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Whitsunday Regional Council has been rewarded for their lobbying efforts with the Palaszczuk Government today committing $500,000 to assist with the restoration of the Proserpine Entertainment Centre (PEC).
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding would go a long way to revitalising the PEC which has been closed since sustaining extensive damage during Category 4 Cyclone Debbie.
The Premier said the $500,000 funding for Proserpine Entertainment Centre was part of the $110 million committed by her Government to help Queensland communities recover and build resilience after Cyclone Debbie.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said this funding was a welcome boost and another example of the State Government and Local Government working together to deliver better outcomes for the community.
“This funding will assist Council to bridge the significant gap between our insurance claim and the major works required to ensure that, when restored, the PEC continues to be a quality cultural hub for our community,” he said.
“From day one as Mayor I have made it my aim to form a relationship with all tiers of government to ensure the Whitsunday Region secures our fair share of funding.
“I am proud the collaboration between Council and the Palaszczuk Government has delivered bonus funding for the PEC.”
Division Three councillor John Collins said restoring the PEC to its former glory as soon as possible was important for Proserpine.
“The extended closure of this facility has adversely impacted the arts and cultural landscape of the region, with the centre being forced to relocate events to the RSL or high school.
“The PEC is such a vital community hub for our residents hosting live performances, school events, movies, conferences and functions,” he said.
The PEC suffered extensive damage during the cyclone last March with timber flooring, collapsed ceilings, damaged electrical and air conditioning.
To add to the restoration woes, during reconstruction works a number of major issues came to light regarding air-conditioning and fire safety issues.
These issues were historical design flaws from the 1990’s which were only discovered during current repair works by the insurance panel builder.
Mayor Willcox said he and councillors tackled the new issues head-on and were determined that all these flaws be addressed during the current reconstruction works.
“The unexpected extra costs Council now face include air-conditioning and roofing upgrade ($200,000), audio and lighting upgrade ($315,000), fire safety improvements ($500,000) and driveway resurfacing ($50,000).
“Our aim is to ensure the PEC is brought up to current industry standards and is repaired stronger and better to ensure no issues in the near future.”
These issues are now being repaired and the insurance panel builder has estimated works will take 35 weeks to complete.