Art museum on the way

Mayor Kim O’Keeffe recently welcomed federal and state politicians, including the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, to Shepparton for an update on the city’s art museum project.

Construction on the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) at Victoria Park Lake is expected to begin late this year.

Greater Shepparton City Council is providing more than $15 million towards the project, the Federal and State Governments $10 million each and the SAM Foundation $4.5 million.

Mr McCormack said: “Once complete, this museum will be among Australia’s top art galleries, showcasing the region’s diverse cultural communities as well as contemporary and international exhibitions. The new Art Museum will make a huge contribution to the region’s economy, creating 180 jobs during construction and 20 ongoing roles for the community.”

Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said the museum was a major investment in the region, incorporating a sculpture forecourt, a community arbour, an art hill and performance spaces. Also in attendance were the Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum and the state Member for Northern Victoria Region Wendy Lovell.

Mayor O’Keefe said:  “The new SAM will position Greater Shepparton as a progressive region in the arts world and as a tourism destination. The world class architecture of this building will attract people from all parts of Australia and internationally to visit the museum for its exhibitions and to see the building itself.”

Mayor O’Keeffe said the museum would also help attract investment to the region and “most importantly it will provide a destination for locals to catch up with friends and relatives for a coffee or a meal. It will provide a spectacular meeting place for everyone to enjoy and be proud of.”

While in Shepparton Mr McCormack, with Mr Drum and Senator McKenzie, announced federal funding of more than $6.6 million towards the ten successful projects under the Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package.

Money went towards construction of the Shepparton Truck and Transport Museum and Events Hub, a new Apple and Pear Packing Facility, a Pillowplate Heat Exchanger Laser Welding Machine being delivered by J. Furphy & Sons and the creation of a Stanhope Rice Milling Facility.