Additional funding for Proserpine Entertainment Centre
Published Tuesday, 28 July, 2020 at 11:02 AM
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
The Palaszczuk Government has committed an additional $8 million to Whitsunday Regional Council’s new Proserpine Entertainment Centre as part of the region’s ongoing recovery from Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement while in the region with Mayor Andrew Willcox bringing the total Queensland Government contribution to $13.725 million.
“The revitalised Proserpine Entertainment Centre is a key infrastructure project for the region which will create an estimated 50 jobs during construction as well as ongoing jobs once finished,” the Premier said.
“Once finished it will also provide further operational jobs and bring economic, social and cultural benefits to the whole of the Whitsundays.
“As we unite and recover from the global pandemic, it’s projects like this which are vital for our economic recovery.
“This is on top of the major $54.5 million Shute Harbour redevelopment creating 75 jobs, funding for the Proserpine Administration Centre and also the revitalisation of Airlie Beach Foreshore.”
The Premier said all Queenslanders would recall the heartbreaking images out of the Whitsunday region in March 2017.
“With boats pushed onto their side, trees stripped and debris from buildings strewn across the harbour, the coastal doorstep of Airlie Beach was decimated,” she said.
“Following Debbie’s devastation, the Queensland Government vowed to work closely with the Whitsunday community to help it recover and we have stood by that commitment.
“We know Queensland communities are doing it tough right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that has placed added pressure on councils like the Whitsundays to deliver these important projects and we are united in our support.
“In March last year, the Queensland Government committed $5.725 million to the new Proserpine Entertainment Centre and this additional $8 million will ensure Whitsunday Regional Council can deliver this project to support tourism business and economic growth in the region.”
Mayor Andrew Willcox welcomed the extra funding boost and said the new Proserpine Entertainment Centre would bring a major economic boost to the whole Whitsunday community.
“Demolition works on the old building are now complete and the tenders for the new building are currently being assessed with work expected to be completed in late 2021,” he said.
“Once completed it will be a fantastic modern entertainment facility for the whole region to enjoy boasting conference facilities, an auditorium with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment, a multi-purpose function centre, café, bar, kitchen and a new cenotaph.
“The new building will also serve the dual purpose of being an additional post-disaster community facility as well as an emergency meeting point for Whitsunday Airport.”
Whitsunday Regional Council estimates the total project cost of the Proserpine Entertainment Centre will be $18.725 million, which includes an Australian Government commitment of $5 million towards the project from the Federal Building Better Regions Fund.
Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Queensland Government had provided extensive support for a range of essential Whitsunday Regional Council projects to help the region rebuild after STC Debbie.
“Through the joint Commonwealth-State funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) more than $50 million is going towards the ongoing Shute Harbour restoration creating 75 jobs,” he said.
“The works at the marina include a complete rebuild of the seawall, terminal, pontoons and carpark, which will help to future-proof the facility for future weather events.
“Piling works, seawall construction, bulk earthworks for the carpark and refurbishment to the pontoons have all started.
“In addition, the Queensland Government has provided extraordinary assistance funding of $5 million towards the Proserpine Administration Centre and $5.9 million for the revitalisation of Airlie Beach Foreshore.
“The Proserpine Administration Building supported 14 jobs during construction and I understand it is expected to reach practical completion in early August so that’s a great sign of recovery for the region.
“The new admin building will house approximately 120 staff and will include the regional Disaster Coordination Centre and a Climate Change Innovation Hub.
“It’s great to see vital infrastructure projects like this continuing through the COVID-19 pandemic as they are essential to the region’s economic recovery.”
The Airlie Beach Foreshore revitalisation was completed in June 2019 and supported 13 jobs during construction. Works included a new market site, carpark and performance stage, upgraded amenities block, and a ‘beach step’ stadium near the Esplanade.
For more information on Whitsunday Regional Council’s major projects go towww.whitsunday.qld.gov.au
Media contact: Zoe Russell – 0439 982 347