Artist impressions of the Caloundra Master Plan at 77 Bulcock St. Note, it does not depict the final concept design.
Artist impressions of the Caloundra Master Plan at 77 Bulcock St. Note, it does not depict the final concept design.

‘It will go off’: New gallery compared to MONA

CALOUNDRA'S anticipated new art gallery has been hailed as a tourism mecca, compared to Tasmania's MONA by a prominent business leader.

Michael Shadforth believes Caloundra can thrive with its new CBD redevelopment and that the future is bright for surrounding businesses.

The Caloundra Chamber of Commerce president said the new gallery will have an appeal similar to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) and ability to showcase similar exhibitions.

"When they build it, Caloundra will be bigger and better, it's going to be incredible," Mr Shadforth said.

"Think about what MONA has done for Tasmania, it's massive. It will go off.

"One of its exhibitions alone attracted like 300,000 visitors in six months, for one exhibition."

The Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania which Caloundra’s new gallery has been compared to. Photo: Mona/Jesse Hunniford
The Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania which Caloundra’s new gallery has been compared to. Photo: Mona/Jesse Hunniford

Mr Shadforth said when the cultural hub is up and running, initial reports from council indicate 2023-24, it will help attract a whole different range of visitors, each demanding a different level of service.

"All the retailers will have a big advantage and in the long-term if they turn to the creative space, it will give them a different level of talent," Mr Shadforth said.

Sunshine Coast division 2 councillor Tim Dwyer visited some of the country's top galleries to compile a portfolio of aspects that would suit Caloundra.

"I won't make comparisons with MONA but we heed that ability to attract people to Caloundra like Southbank does, like what Wollongong's gallery does and the Gold Coast's," Cr Dwyer said.

"The current gallery doesn't cater for the growing population and we are overdue for a gallery, but we need something that will still be effectively functioning by 2040.

"It's all part of the big picture of the Master Plan, we want and need people living in the CBD, and a place that people want to linger at and socialise, in addition to do business."

Tim Dwyer said the proposed gallery would sit on a 1140sq m footprint but with a three-storey building with plans for a potential rooftop area.

He said there was a push for a permanent but changing display to show off Caloundra's heritage.

Project director Debra Robinson said the whole vision was "incredibly exciting".

She said the gallery and CBD would be complemented with transport from Bulcock Beach to the heart of Caloundra inviting residents and holiday makers to stay.


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