The Government would breathe new life into inner-city Perth by expanding and upgrading arts and cultural facilities centred on Northbridge, Premier Carmen Lawrence announced today.
Dr Lawrence said the Northbridge Square project would generate jobs, tourism and trade opportunities.
"The arts and culture sectors contribute millions of dollars annually to the State's economy and employs about 14,500 Western Australians," she said.
"Arts and culture - particularly design - is integral to the Government `Adding Value' plan to develop a competitive broadly-based economy and promote the community's social development."
Dr Lawrence said a well-planned arts, culture and heritage precinct would also boost Western Australia's appeal to domestic and overseas tourists.
"Northbridge Square will become a thriving centre of activity both day and night for Western Australians and visitors alike," she said.
Key elements of the Northbridge Square project included:
· a 2,000 seat commercial theatre to attract large-scale opera, ballet and drama productions;
· a cultural business centre to promote cultural exchanges and to develop Western Australian talent in design, performing and visual arts;
· a new TAFE campus focusing on art and design;
· a three-stage development of the Western Australian Museum, including the closure of Francis Street to encourage pedestrian access;
· the establishment of an Aboriginal culture and community performing arts centre in the historic Swan Barracks;
· the expansion of the WA Art Gallery into the former Beaufort Street Police Courts; and -
· the establishment of a warehouse arts complex in Money Street to provide rehearsal and work spaces for dance and music.
Dr Lawrence said Northbridge Square would be matched by a southern cultural precinct with a major performing arts centre overlooking the Swan River.