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KABOOM! $5 million Federal Government funding plus $5.725 Qld State Government funding equals a new state of the art Proserpine Entertainment Centre.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox was beaming after today’s announcement that the Palaszczuk Government extended its recovery commitment to the Whitsunday community with another $5.225 million to help rebuild Proserpine Entertainment Centre.
“This funding is hot on the heels of the $5 million announced by Member for Dawson George Christensen on Tuesday, so it has been a ripper couple of days for the Proserpine community,” he said.
“In a perfect world this is how tiers of government should operate, all working together to deliver the best outcomes for our residents.
“We have been working behind the scenes on concept design and an architect has now been appointed and it is full speed ahead for detailed design before going out to tender with construction expected to start later this year.
“The current building will be demolished and the new state of the art PEC will be constructed on the current site in Proserpine.
“During my term as Mayor this Council has worked hard to advocate and deliver external Federal and State funding to our region,” Mayor Willcox said.
“Since Cyclone Debbie hit two years ago we have secured over $135million in external grants and funding including the $23m Shute Harbour Restoration, $6.3m for Airlie Beach Foreshore Revitalisation, $5m for Greening and Growing Bowen, $60m for regional roads, $15m Whitsunday Coast Airport upgrade, $10m Prossie Disaster Centre and Administration building and $5m for the Beautiful Bowen project.”
Deputy Mayor and Division 3 Councillor John Collins said it had been impossible to wipe the smile off his face since Tuesday.
“As Big Kev always said, “I’m excited”.
“All the hard work and lobbying by Mayor Willcox and myself has finally paid off as over the last year we have escorted and shown several Members of both Federal and State Parliament as well as Senators through the facility.
“The Proserpine community have been doing it pretty tough since the cyclone two years ago and this funding will certainly help lift a lot of people’s spirits.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today’s $5.225m PEC funding was in addition to the $500,000 announced in May last year for the centre, which was closed after sustaining extensive damage during the Category 4 cyclone.
“A revitalised entertainment centre in Proserpine will bring economic, social, and cultural benefits to the whole of the Whitsundays,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Whitsunday Regional Council identified the rebuilding of Proserpine Entertainment Centre as a priority project that would assist the region’s ongoing recovery, and my government has listened and is delivering for the community.”
“This funding will go a long way to rebuilding the centre and will ensure Council can complete demolition of the old building and rebuild a bigger, better and more resilient Proserpine Entertainment Centre.”
The new centre will boast conference facilities, a larger auditorium, with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment, and importantly, it will comply with all modern safety and building codes, making it more resilient to future natural disasters.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said infrastructure projects like this were an important part of restoring community life following natural disasters.
“The Palaszczuk Government is standing by its commitment to help those impacted by Cyclone Debbie recover and be better prepared for disasters in the future,” Mr Dick said.
“Investment in projects such as this increases employment, improves the resilience of our regions, and has a positive impact on local economies and the overall health, safety and wellbeing of the community.”