June 5, 2020
Murgon’s planned Cultural Centre – including an art gallery and fossil museum – will become a reality following a Federal Government grant of $1.596 million announced on Friday.
The funding, announced by Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien, is from Round 4 of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) program.
The Creative Country Association (CCA), a not-for-profit community group, applied for the funding for the Murgon project.
Group members have been developing the project for several years.
Their first application to the BBRF last year was unsuccessful but after tweaking their submission their dreams came true in the latest round.
The Cultural Centre will be built on a block of land in Macalister Street which has been donated to the CCA by a Murgon family.
CCA spokesperson Richard O’Neill OAM said the group was “absolutely over the moon” to hear their grant application had succeeded.
“This project will be the first brand new development in Murgon for many years,” Richard said.
“Over the past few years, Council has upgraded the Jubilee Pool and the Youth Park, and they’re currently upgrading the footpaths in the CBD.
“Some members of our business community have also upgraded their shops, hotels or service stations.
“But these were all about maintaining or upgrading existing assets in the town. This project will build something completely new for the community.”
The Cultural Centre will feature an art gallery focusing on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous art; a museum showcasing fossils found in the Murgon area; a gift shop; a workshop; and an open air “prehistoric garden” in a central atrium, along with a kitchen and office area.
The vacant block of land where it will be built is near the Murgon Men’s Shed and the South Burnett Rail Trail.
On Friday afternoon, CCA members joined South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto and Division 5 councillor Kathy Duff to inspect the site.
Mayor Otto congratulated the group on their successful application.
He said the project, when completed, would add a new tourism attraction to the region and bring many benefits to Murgon and the wider community.
Cr Kathy Duff – who admitted she had been doing star jumps after the funding announcement – said the project would also put an end to a 12-year struggle to get an art gallery for Murgon.
Construction work is expected to begin later this year once the necessary Council building approvals are obtained.
Mr O’Neill said he expected the project could take a year or more to complete.
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