Council votes yes to proceed with the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre

Published on Thursday, 25 November 2021 at 12:44:15 PM

The City of Busselton Council has signalled its ongoing support for the social and economic benefits of arts and culture by last night resolving to proceed with construction of the new Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre (BPACC).

Council accepted one of two tenders for the project from Broad Construction Pty Ltd at a construction contract value of just under $38 million.

The provision of a performing arts and convention centre has been identified as a community need for over ten years, with successive Councils supporting the progression of a performing arts and convention centre.

Mayor Henley said “Last night Councillors debated the merits of proceeding with the project and made a significant and also difficult decision, to move forward and provide a venue to support the future of arts and culture within the District.  In doing so Council delivered on a long held promise to provide a performing arts facility and recognised that a development of this kind would make a valued contribution to the social and economic growth of the district.”

BPACC will be a purpose built indoor performance, arts and convention venue.  Comprising a 600 seat auditorium with retractable seats and separate function areas seating up to 400 people it will be a multi-functional venue, catering all year round for music concerts of up to 1,000 people standing, orchestral shows, comedy, cabaret and dance performances, music recitals, business events, award nights and graduations.

It will also provide a fantastic new A class art gallery capable of hosting national and international touring exhibitions, and will connect the Busselton CBD to the Foreshore, serving to activate the CBD and our night time economy.

In support of the decision Cr Carter said in debate, “This project is not going to get any cheaper. There has been serious under investment in the culture and arts in the City of Busselton and this decision is about balancing that social ledger.”

“This facility is a significant component to our offering as the events capital of WA and will complement our airport, foreshore, the AUDC our hotel investments that will contribute all of those offerings.”

Cr Cronin echoed this in saying, “We are not building this facility for the now, we are investing in the future of the City, we are offering our youth a new venue for them to explore and be exposed to new experiences, we will be giving new life to the main street, and we will be helping hundreds of businesses involved in the tourism industry.”

Mayor Henley said “We understand there is some community concern with respect to the cost of building a performing arts and convention centre, however Council believes now is the right time to proceed, with interest rates at a low level and with support of significant federal funding.” 

“Council believes it has the financial capacity to proceed with the project while still delivering on its many other commitments and also providing support to the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre project – which is also struggling with cost escalations in the current market.  Council will continue to look at all options to mitigate the impact on rates and will continue to seek external funding.” 

“Council acknowledges the financial support provided by the Commonwealth Government and the advocacy of our local Federal member the Hon. Nola Marino MP.”

Works on the BPACC are expected to commence in December 2021.

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 2 and 6 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (Review 2019): Places and Spaces that are Vibrant, Attractive and Affordable; Leadership that is Visionary, Collaborative and Accessible.

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