A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $5 million to refurbish the famous Courthouse Theatre at Federation University’s Ballarat campus to enhance teaching spaces.
Minister for Regional Education, Bridget McKenzie said the historic 1868 former Ballarat Supreme Court is one of Ballarat’s most beautiful heritage buildings.
“This beautiful, historic building has been used as a teaching and performance space since the early 1980’s,” Minister McKenzie said.
“From court room proceedings to music performances and comedy festivals, this building has been beautifully preserved and put to modern day use by Federation University, their amazing students and the community.
“Our commitment will provide new innovative facilities at the School of Mines Ballarat campus. It will create a better, more engaging student experience, support economic growth by encouraging more traders into the Ballarat CBD and bring added vibrancy to the city centre.
“This commitment is part of a proposed $35 million Centre for Arts, Creativity and Innovation which will host short courses, vocational and higher education programs, bringing thousands of students into the Ballarat CBD.”
The upgrades to the Courthouse Theatre will deliver facilities for businesses and the local community and attract new industry investment and international events providing an economic boost for the region.
“The Coalition Government continues to build on its more than $120 billion investment in regional Australia – the engine-room of our nation’s economy – to ensure a sustainable, prosperous and secure future for people living in the regions,” Minister McKenzie said.
“By contrast, Labor has no plan or vision for regional centres like Ballarat. Labor Leader Anthony Albanese can barely bring himself to mention the word ‘region’.”
Liberal candidate for Ballarat, Ben Green welcomed the funding and said this Coalition investment will build on Ballarat’s rich history of arts and theatre.
“Ballarat is the centre of arts and theatre in Western Victoria – alumni of Ballarat’s theatre groups have gone onto national renown,” Mr Green said.
“I am proud of this investment by the Coalition Government. The refurbishment of the Courthouse Theatre will serve another generation of up-and-coming starts with some of the best performing spaces in regional Victoria.”
Federation University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Bentley said he welcomed the commitment from the Coalition Government to preserve local heritage, and improve access to performing arts.
“This is the first step in achieving our long-term vision to activate the SMB campus in the Ballarat CBD. It will contribute to state-of-the-art facilities that are digitally enabled and will be a beacon for the next generation of talent in the performing arts,” Professor Bentley said.
“We know that around 70 per cent of Australians who graduate in regional Australia will continue to work and live in the regions and that is why having world-class facilities in our regions is so critical to regional communities and regional jobs.”
The $2 billion Regional Accelerator Program is part of an unprecedented $21 billion investment in our regions and infrastructure across the nation unveiled through the 2022-23 Federal Budget to make our nation wealthier and stronger, create tens of thousands of regional jobs and drive our economic growth.
Only a Coalition will continue to deliver a better future for Ballarat, and this is part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.
More information on the 2022-23 Budget can be found at www.budget.gov.au