02/11/2004 - 21:00

City to push for theatre site as part of performing arts precinct

02/11/2004 - 21:00

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The City of Perth is seeking urgent discussions with the Department of Culture and Arts to lobby for a site near the Perth Concert Hall as its preferred location of a planned $30 million theatre development.

City to push for theatre site as part of performing arts precinct

The City of Perth is seeking urgent discussions with the Department of Culture and Arts to lobby for a site near the Perth Concert Hall as its preferred location of a planned $30 million theatre development.

The council is concerned by a recent State Government ministerial committee decision to eliminate the area near the Concert Hall as a possible site for the new theatre venue. The site was one of seven originally identified by theatre consultant Graham Walne for the 500 to 600-seat theatre, to be completed by 2008.

Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass said the city’s vision was to create an iconic performing arts precinct extending from the Perth Concert Hall to the river foreshore that would include all the performing arts.

“If there is not a change of thinking on the part of the Government, then a great planning opportunity will have been missed,” he said.

Department of Culture and Arts director general Alastair Bryant said extensive and intensive evaluation of the sites had taken place, and that the department had considered what was best for theatre in Western Australia.

“We understand where the city is coming from and we will engage with them to explain the rationale behind the decision,” Mr Bryant said. “I believe once they understand the reasons, they will agree there is an overwhelming logic behind the decision.”

He said the Government was focused on four possible sites for the new theatre – in the Cultural Precinct (corner of William and Roe streets), the corner of Wellington and William streets, the foreshore, and the old treasury building site.

Mr Bryant said the Government would make a decision on the site within the next month.

The Government has committed to locating the new theatre in the CBD and an extensive consultation process with arts stakeholders has been undertaken.

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