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Foley defends record

08 Dec 2016

Foley defends record Image

By Nadia Dimattina

Last month’s article “Arts plan falls off the radar” has sparked discussion by stakeholders involved in the Southbank Arts Precinct redevelopment plan.

Minister for Creative Industries and member for Albert Park, Martin Foley, has taken issue with some of the claims raised in the article.

“The article states that a long and ongoing commitment to the Southbank Arts Precinct redevelopment by consecutive State Governments is still yet to be delivered. The article also implies that the matter is of less importance to the State Government than it should be. I respectfully disagree,” he said.

Mr Foley believes the Arts Precinct redevelopment plan holds significant importance to the State Government.

“While the Arts Precinct Blueprint was always an aspirational document – a guide – and never government policy, the Victorian Government can point to a number of major developments which demonstrate that work has been done and is being done to further develop the precinct,” he said.

Mr Foley commented in response to former minister Heidi Victoria saying she was “disappointed” by the lack of progress being made on the government’s precinct plan.

“The previous government, however, commissioned the Arts Precinct but neither costed nor committed to any of its projects,” Mr Foley said.

Mr Foley said other developments being made in the area were the driving force towards the redevelopment of the precinct.

Some of these key precinct projects include the establishment in Southbank of the Buxton Contemporary Australian Art Gallery and the establishment of ACMI X, a brand-new, 60-seat co-working space dedicated to creative industries.

“These and other developments are driving the reconfiguration and reinvigoration of the precinct in a manner that is welcoming to visitors and which better connects the arts organisations, businesses and residents that call the area home,” Mr Foley said.

Mr Foley said the State Government was working collaboratively with all stakeholders to transform the precinct in Melbourne’s fastest growing suburb.

“The Victorian Government welcomes its leading role in bringing together current and future precinct activity – and we will continue to work in a strategic, coordinated and collaborative fashion with the precinct’s many stakeholders,” he said.

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