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NEW ARTS MINISTER

18 Mar 2013

NEW ARTS MINISTER Image

The premiership was not the only position Ted Baillieu lost last month, he was also stood down as Minister for the Arts.

New Minister Ms Heidi Victoria spoke to Southbank Local News about her new role and the world-class arts precinct she now oversees.

Ms Victoria said she was amazed at the transformation of Southbank over the last 30 years and was looking forward to playing an active role in its future development.

“Southbank was once a place you passed through, it was a place for factories, car yards and car parks. Over the last 30 years it has transformed and now it is one of Melbourne’s fastest growing residential and business areas, and has one of the highest concentrations of arts and cultural organisations in the world,” Ms Victoria said.

“Personally and professionally, I spend a great deal of time in the precinct. It is a place of dynamism and energy and I see the potential for the area to become one of the great drawcards and destinations for our city, and our state.”

Ms Victoria said that in her role she would continue to use the Southbank Blueprint already in place to further develop the arts precinct.

“We are currently working on the Southbank Blueprint which, for the first time, will create a shared vision and a plan for the future of the area. This has involved consultation within state and local government, with arts organisations, Southbank businesses, residents, students and visitors to the precinct,” Ms Victoria said.

“We’ve recently seen small successful ‘pop-up’ events such as the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Garden Party, where it transformed a car park into an outdoor music venue. Also Arts Backyard, which used the vacant site at 1 City Rd to stage performances by musicians including the Australian National Academy of Music.”

Moving into the future, Ms Victoria also hoped to put her own stamp on the development of the arts precinct.

“I’d like to see better connections between the city and arts precinct, in much the same way as the sports precinct is seamlessly connected to Federation Square, I’d love to see that effortless connection that would invite people to cross the river and experience all that Southbank has to offer,” she said.

“While Melbourne once turned its back on Southbank, now it’s knocking on its door and we’re all excited about what’s inside.”

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