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21 August, 2020

Curtain goes up on new facilities at Munro Martin Park

Munro Martin Parklands now has top-notch back-of-house facilities to complement the ambience of its world-class performance space.

Cairns singer/songwriter, Samantha Clark and Cairns Regional Council Deputy Mayor, Cr Terry James

The completion of Stage 2 of the venue’s redevelopment, jointly funded by Cairns Regional Council and Australian and Queensland Governments, has delivered permanent structures for the performance stage, a green room, shower, all-abilities amenities, all-weather box office and mixing booth for audio/lighting needs.

More catering stalls and commercial operators can also be accommodated at the venue now with an upgrade of electrical services and the addition of a portable bar and cold room.

The $1.3 million works were made possible with funding from the Queensland Government’s Building Our Regions program ($650,000), the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund ($500,000) and Cairns Regional Council ($150,000).

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said Munro Martin Parklands had already hosted world-class performances, from music legends like Jimmy Barnes and Neil Finn, to the Royal Ballet, Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir, the Queensland Opera’s Barber of Seville, the Australian Ballet, Eurovision favourite Kate Miller-Heidke, and even a live streamed performance by the Bolshoi Ballet.

“These works truly complete and enhance this outstanding outdoor venue, adding high-quality, permanent back-of-house facilities for our performers,” Cr Manning said.

“We look forward to the day when we can welcome performers, musicians and the community back to Munro Martin Parklands to gather, celebrate and enjoy the sights and sounds of a concert or performance at this beautiful facility.”

State Member for Cairns Michael Healy said Munro Martin Parklands had fast become a popular venue for arts, cultural and community events and concerts, attracting crowds of thousands of residents and visitors alike since the official opening in 2016.

“Building our Regions, rounds 1 to 5, has allocated funding towards 264 construction projects and seven planning projects across 67 local government areas in regional Queensland, supporting an estimated 2767 jobs and attracting additional investment of over $538 million from councils and other organisations,” Mr Healy said.

“I am sure that these permanent facilities at Munro Martin Parklands will greatly enhance the venue and attract more high class, local, national and international acts.”

Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the $841.6 million Building Better Regions Fund had helped support hundreds of projects across the country that provided economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.

“The fund supports the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future. Munro Martin Park supports all of these aims,” Mr Entsch said.

Cairns singer/songwriter, Samantha Clark, who performs as Kaweyova, is also looking forward to trying out the new facilities.

Ms Clark performed at Munro Martin Parklands in 2019, where she prepared for the show in a temporary tent.

“I was lucky enough to share the stage with many different artists at the CPAC open day and it remains one of the most memorable performances for me,” she said.

“I think it is the ideal venue for any performing artist. The surroundings are so beautiful and it is incredibly atmospheric.

“I’m very excited to hear that there will be permanent facilities because it will mean we are creating a more comfortable space backstage for performers to warm up and prepare.”

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