23 Mar 2018
Minister for Tourism and Culture
Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, today announced Anzac Hill Precinct in Alice Springs as the preferred site for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery with construction planned to begin early 2020.
He said the Gallery will attract thousands of visitors from across the globe every year to experience the most significant, striking art this country has ever produced.
“We promised this Gallery and we will deliver - it’s incredibly important for Alice Springs and Central Australia,” he said.
“It will create hundreds of local jobs during construction and create and support hundreds of ongoing jobs once complete – it will deliver significant flow-on benefits to local business. My Government has made a $50 million down-payment on this facility and plans to leverage funding from the Federal Government and private sector to create an incredible new cultural asset and something Aboriginal Australians are proud of.
“It will be the best place on the planet to experience traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art movements, from the world-renowned Hermannsburg water colours, to evocative Western Desert art to the works of leading Torres Strait Island artists and more.
“A project this important generates discussion, including about its location. The Anzac Hill Precinct is the preferred location because it suits an internationally recognised institution based on factors including size, sense of place and connection to the landscape, heritage and cultural considerations plus accessibility.”
Mr Gunner said Government can now begin formal negotiations with stakeholders including Aboriginal Traditional Owners and organisations, Alice Springs Town Council (who own Anzac Oval) and rugby / rugby league (who play on the oval). The old Anzac High School part of the Precinct is owned by NT Government.
Community consultation, including the Have Your Say website, saw hundreds of locals provide feedback.
“Everyone agrees this project has to happen, even if they differ on how it should happen. But the time for talk is over and the time to get on board and help make this project happen is here,” Mr Gunner said.
“The new South Australian Government wants this Gallery in Adelaide so we need to stop talking and fight hard to deliver it in Central Australia – the rightful home for the National Aboriginal Art Gallery.”
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss said Government understands Anzac Oval is highly valued as community green space and that will be respected in the planning and design process for the Gallery. The community, including Traditional Owners, will be consulted through this process.
Government is working with rugby league and union on relocation options ahead of their 2020/21 seasons.
“Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to get to this stage, especially the steering committee who have provided their time and expertise in guiding this project,” she said.
“The Gallery will transform and revitalise the town, act as a drawcard for national and international tourists, deliver social and economic benefits including jobs and be something every Aboriginal person connects with.
“It will cement Alice Springs’ reputation as the Inland Capital of Australia and the Red Centre as the heart of Aboriginal art in Australia and the rightful home for a National Aboriginal Art Gallery.”
Ms Moss said as well as starting initial planning and design work on the Gallery, Government will also consider and implement recommendations out of the steering committee report in relation to curation, governance, cultural considerations and community engagement.
A copy of the steering committee report can be found here: https://artstrail.nt.gov.au/initiative/National-Aboriginal-Art-Gallery
Media contact: Trish Grimshaw 0401 119 242