Enriching town through its art

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph
The Cossack Art Awards Exhibition is on until August 14.
Camera IconThe Cossack Art Awards Exhibition is on until August 14. Credit: Margaret Bertling/Bertling, Margaret Bertling

A strategy to increase the community’s cultural value through mandated spending on artwork in public buildings was passed through an ordinary Town of Port Hedland meeting recently.

Private and government developments valued at more than $2 million would now be compelled to spend at least one per cent of the project cost on public art consignment, a shift from the previous threshold to require the spending which sat at $5 million.

Town projects would also now be required to dedicate two per cent of the project cost to public art.

Town of Port Hedland commissioner Fred Riebeling said the new policy will increase Hedland’s appeal and amenity.

“The purpose of the improved policy is to facilitate the development of a range of diverse public art that celebrates the values of Port Hedland through its unique character, indigenous history and future aspirations,” he said.

“There is a desire within the community to increase the social, cultural and economic value of the town, so we have amended our policy to reflect this.

“The application of this policy will see a greater reflection of Port Hedland’s rich Aboriginal culture in public developments into the future.”

The Town of Port Hedland also used to accept cash-in-lieu of public art; the new policy scrapped that clause, now compelling developers to consign public art on eligible products.

The revised policy places a strong emphasis on the Kariyarra, Ngarla and Nyamal people by mandating that members of all three communities be consulted prior to the final approval for any public art.

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