Funding has now been signed off for the new Proserpine Entertainment Centre. Pictured here is the old centre.
Funding has now been signed off for the new Proserpine Entertainment Centre. Pictured here is the old centre. Sharon Smallwood

Work can start on centre rebuild after funding signed off

THE process of rebuilding the Proserpine Entertainment Centre can now get under way after the  Liberal and Nationals Government signed off on its investment of $5 million for the project.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the upgrade would address the damage done by Cyclone Debbie.

"Whitsunday Regional Council can now get on with the job of getting Proserpine's much-loved entertainment centre rebuilt, and to a higher safety standard," Mr Christensen said.

"While people have been frustrated by the time involved in getting to this point, the situation was this.

""Following Cyclone Debbie, Whitsunday Regional Council got both government and insurance funding to rebuild the centre.

"When work started, they discovered that the building had some serious structural defects that had nothing to do with cyclone damage. These very serious structural issues were already there.

"That's why the Proserpine Entertainment Centre has to be demolished and rebuilt, and at a greater cost."

Mr Christensen said he sought funding of $5 million to assist with the greater costs involved and got a commitment from the government in March.

"There then needs to be a necessary process of approving a spend of such a magnitude and I am happy to say that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack signed off on the approval this week," he said.

"We were able to share the news in the region during his visit on Wednesday."

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government's significant investment in the reconstruction of the centre would provide long term benefits to the Whitsunday region.

"The Entertainment Centre is an important part of the fabric of this community and that's why we are backing its knock down and rebuild," Mr McCormack said.

"Defects which already existed were made worse by Cyclone Debbie's damage, and I am proud that thanks to George's advocacy, we are able to fund this important work."