The construction of the planned $20 million conservatorium and planetarium in Orange could be a step closer to going ahead pending the outcome of the federal election in less than two weeks.
On Tuesday, Member for Calare Andrew Gee said the federal government would invest $10 million in the Orange Conservatorium Development if the Liberals and Nationals are re-elected, regardless of who wins the seat of Calare.
"Taking the Orange Regional Conservatorium to the next level and combining it with the planetarium will create something truly unique," Mr Gee said.
Following the election promise, stake-holders are hopeful a $5 million state government grant application will be successful and Orange City Council would contribute the remaining $5 million, through the sale of the existing conservatorium building.
The facility would include a 250-seat auditorium, teaching spaces, music studios and a planetarium that will show virtual simulations for astronomy.
The funding was announced after the council and stakeholders sent a delegation to Canberra last year but did not lodge a funding application.
Mayor Reg Kidd said the facility would be built at the civic square which fronts onto Byng Street and already includes a museum, library, art gallery and theatre.
"This project will benefit the region through teaching, creative development and tourism for many decades to come," Cr Kidd said.
Orange Regional Conservatorium music director Donna Riles welcomed the election promise.
"With the deployment of a new world-class state-of-the-art building funded by a suite of government grants we have the opportunity to build and ensure a cultural first for the people of regional NSW and complete the music component missing from the arts precinct of Orange," Mrs Riles said.
Planetarium campaigner Rod Somerville said he and a group of like-minded community members had been calling for the construction of a planetarium since 2003.
Mr Somerville said the planned facility would be similar to facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth and would include an 11 metre dome with 75 seats.
He said the seats would be curved, all face one direction, would tilt and recline and there would also be a small space at the front for lectures or musicians.
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