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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Member for Monaro John Barilaro has today made a significant announcement for arts and culture in the Queanbeyan-Palerang Region and presented Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council with over $1 million for huge upgrades in the city’s CBD.

“Bicentennial Hall has been the backdrop for weddings, birthdays, parties, milestones and significant meetings. Over the decades, many of us have enjoyed the Hall, and now it will receive a major upgrade,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Today we are formally presenting Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council with $999,000 for an overhaul of Bicentennial Hall, allowing QPRC to undertake upgrades that will ensure the Hall is suitable for use for many years to come.

“The much-loved Hall will be transformed into a functional, modern, multi-purpose space and form part of a cultural hub.

“Not only will arts and culture be supported by this project, additionally the renewal of the supporting amenities including the commercial kitchen and bar will transform Bicentennial Hall and offer a venue that attracts conferences to our region and boosts our local economy.”

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor Tim Overall said the $999,000 will be supported by a $550,000 contribution by QPRC, taking the project budget to more than $1.5 million.

The project will incorporate upgraded professional spaces including a stage, box office and dressing rooms. It will renew air conditioning and provide much needed rehearsal space, workshopping areas, teaching facilities and an opportunity for a broader range of shared space activities.

“Since opening in 1988, Bicentennial Hall has operated as a focus for arts, culture and community events,” Mr Overall said.

“For many years, it was the premier facility, and this refurbishment will see this status resumed.

“The refurbished Bicentennial Hall will allow the region to become a destination of choice in the conference market, supported by the region’s strong arts and culture reputation.”

Mr Barilaro also announced $40,000 for an important community project for The Q theatre titled Gifts on Q.

“Gifts on Q is a shopfront providing a taste of what the Queanbeyan-Palerang region has to offer,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We know that the Queanbeyan-Palerang region is home to some of the country’s most beautiful product, produce and art, and I am so pleased to be supporting Gifts on Q and our local artists and small business owners as they take their business to the next level.

“The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will always prioritise small business, with this funding giving our locals a never-before-seen opportunity.”

Gifts on Q is located at The Q Theatre and stocks and sells local handmade art works, craft items, glass objects, prints, cards, jewellery, gourmet goods and much more.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor Tim Overall said the grant will go to good use and provide local businesses with a place to display their products.

“QPRC launched a pilot for Gifts on Q in March this year and since then the shop has been incredibly successful,” Mr Overall said.

“The shop currently occupies the front portion of The Q Exhibition Space and with this NSW Government grant, we will be able to construct a more permanent fitout and establish Gifts on Q as a permanent shop.”

Local business owner Cheryl Hodges of Cheryl Hodges Botanical Art has displayed and sold her botanical watercolour paintings, cards, tea towels and bags at Gifts on Q during the pilot.

“This is such a great initiative to support local makers and help us to get our name out in the local community,” Mrs Hodges said.
“As a consumer, I’m pleased to be able to buy gifts for my own friends from local producers and artisans at one location – it’s easy shopping.”

Local artist Michaela Laurie added that the store attracts visitors to Queanbeyan.

“I really enjoy being able to tell my clients that they can purchase my art and the products I create from a Queanbeyan store,” Mrs Laurie said.

“As many of my clients are ACT based, this brings people to Queanbeyan who would not usually visit our town. People of the region and visitors really enjoy being able to buy local.

“I’m thrilled that the pilot program is ending and Gifts on Q will now become a permanent shop for producers and purchasers to enjoy.”

Funding is provided under the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund.

Further information on the fund is available here: