MELBOURNE ARTS PRECINCT TRANSFORMATION

Mr PEARSON (Essendon—Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Minister for Government Services, Minister for Creative Industries)- I am delighted to update the house on the biggest cultural infrastructure project in Australia happening right here in Victoria. I have said it before that creativity and the arts is in our Victorian DNA. It is central to our way of life, reputation, livability and economy, and the Melbourne arts precinct is intrinsic to that. Stage 1 of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation project was fully funded at $1.46 billion in Tuesday’s Victorian budget. The NGV is proudly one of the world’s leading art galleries. A landmark new gallery, NGV Contemporary, will be built on Southbank Boulevard amidst a new 18 000-square-metre public garden right in the heart of the Melbourne arts precinct. This is an absolute game changer. NGV Contemporary will take the NGV into the next realm amongst stunning galleries across the globe. This project will transform Melbourne’s creative precinct, attracting millions of visitors and establishing vibrant new gardens and creating space in the heart of our city. In addition, the project supports Arts Centre Melbourne to undertake upgrades at the iconic Theatres Building.

The centrepiece of the Victorian budget is our jobs plan. We are putting workers front and centre in our recovery, with an unprecedented investment in job creation and employment right across Victoria. The Melbourne arts precinct transformation will create many thousands of jobs. At least 5000 construction sector jobs for this project will help drive Victoria’s economic recovery. Another 200 ongoing roles for NGV Contemporary will come into the jobs market. There will be tourism jobs and economic flow-on effects across the state as NGV and our arts precinct undergo this spectacular revolution, attracting visitors from all over the world. This project will permanently cement Victoria’s reputation as the nation’s cultural capital, and I cannot wait for it to come to life.