The construction of the Rockhampton Museum of Art has reached a major milestone this week, with the main structure now in lockup stage.
The Rockhampton Museum of Art will be the largest in regional Queensland and will feature two flexible gallery spaces, three multi-purpose education spaces, a restaurant and retail space and a function area on the top floor overlooking the Fitzroy River.
The project is funded by the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and through the Building Our Regions program; and Rockhampton Regional Council.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government's $10,000,000 investment in the development of the art gallery epitomises the commitment to the regions.
"On top of incorporating both permanent and programmable gallery spaces, this investment will see the delivery of three education rooms, a retail space and a café," Deputy Prime Minister said.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry welcomed the news of the Rockhampton Museum of Art meeting the next construction milestone.
"The new state-of-the-art building will build on Central Queensland's rich cultural history and will allow Rockhampton Regional Council to display a more diverse array of art pieces from the local area and around the entire country," Ms Landry said.
"The Rockhampton Museum of Art will be a ground-breaking addition to the town and it's a great example of what can be achieved when all levels of government work together to benefit the region."
Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke MP said the Palaszczuk Government's commitment of $15 million for the new Rockhampton Museum of Art was an investment in the local economy and community.
"This is an exciting stage for a project that will deliver significant cultural tourism outcomes for the region, along with opportunities for local artists," Mr O'Rourke said.
"Approximately 800 tradespeople are being inducted over the course of the build, 80 per cent of whom are locally-based.
"This work for local tradies and suppliers has come during a critical time for our region as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19."
Rockhampton Region Acting Mayor Neil Fisher said the community of Rockhampton was grateful for both Federal and State funding commitments to the project.
"The Rockhampton Museum of Art simply would not have happened without them," Mr Fisher said.
"Kids and communities from the bush to the beach will now have this world class facility within driving distance."
When completed, the art gallery will house the works of some of Australia's most significant artists including Margaret Olley, Arthur Boyd, Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan, and Jeffrey Smart.
Rockhampton Region Communities Councillor, Drew Wickerson, said the Museum will be six times the size of the existing gallery.
"We will also be able to host nationally significant travelling exhibitions which we weren't able to accommodate before," Mr Wicherson said.