September 2, 2016
Construction of Port of Sale’s new cultural hub has begun, building on Sale’s reputation as a well-known arts precinct and ‘must-see’ tourist destination for people visiting Gippsland.
Speaking at the site of the new hub today, Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said art and cultural attractions rated highly when potential residents considered whether they would move to an area.
“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to – and facilities like this are a big part of that,” Minister Nash said.
“The hub includes a new regional art gallery, public library, visitor information centre, café and redeveloped public spaces.
Joining Minister Nash today, Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the benefits would be enjoyed by locals and visitors.
“For too long we have not realised the full potential of the Port of Sale precinct and this new cultural hub will open up the area like never before,” Mr Chester said.
“The new hub will provide better arts and library facilities for local residents, while also giving visitors another reason to stop at local shops and port precinct while driving through.
“The Australian Government’s contribution of $4.5 million is another sign of confidence in the local community and I look forward to seeing more people enjoying this community asset into the future.”
Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said the project was part of a broader, ongoing port precinct upgrade.
“This facility will help revitalise the Port of Sale thanks to the significant joint investment of our governments,” Ms Pulford said.
“The Victorian Government is pleased to have partnered with the Australian Government, Wellington Shire Council and the John Leslie Foundation to deliver this important piece of community infrastructure.”
Wellington Shire Mayor Darren McCubbin said the cultural hub building would be a wonderful multi-purpose community space.
“It incorporates light, bright open spaces, and the incredible central feature of the wide steps leading up from the Port of Sale will no doubt become a favourite meeting place for local residents,” Cr McCubbin said.
“The inclusion of the visitor information centre within the redevelopment means that not only will our own residents make use of the facility, but visitors to our area will also benefit from this impressive space.”
In addition to the Australian Government’s $4.5 million investment, the Victorian Government has committed $4.75 million, Wellington Shire Council $3.78 million and the John Leslie Foundation $1.5 million toward the cultural hub.