Boosting arts in regional Victoria
There is no doubt that Melbourne is the arts capital of Australia. I understand why the state government has announced plans for the further extension of the arts precinct in Melbourne for contemporary art and cement Melbourne’s reputation as a “world-class arts destination”.
Let me state clearly that Melbourne has to my mind the best gallery in Australia.
However, why are we concentrating the arts in Melbourne?
Regional cities such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, to name a few, have proven their weight in gold with their contribution to the arts.
Why, I ask, do our politicians have a Melbourne-centric view of how the arts should be focused in Victoria - the compact state?
The Art Gallery of Ballarat houses the largest and most significant art collection in regional Australia.
Of course, there is also the Bendigo Art Gallery, which is making waves with its international exhibitions that are encouraging visitation to its city.
Geelong has the Archibalds for two years then there is Benalla, Ararat, Castlemaine and the TarraWarra Museum of Art, again to name a few.
Why isn’t Regional Development Victoria, Creative Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, Tourism Victoria and Local Government Centres working together to create the ultimate Arts Visit Victoria experience?
I do not understand why the Andrews Labor Government is not investing further in regional galleries and tourism with their economic potential for our regions.
The arts is alive and well in regional Victoria, and not just in the towns I have mentioned. It’s time we saw the whole of Victoria as our arts offering to the world.
Why isn’t tourism spruiking the joys of regional art collections?
Why isn’t Regional Development Victoria advocating for arts and culture in the regions?
And why aren’t regional politicians right behind the arts in their local communities?
This can be achieved by investing further in fast, efficient regional rail (as there is overseas), which will encourage national and international visitors to travel from Melbourne and see the wonders of our state.
It really is time to focus on the whole of our great state by our leaders.
Victoria is not just Melbourne.
Across our regional centres you can immerse yourself in the history, heritage, arts and culture, wine and food and the lifestyle that regional Victoria offers.
Ron Egeberg, Soldiers Hill