Push to host major events

Alicia PereraPilbara News
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The Red Earth Arts Precinct could be the host of several national conferences once built with the City of Karratha in talks to host two major events in the building within months of its anticipated completion next year.

Organisers of the Developing Northern Australia Conference and Australian Performing Arts Centres Association Conference are in talks to possibly bring their events to the new precinct.

Both conferences are the major annual conventions for their respective groups and attract hundreds of delegates from across the country each year.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the interest was the result of local government lobbying to hold national events at the precinct and get it started on the right foot.

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“In an effort to attract national and international business and visitors to our region, City staff have been working hard to secure major conferences to be hosted at the new Red Earth Arts Precinct next year,” he said.

“At this month’s council meeting a funding proposal will be considered to attract the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association 2018 Conference.”

“The City is also currently in talks to host the 2018 Developing Northern Australia Conference, as well as two other conferences.”

Cr Long said securing the hosting rights for such major events at the precinct would be a win for local spending and tourism.

“Securing high-profile conferences for the Red Earth Arts Precinct will provide a significant economic boost for accommodation providers and local businesses in the region, with attendees coming from interstate and overseas,” he said.

“We will continue to explore opportunities to showcase both our great new facility and the City on a national and international scale.”

APACA executive director Rick Heath said the Karratha arts precinct was attractive because it would give voice to the “latent creative talent” in town and provide an important new link in the WA touring circuit.

“I’m so excited about the potential to host the conference and our Performing Arts Exchange in Karratha because it will surprise people,” he said.

“The opportunity to connect hundreds of Australia’s creative and arts management leaders with that environment is rare and will no doubt produce thinking and experiences and outcomes that we can’t even imagine — but I’m entirely confident it will be a place that inspires people.”

Mr Heath said potentially holding the conference in Karratha would be a logistical challenge but one they felt “would be worth it”.

Host locations for both of the 2018 events are expected to be confirmed in coming months.

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