My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Jacinta Allan. It is in regard to the Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre (COPACC).
Through discussions with the Colac Otway Shire Council I am aware of an application currently with the Minister for Regional and Rural Development for funding from the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund to upgrade the Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre. At present COPACC comprises a main auditorium, a cinema, foyer area, administration spaces, meeting rooms and technical and storage spaces. A small commercial cinema is also operated from this facility. It is a large multipurpose venue, the largest in the shire, which holds a variety of functions, including school functions, conferences, weddings, corporate functions and fundraising events.
This facility is well supported in the community with organisations such as Colac Area Health, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Colac Otway shire schools, arts and theatre groups, and neighbourhood renewal.
The upgrade is for new theatre equipment, such as lighting and power outlets; fire protection and climate control systems; repainting and floor treatment; and the purchase of combination staging and tiered seating. The upgrade would allow COPACC to keep pace with the demands of the community. It is the only venue in the area that can provide for a sit-down dinner and dance function for over 300 people. It is well used, but it is also in need of an upgrade.
This project will also create a number of local jobs for the region, which is one of the positive aspects of the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund. On a number of occasions recently I have joined the mayor of Colac Otway Shire Council, Cr Lyn Russell, to launch and open a number of projects in the shire.
I know the shire is very committed to this COPACC project and will want to source local builders, architects and painters for the project.
If this project is funded, the positive flow-ons for the Colac Otway shire economy and community would be vast, and many groups, both community and corporate, would benefit. It would also ensure the proper upkeep of one of the shire’s most important assets. I take this opportunity to register my strong support for this proposal and call on the minister to make an announcement on this project as soon as possible.