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Monday, 26 February 2018
Page: 1817

Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (13:50): I rise to update the House and my electorate about Gosford's regional performing arts and conference centre, a major commitment to my Central Coast community. The coalition government has committed $10 million towards this project, with $12 million from the New South Wales government, including towards the conservatorium, and $10 million from the Central Coast Council. Together we are determined to see a world-class iconic venue that really reflects the beating cultural heart of our city.

Last week, I met with Central Coast Council leaders and members of the local arts community to hear the latest plans. It has always been the responsibility of Central Coast Council to decide on and determine the exact location of this iconic centre, and this remains the case. But it is fair to say that we are now at a critical time and we also have a glorious opportunity to deliver a decades-old desire for a performing arts space in Gosford.

Council has told me that the pre-design process has commenced, with the preferred location of the leagues club field on the waterfront at Gosford. Council is also holding workshops for key stakeholders in the arts, culture and conferencing centres. I've also been meeting with many local arts organisations to listen to their views and will continue to do so. In an exciting new development for this decades-old iconic project, council is now saying they expect construction to begin in January next year. It will take around 18 months to complete, so the proposed time line— (Time expired)