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MIAC GETS $2 MILLION AND BIMSARA $40,000 IN FEDERAL BUDGET GRANTS FOR MAJOR ISLAND PROJECTS Thanks to the recent Federal Budget, two island organisations have benefitted considerably. So much so, that one of the organisations, the Macleay Island Arts Complex Inc (MIAC), has benefited from the largest single grant for any organisation ever on our cluster of islands. MIAC has received a massive $2 million grant for the building of a totally new, purpose-built gallery and arts precinct. Three months ago, the Friendly Bay Islander predicted that around $1.5 million would be made available, but there were ‘no guarantees’. The prediction was made because of promises prior to the Federal election earlier this year. These were made by the Labor candidate for Bowman, Donisha Duff, and State Labor MP Kim Richards. With Labor gaining Government at a Federal level since 2013, the promises made had to be ‘promises kept’ in our opinion. And, true to their word, even though Donisha Duff did not win in the seat of Bowman, the money was announced in the recent budget, with State Member for Redlands, Kim Richards, making the announcement. Not only that; it was a surprise with an additional $500,000 forthcoming to bring the amount to $2 million for the MIAC project. To add further fuel to a positive fire, it was also announced that an additional $40,000 would also be coming to another island organisation, Bay Islands Multi Sport and Recreation Association (BIMSARA). The funding for the MIAC new headquarters has been heralded by new president Melinda Biggs. She told the Friendly Bay Islander: “We are absolutely thrilled with the announcement of the funding. “It is a testament to all involved, particularly Donisha Duff and Kim Richards as well as the MIAC people involved including Christopher Gilbert and the previous committee. “There are aspects that need to be finalised in the coming weeks, but I have to say everyone is so excited about our future,” the president said. Kim Richards said she was delighted that the ‘promises made pre-election were promises kept’. “It is fantastic news for our island communities with Donisha Duff’s election commitments secured in the Albanese Labor Governments recent budget. “This means the Macleay Island Arts Complex is set to receive $2 million to expand their current facility. “This is a significant investment in one of our most loved island arts and community spaces and I know is welcome news to our many creative talents across islands. “The Federal budget also secured $40,000 in facility upgrades for BIMSARA, they are another incredible island organisation supporting so many sports and recreational groups. “These projects along with our new $44 million ferry terminals continue to see important investment in our spectacular Southern Moreton Bay Islands,” Kim Richards said. The new building will be much larger than the present gallery and will encompass the entire current footprint that involves the current gallery and work areas as well as the adjoining pottery shed. The new structure will be in two sections and on two different, but adjoining levels. The higher level will include a large pottery area opening to a covered deck overlooking Moreton Bay to the west as well as an art work room and a racking kiln room. The lower level will house administration on the road side, kitchen and bathroom facilities, two galleries and a cafe shop. The cafe shop and Gallery 2 will open up onto a substantial verandah and covered terrace, again overlooking the wonderful waterfront location. This area will be ideal for current openings of art exhibitions and events. The $40,000 BIMSARA grant has been a wonderful surprise for the growing island organisation. Spokesperson for BIMSARA, Glynis Enright, told The Friendly Bay Islander: “This money will go towards improving amenities at the Resilience Centre precinct and sports fields on Russell Island, where our headquarters are located. “Covered shade areas are badly needed, as is adequate seating. “We are hopeful the money will be able to assist with the first stage of an exciting concept for the area, to be used by not only sporting groups, but the entire island community. “The money to be received is a ‘total surprise’ to us and we are very thankful for the recent Federal Budget and the efforts of Kim Richards an Donisha Duff.”

• Kim Richards and Donisha Duff with the previous MIAC Committee, prior to the $2 million grant announcement.

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