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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie
    Minister for Public Works, Housing and Information and Communication Technology
    The Honourable Robert Schwarten
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Friday, November 24, 2006

    PREMIER UNVEILS NEW STATE LIBRARY OF QUEENSLAND

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Minister for Public Works, Housing and Information and Communication Technology
    The Honourable Robert Schwarten

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Friday, November 24, 2006

    PREMIER UNVEILS NEW STATE LIBRARY OF QUEENSLAND

    Queensland’s world-class new State Library, twice the size of the original, will be officially opened by Premier Peter Beattie later this morning.

    “The new State Library is spread over five-levels and has an expanded John Oxley Library with more than 3.5 million items to explore, one of the largest publicly available collections of artists’ books in Australia, and digitised collections of heritage material, photographs and music.

    “It also has increased reference resources, an information zone with wireless internet access, multiple galleries and display spaces, an Indigenous Knowledge Centre and wide decks with stunning views of the river and Brisbane’s CBD,” Mr Beattie said.

    “I want to urge everyone to come along to have a look at their new Library – which opens to Queenslanders tomorrow with the National Treasures Exhibition.

    “The ‘National Treasures from Australia’s Great Libraries’ exhibition includes a range of Australia’s most precious manuscripts, drawings, paintings and objects including Captain Cook’s Endeavour journal, Ned Kelly’s helmet and Sir Donald Bradman’s favourite cricket bat .

    “Our Library has contributed a number of treasures from its own heritage collections, including the first logbook from Australia’s pioneer airline, Qantas; letters from Dame Nellie Melba, Australia’s Prima Diva of Opera and a shirt collar signed by Henry Lawson.

    “The new building sets a very high benchmark for Australian State Libraries with its wonderfully welcoming environment, its sheer beauty and its state-of-the-art services.

    “It also positions us as the nation’s leader in library development and helps cement the Smart State as a front-runner in arts and cultural development.

    “When its companion building, the Gallery of Modern Art, opens next week we will have completed the $291 million Cultural Centre redevelopment project

    “It’s our largest cultural infrastructure project in more than 30 years.

    “The redeveloped State Library gives visitors an amazing range of ways to spend their time in wonderful new spaces while exploring its vast collections and resources,” the Premier said.

    Arts Minister Rod Welford said people would be surprised by the many points of interest and leisure options in the redeveloped State Library.

    “The new Library will be a lively and creative community place enhanced by information and collections, where people can talk to one another and connect with their children,” Mr Welford said.

    “There is a special children’s program and dedicated children’s spaces such as The Corner, as well as resources, collections and services for children and young people.

    “It also includes free Internet access, hot spot wireless Internet areas, interactive media, increased galleries and display spaces to exhibit the State Library’s collection and river decks with stunning city views.

    “There’s even a reading area with a glass roof and sides where Queenslanders can take in Brisbane River views while catching up with the day’s news, their family history or research.”

    Another significant feature of Library is the kuril dhagan Indigenous Knowledge Centre, the first of its kind in any State Library.

    It will focus on preserving language groups, cultural rites and spiritual stories of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

    The redevelopment of the State Library of Queensland is part of the Queensland Government’s Millennium Arts Project at the Cultural Centre at South Bank.

    Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said the project had created enormous employment opportunities for the construction industry, supporting more than 12,000 jobs throughout its three-year construction period.

    “Queensland received significant economic benefits from this project with more than 72 per cent of contracts awarded to Queensland-based contractors,” Mr Schwarten said.

    “In addition, during the final stages of the redevelopment more than 100 apprentices, trainees and cadets worked at the site.

    “Throughout the total duration of the project an average of 45 apprentices, trainees and cadets worked at the site each day. It’s been a wonderful project for Queensland.”

    Plans for the redevelopment of the State Library were announced in 2000 by the Premier, with construction work starting in 2004.

    Media wanting to attend the opening should be at the new Library at 10.15 am today.
    For more information about the new State Library of Queensland visit www.slq.qld.gov.au

    Friday November 24, 2006

    Media contact: Premier’s office –3224 4500
    Minister Welford’s Office – 3237 1000
    Minister’s Schwarten’s office – 3237 1832