BREAKING: Rocky Art Gallery contractor named
"WORK is officially under way" on the new Rockhampton Art Gallery, with the Queensland Premier here to announce the successful tenderer for the $31.5 million construction job.
Rockhampton company Woollam Constructions was named as the winner for high-profile project this morning.
Premier Annastacia Palazczuk said the construction of the gallery will generate 180 jobs and host one of Australia's most "outstanding collections of art".
"I know it is going to be a treasure trove of magnificent art work," she said.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said the process to move the collection of more than 400 pieces will take a lot of work, but her team was ready and excited to get started.
"This is an amazing step in a new journey for Rex Pilbeam's amazing collection," she said.
Woollam Constructions Managing Director Craig Percival said the gallery would make Rockhampton proud.
"It will be the stuff of legend - a project that our people will consider a legacy," he said.
The State Government is providing $15 million of the project's costs, with the remainder being shared by the Federal Government and Rockhampton City Council.
Weather permitting, the gallery was expected to open in 2021.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said it is an investment in Rockhampton's future.
"This is a $31.5 million magnet that will draw a whole new kind of tourist to Rockhampton," he said.
"Dargie, Blackman, Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Olsen, Whiteley - these are priceless works of art that can only be seen in Rockhampton."
"This is about unlocking employment and investment opportunities for the city, with the development contributing to the revitalisation of the CBD and region."
Respected gallery owner, Philip Bacon, said Rockhampton's collection is the envy of museums and collectors worldwide.
"It is undoubtedly the finest collection of Australian art outside a capital city anywhere," he said.