“It’s a simple, innovative initiative that will bring local arts and music to vacant city areas, improve the life and vitality of the city, improve the creative and night time economy, and help address the perception that Canberra is too formal and sterile,” Ms Le Couteur said.
“The Greens costed three years of funding for the program and put the initiative to Government as a formal submission to the 2011 ACT Budget.
There will now be a 10-day trial of the initiative, under which Canberra’s vacant office space in the city is used for short and medium term arts, music and community projects.
“We’re really pleased the Government will start with a 10-day trial after a year long campaign by the Greens for ‘Renew Canberra’.
“While we welcome the 10 day trial, we believe that ‘Renew Canberra’ needs to be given time to grow.
“The program could be run for 3 years at a cost of $50,000 per year, with an additional $50,000 in the first year for start up costs. This is an affordable arts initiative that would improve the vibrancy of our city,” Ms Le Couteur said.
Canberra’s inner city certainly has room for improvement. But it’s hard to compare it to a de-industrialising industrial city. Is there much we can realistically take from the Newcastle model?