Budget invests in arts, culture and events

Date published: 23 June 2021

Council will invest $40.8 million in culture and events over the next 12 months to ensure Townsville’s reputation as the arts and events capital of Northern Australia is not only maintained, but enhanced.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the investment would go toward a range of important community services including library services, cultural and major events, galleries, the Civic Theatre, community grants and programs and sports and recreation initiatives.

“Council is determined to grow Townsville into a globally-connected community driven by lifestyle and nature,” Cr Hill said.

“Continued investment in arts, culture and events enhances our already enviable local lifestyle and makes our community an even better place to live.

“It also provides important stimulus for our local economy, especially our tourism and hospitality sector.

“We know this has always been an important area of focus for our community.

“We cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We must continue to invest in arts, culture and events and this year’s Budget does that with a $40.8 million allocation.”

Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said Townsville had worked hard to build its profile and reputation as the culture and events capital of Northern Australia.

“This hard work is paying off,” Cr Greaney said.

“Our award-winning North Australian Festival of Arts provides so many local entertainers, performers, musicians and comedians the opportunity to showcase their talent.

“It has also developed a strong enough reputation that this year we have had renowned national artists contacting us to be a part of it.

“Our Perc Tucker and Pinnacles galleries have attracted such enticing exhibitions by world-renowned artists like Ken Done and Patricia Piccinini and continue to do so.”

Cr Greaney said having dedicated funds to maximise opportunities like the State of Origin had already paid back in dividends for the city.

“Investing in major events not only contributes to the community’s spirit, but also attracts visitors into the region and builds on the city’s reputation as a tourist destination and a place to do business,” she said.

“This is all part of building our profile, which helps grow our population and tourism industry for the benefit of our local economy and businesses.”

Cr Greaney said funding would also be available for smaller community events such as the annual Carols by Candlelight, Australia Day, Anzac Day and Chinese New Year.

“Funding events of all shapes and sizes aligns perfectly with the mission of our new corporate plan,” she said.