Monday, 3 April, 2017
Warragul’s new performing arts hub has taken a step forward, with construction works now underway on the West Gippsland Arts Centre (WGAC) upgrade,  backed by a $4 million investment from the Andrews Labor Government.

In Warragul today, Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing joined representatives from Baw Baw Shire Council to mark the start of construction on the $13.4 million project.

The WGAC attracts strong audiences to its performances and the theatre’s technical facilities are equipped to a very high standard. Although the WGAC has the capability to stage larger productions, the low seating capacity had restricted the scale of work presented.

The project will expand the WGAC’s audience capacity from 480 to 750 seats and deliver a number of upgrades to the theatre, foyer and backstage areas, enabling the centre to stage bigger and better productions.

Once complete, the redeveloped WGAC will employ an additional three full time staff and support a number of new casual positions. The centre will also generate a further six indirect jobs in the wider economy.

The population in Warragul and the surrounds is projected to have strong growth in the coming years and the demand for arts and cultural activities will only increase. That’s why the Labor Government is making a major investment in West Gippsland’s cultural vibrancy, liveability and visitor economy.

The project will also create a number of new spaces within WGAC suitable for private and civic functions. With the addition of these new spaces, the WGAC will operate as a premium conference centre in Warragul.

It will also provide a space for a new independently-operated Visitor Information Centre and outward facing café. The main entry point will be relocated to be closer to the adjacent Civic Park, which will create better connections between the two public spaces.

The Government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund is investing in projects that make regional and rural Victoria a great place to live, work, and visit.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing:

“A year after we announced our $4 million contribution to this project as part of the Victorian Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund it’s great to see the federal government come on board to support this project as part of its Latrobe Valley transition fund.”

“When it’s completed, this facility will promote Warragul as a premiere performing arts destination, and provide first-class facilities for West Gippsland locals, tourists and creative arts enthusiasts”.