City secures cultural heartland at no cost to ratepayers

3 May 2017

The city’s cultural precinct will be constructed without borrowing funds, saving ratepayers millions in loan repayments and delivering a world-class asset.

Mayor Tom Tate yesterday confirmed the Special Budget Committee had agreed to a funding model that will see stage one of the precinct built without additional fees, borrowings or charges on ratepayers.

“This is an historic day … a day where we have secured the funding model for our city’s cultural heartland without hitting ratepayers’ hip pockets,’’ said Mayor Tate.

“Residents don’t want to be slugged a levy or special tax. They rightly want us to show foresight in our capital expenditure and that’s what has been achieved today.’’

Stage One is valued at around $125 million and will be funded through a combination of land and property sales; annual budget savings; City reserves and the redirection of funds raised from the recreation space separate charge and tourism levy.

“It is a local asset and a tourism asset at the same time so it is only right that we access some of the tourism levy,’’ said Mayor Tate.

Features of stage one include:

  • $39.5 million for site demolition works and construction of a versatile outdoor performance space (amphitheatre) and concert lawn (underway); $66 million new Art Gallery – located west of the versatile outdoor stage and include secure storage and loading, a main exhibition hall, collections galleries, children's gallery, library, retail and cafe hub and a rooftop terrace bar (target completion late 2020); and $19.5 million Green Bridge (pedestrian and cycle way) to connect the Cultural Precinct to Chevron Island and on to Surfers Paradise via a proposed future ‘cultural corridor’ (target delivery date late 2019).

Land and asset sales planned are:

  • Surfers Paradise Transit Centre site – a 1.8ha site including Bruce Bishop Carpark and Neal Shannon Park; and other city lots - 2 x lots off Scottsdale Drive and Energy Circuit in Robina; and around five lots at various locations previously acquired for drainage works.

“The Surfers Paradise site will be the most significant sale and we are ensuring any prospective purchaser retains 640 public carparks. This is the current average daily use. We will also ensure 100 spaces are reserved for community groups, above the 640,’’ he said.

“The purchaser will also need to recognise the current tenancies in the centre including the bus transit area, and provide a civic space in any future development. ’’

The sales process will start in 2017-18 via an international express of interest.

Birds eye shot of the gold coast beaches and skyline.