funding for performing arts centre dependent on waterfront location

Performing Arts Centre must be built at Poppy Park to keep $12 million NSW Government fundingPerforming Arts Centre must be built at Poppy Park to keep $12 million NSW Government funding says Terrigal MP Adam Crouch

{Audio available} NSW member for Terrigal, Mr Adam Crouch has re-confirmed the NSW Government’s commitment to the regional performing arts centre and conservatorium at the Gosford waterfront.

“The NSW Government has confirmed that the financial commitment of $12 million dollars was made on the basis that the regional performing arts centre is to be constructed on the corner of Dane Dve and Vaughan Ave, Gosford as identified in the Our City, Our Destiny Masterplan,” Mr Crouch said.

“The minister for planning, Mr Rob Stokes has confirmed to me that the $12 million dollar investment into Gosford city’s regional performance centre announced in March this year is based on the development at the identified site at Gosford Park,” he said.

“It must be remembered that many years of hard work and public consultation has gone into the planning of this project as part of the Gosford Waterfront Masterplan, including our local RSL clubs, and this was endorsed by Gosford City Council in August 2013.

“We cannot afford to be known as a region that cannot be trusted to know what they are doing and not sticking to the plan.

“The park, which has become affectionately known as ‘poppy park’ was always planned as a ‘moving memorial’ and I believe may be placed at the Terrigal Haven next year.

“However, there is no reason why a wonderful tribute to our ANZACs cannot be planned as a permanent water feature in the foyer of the Performing Arts Centre.

“The Federal Government will be watching closely the decisions made by Gosford City Council before they commit public funds to this project,” he said.

Gosford mayor, Cr Lawrie McKinna said he questioned why the NSW Government would not honour its $12 million funding pledge “just because the performing arts centre moves a few metres down the road.”

According to Cr McKinna, since the success of the centenary of ANZAC commemoration that saw Gosford Park turned into a poppy field, that patch of land had become “sacred ground”.

He said Council is now working with the Friends of the Performing Arts precinct to find a suitable alternative location for the conservatorium and regional performing arts centre.

Meanwhile, parliamentary secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald MLC confirmed that if Gosford Council is rethinking the location of the regional performing arts centre, the $12 million state funding “falls away”.

“From a state government perspective that is black and white. “Our commitment is based on that site so if Council has a rethink it will have to go back to Cabinet and the funding will need to be rethought,” he said.

Media release, Nov 2, 2015
Debra Wales, office of
Adam Crouch
Interview, Nov 3, 2015
Lawrie McKinna,
Gosford Council
Interview, Nov 3, 2015
Scot MacDonald,
parliamentary secretary for
the Central Coast

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