Gladstone art scene to suffer after $2 million cost blowout
GLADSTONE'S arts scene is the casualty from Gladstone Entertainment Centre's $2 million cost blowout.
To fix some of the fallout, $200,000 has been reallocated away from the arts and culture portfolio in the next council budget: $60,000 from Gladstone Libraries; and $140,000 from the Regional Art Gallery & Museum.
Friends in Art community group founding member Kim Scrimshaw said the outcome was disappointing.
"We have some pretty major exhibitions coming throughout the years (at the organisations), they've all got to be paid for," she said.
The redevelopment's budget total is about 9.5% over at $23.1 million, including $1.5 million of unaccounted council infrastructure charges.
Gladstone Regional Council's director of corporate and community services Cale Dendle said the reallocation choice was obvious.
"As the Entertainment Centre is an asset belonging to the arts and culture portfolio, that is the first place that council turns when funds are required," he said.
Ms Scrimshaw said funding the organisations was extremely vital for education in the region.
"I think it's important children are exposed to going to the art gallery," she said.
"(And) it's difficult if we don't keep up and kids don't get to experience new technologies introduced to the library."
Ms Scrimshaw said Community Arts on Goondoon St, under Katies, was also in need of funding.
"I'm not too annoyed about it, but just thinking 'When do we get a go?'" she said.
"When we first started doing that three to four years ago, that was only a temporary home we were going to have."
Mr Dendle said the impacts on the library and art gallery would be minimal.
"The remaining reallocations will not adversely affect the operations of either the library network or Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum," he said.
"In the case of the latter, a number of extended staff vacancies have realised some reduced wages expenditure and also some other cost reductions."
The Gladstone Entertainment Centre, once complete, will be known as the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.
Mr Dendle dismissed possible cost concerns for this rebranding.
"The new branding exercise has been managed in-house and developed by GECC's marketing team," Mr Dendle said.
"Costs associated with new signage etc is already included as part of the overall project budget. The rebrand provides a fresh new look for a fresh new building."
Budget: now $23.1 million.
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