Some of the performers at the National Busking Championships South East Queensland event in Stanthorpe in 2017. Picture: Liana Turner
Some of the performers at the National Busking Championships South East Queensland event in Stanthorpe in 2017. Picture: Liana Turner

Push for Southern Downs entertainment precinct fires ahead

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Plans to give live entertainment across the Southern Downs a new home and reinvigorate the industry have been progressed by the council.

Spearheaded by the Granite Belt Music Council, the push for a ‘special entertainment precinct’ in the Stanthorpe CBD would ease performance venues’ noise and music restrictions.

The plans from GBMC would include the CBD from Corundum St to Granite St, including Maryland St, along with the Little Theatre on Connor St and the Stanthorpe Showgrounds.

The music council presented the proposal to Southern Downs Regional Council in November last year, stating the move would bolster the Granite Belt’s creative spirit and tourism sector after years of hardship.

“We will be encouraging the overall health and wellbeing by encouraging creativity of our community through such creative activities,” a GBMC report stated.

“The message will spread far and wide that we are a resilient and creative community, a community and area that is certainly worth a visit.”

Proposed plans for a special entertainment precinct in Stanthorpe CBD.
Proposed plans for a special entertainment precinct in Stanthorpe CBD.

The report cited Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley area as an example of how a special entertainment precinct could attract visitors and investors alike.

More than 400 Granite Belt residents have so far signed the petition vouching for the design.

A motion to consider the entertainment precinct as part of the new planning scheme for Stanthorpe was voted through unanimously at SDRC’s Wednesday meeting.

Despite the overwhelming council support, Mayor Vic Pennisi and councillor Stephen Tancred each voiced concerns about enforcing liquor permits and how the increased noise could affect nearby residents.

Councillor Jo McNally also hoped the proposal could be extended to other towns in the region.

The proposal will now return to council officers for further planning and consultation.

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