Upgrades of Sydney Opera House and Walsh Bay to develop Arts Hub of the Asia Pacific

Published 24th February, 2015

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant today announced plans for major upgrades to the Sydney Opera House and Walsh Bay Arts Precinct to make Sydney the main centre for the arts in the Asia Pacific.

Mr Baird said a re-elected Baird Government would create a $600 million Arts and Cultural Infrastructure Fund as part of its Rebuilding NSW Plan.

“We’ll invest $202 million to upgrade Australia’s most recognisable asset, the Sydney Opera House, to a world-class performance standard that will enrich the experience for the eight million tourists who visit the global icon each year,” Mr Baird said.

“The Opera House’s largest and most popular venue, the Concert Hall, will be modernised to improve acoustic quality, theatre machinery and access. Stage dimensions will be increased and rehearsal spaces will be upgraded.

“The existing temporary function marquee will be replaced with a new function centre overlooking some of the world’s best views of Sydney Harbour.

“We’ll also set aside $139 million of the new Arts and Cultural Infrastructure Fund to further develop the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.

“We want to create new performance venues in Pier 2/3 and refurbish facilities in Wharf 4/5. We’ll unite the two wharves with a new public square on the waterfront.

“These two major upgrades will encourage more people to access the arts, and will hopefully cement the State as a world-class tourism destination,” Mr Baird said.

Troy Grant said this is a once-in-a-generation investment in our arts and cultural facilities and is a game-changer for audiences, artists and tourism in NSW.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is creating a first-class experience for visitors from around Australia and the world,” Mr Grant said.

“The Sydney Opera House is on the bucket list of most tourists visiting Australia and this renewal will improve the experience for everyone visiting our global icon.

“We also expect the number of people visiting Walsh Bay to more than double to two million within five years of the upgrade’s completion – up from the current 780,000 people visiting the piers each year.”

The balance of the Arts and Cultural Infrastructure Fund will be allocated to other priority investments outlined in the Rebuilding NSW State Infrastructure Strategy.

Published 24th February, 2015