Mrs Armitage (Launceston) - Mr President, we are about to see something very exciting and special take centre stage for the arts in our island state. A $90 million project will establish a vibrant and dynamic creative industries and performing arts centre on the Wapping 4 site adjoining the Theatre Royal. The Theatre Royal will receive improvements to front-of-house patron spaces, technical modernisation to the back-of-house area and the Backspace Theatre will be replaced by a purpose-built studio theatre.
The theatre's website states its commitment to excellence and innovation through the delivery of world-class arts. This spectacular project in Hobart reminds us of our possibilities as an island state and also the importance of investing in and nurturing the incredible talent in our arts community.
I will take a moment to congratulate the Tasmanian Government, the federal government, the University of Tasmania and the Theatre Royal Management Board for their visionary leadership.
Another major feature will a new university conservatorium of music, performance venues and public space, and an international research institute centred on performance, creativity and design.
The arts precinct will create 280 jobs during construction and 58 ongoing jobs. This development reinforces that the arts are, and can continue to be, a significant contributor to our economy. I note the Minister for State Growth, Matthew Groom, has said the project would be transformational for the arts, education and tourism. An article in the Mercury newspaper on 12 April this year stated that the Academy for Creative Industries and Performing Arts would attract between 3000 and 8000 new students, as well as several hundred million dollars' worth of economic benefits over the next seven years.
I ask just one question of the Leader: in the 2015 annual report for the Theatre Royal I notice in number 13, Notes to the Financial Statements, under Capital and Leasing Commitments, that 'the Theatre Royal Management Board has not committed to any capital expenditure in 2016 at the date of writing this report'. I wonder whether they have any obligation for funding. Apart from this, I believe this is an exciting time for the Tasmanian arts community and I am delighted to support the legislation before us.