Federal funding confirmed for new Rockhampton Art Gallery

Concept for the new Rockhampton Art Gallery, beside Customs House in Quay St.  Image courtesy Rockhampton Regional Council.

Concept for the new Rockhampton Art Gallery, beside Customs House in Quay St. Image courtesy Rockhampton Regional Council.

A new home for the Rockhampton Art Gallery has been talked about for at least 20 years, but now it’s really happening: the federally-managed Building Better Regions Fund will put $10 million towards the new facility in Quay St, meaning the project now has the funding to go ahead.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow says the federal money was the last piece of the funding puzzle needed before work began on the new gallery.

“This generous funding will trigger the release of the $8 million committed by the State Government,” Cr Strelow says. “It is the grant that will allow us to begin building the space that our nationally significant collection deserves.

“The new Art Gallery will have space to put Rex Pilbeam's legacy collection on display as well as being able to accept major travelling exhibitions that we have previously missed out on due to space restrictions.

The new gallery will be next door to Customs House in Quay St, in the space currently occupied by an older and largely empty office block.

“The new art gallery will draw people into Quay Street and add another layer of activity amongst our beautiful heritage Riverside,” Mayor Strelow said.

The building project will now go out to tender, and the council expects work to start on site later this year.

I solemnly charge the future citizens of Rockhampton to maintain and advance this Gallery in years to come. This is the least that we can expect of the citizens of tomorrow in return for the splendid contribution made by the citizens of today.
— Rex Pilbeam, Rockhampton Mayor 1952-1982

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry says Building Better Regions is about growing the economy and building a strong future for Australia’s regions.

“Rockhampton has long known of Rex Pilbeam’s amazing collection, but seldom have they been able to really get a good look at it,” Ms Landry said.

“This project will deliver so much for the region and provide opportunity to not only get a better look at our own collections but to have the opportunity to attract major travelling exhibits that previously passed our region by.

“It is projects such as this that make our regional communities even better places to live, work and raise a family and I’m excited to see the positive difference this funding will make to the community.”