A new $150 million theatre to be built on the heritage-listed cultural precinct at South Bank will be funded in part by the Queensland government.
The Labor government will allocate $125 million in the Queensland budget and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre will contribute the remaining $25 million for the 1500-1700-seat theatre, which will be built on the Playhouse Green site.
The addition of the proposed venue would make QPAC the largest performing arts space in Australia.
The Queensland Premier said the new venue would support the state’s four home companies – Queensland Ballet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Opera Queensland and Queensland Theatre – by providing access across five QPAC venues.
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“Building a new theatre is a must to ensure we can keep attracting even more big shows and more visitors to our capital city,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“A national design competition would be undertaken to deliver an outstanding architectural solution for the new theatre.”
The new theatre has been scheduled for completion in 2022 and would represent the largest investment in the arts since the Gallery of Modern Art was completed in 2006.
The state opposition has criticised the announcement, instead getting behind a market-led proposal by Sydney-based Foundation Theatres.
The proposed $100 million theatre on the old State Library site adjacent to Queen’s Wharf which would have required $25 million in taxpayer funds.
“The LNP has been calling for a new theatre for the last three years,” Dr Rowan said.
“It’s staggering that taxpayers are going to fork out for this theatre when a privately-funded proposal has already been lodged.”
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On the weekend the Premier insisted that proposal was “still in play”.
“If they still want to pursue that they can,” Palaszczuk said.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the new theatre would be a wonderful addition to the Queensland Cultural Centre that last year saw 6.5 million visitors.
“The new theatre will further enhance visitor attraction to the Centre, and with the growth of our local companies, we want as many visitors and tourists to experience our local artists and performing arts product as possible,” Trad said.
“QPAC schedules over 1000 performances annually and saw 1.3 million people through its doors in 2017.
“Its current theatres are nearing capacity, however with the addition of this new theatre QPAC would become Australia’s largest performing arts centre with the potential to welcome an additional 300,000 visitors each year when fully operational from 2022.”