The Innisfail community will have access to state-of-the-art library facilities following today’s announcement that a re-elected Bligh Government will deliver $2 million to help fund a new multi-purpose library.

Premier Anna Bligh said the old library had been damaged extensively by Cyclone Larry and has been operating out of temporary facilities since 2006.

In 2009 community consultation began on the best option to replace the library. Council-owned land next to the existing Shire Hall on Rankin Street has now been identified as the preferred site for the project.

“It’s time to rebuild the library and rebuild it better, as part of a broader vision we share with Council for a Cassowary Coast Community Hub.” the Premier said.

Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, welcomed the Bligh Government’s commitment.

“More than 31,000 people live across the Cassowary Coast and it’s important they have access to quality community facilities,” Mr Pitt said.

“A fully functioning public library service is a necessity for any vibrant community.

“Public libraries allow people of all ages – and importantly all economic circumstances – to improve their knowledge and unlike school libraries can be accessed throughout the entire year.

“Libraries are not only places where people can get access the internet, books and other educational materials, in many cases they’re also places where community groups meet.

“The new library will be available for use by community groups and a place to host meetings with dedicated multi-purpose spaces.”

The Bligh Government’s funding will be used to help deliver the library, as the first stage of the Cassowary Coast Community Hub, which will enhance the quality of life in the region through access to learning resources and cultural facilities.

Mr Pitt said the Hub will also provide an opportunity to showcase the region’s rich multicultural heritage and the creativity of its Indigenous people. Opportunities for employment of local artists will be provided through a public art component of the Hub.

“The Hub will support businesses in the region including tourism, health and well-being information and education providers.” Mr Pitt said.

“A ‘community lounge room’, potentially including an art space, book shop and display space for Indigenous artwork for sale will be a cultural drawcard for the community.

“I understand the project will also support around 51 construction jobs which is good news for local tradies.”

The Premier said the $2 million in funding would come from the State Government’s Local Grants and Subsidies Program.

“This is a way of making sure councils who need a helping hand to fund important projects which will benefit the local community can get them off the ground,” The Premier said.

Council has committed the value of the land, as well as project management costs, and will utilise the Bligh Government’s $2 Million, along with its own contributions, to help bring the project to reality.

“The Cassowary Coast Regional Council can now get on with the job of delivering this project for the community of Innisfail and the Cassowary Coast”.