Council to Seek External Funding for its New Performing Arts and Convention Centre

Published on Thursday, 24 June 2021 at 2:33:54 PM

Last night Council made one of its toughest decisions yet, evaluating tenders for the construction of the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre. Three tenders were received, all of which came in well over the anticipated budget of $24.5 million and the overall project budget of $28.5 million (excluding GST).

Tenderers indicated the increased prices to construct the centre was largely due to current construction market conditions, where high demand and prices for materials and trades have been significantly inflated. Steel, concrete and timber prices have risen significantly, all of which are a major component of the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre design.

Acknowledging receipt of the tender submission, Council declined to accept any tender and will continue to pursue additional funding from State and Federal Government. Council remains committed to the project and will review design options to reduce the cost without the loss of functionality and assess associated impacts. If further funding is not obtained within one month that would help to maintain or not significantly increase the current financial contribution by the City, Council will seek input from the community by conducting a survey that includes random sample and opt in options, to further inform its decisions on the future of the project.

“The City has been investigating the need for a performing arts and conference venue since it was identified as a community priority project in the City’s 2007 Strategic Community Plan. The project has created much interest within the community and I believe last night’s debate confirms not only the community’s desire, but that of Council’s, to see the development of this venue. Furthermore, the City does not want to lose the committed $10.35 million of Federal Government funding.” Mayor Grant Henley advised.

Mayor Henley also advised “While the pressure is now on for Council and the community to demonstrate to the State Government the need to recognise the value and invest in such an important arts and cultural hub, we do owe it to our ratepayers and community as a whole to inform them of the impacts, should additional funding not be forthcoming.”

Pending additional funding being received, it is envisaged the community survey will be conducted at the end of July 2021.

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes Lifestyle: A place that is relaxed, safe and friendly with services and facilities that support our lifestyle.

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to media@busselton.wa.gov.au

Related Information

Performing Arts & Convention Centre Project - Your Say Busselton

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