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Film studio for city

Friday, 26th February, 2010

City Council has embarked on a plan to develop a multi-million dollar film studio at the former Central Power Station.

Built in the 1950s to supply extra power for the mines, the site was once a diesel power plant. It was decommissioned in 1986 following the building of a new power station. The CPS will now get a $2.1 million facelift to turn it into a film studio which will be ready for use when the fourth Mad Max film begins shooting in August - just five months away.

The decision was made at the City Council monthly meeting on Wednesday night, where General Manager Frank Zaknich described the CPS as one of the city's most substantial buildings. But Mr Zaknich said Council had a lot of work to do, including amending land use, changing Council's adopted 2009/14 management and financial plans and preparing a development application before the CPS is transformed into a finished studio.

"There is a tight timeframe but it's do-able," Mr Zaknich said. "We have had very strong support across the key stakeholders and that's the main thing."

The project was proposed by the film industry and has been supported by the NSW Government which has also agreed to fund half the costs of the project, pledging $1 million. Mr Zaknich said Council would seek the remaining funds through a variety of sources including interest free state government loans, federal government grants, private sector investment and Council equity."Council has an annual budget of up to $500,000 to support business development assistance policy initiatives," Mr Zaknich said.

"This is in addition to any external funding secured of business opportunities or partnerships council may resolve to undertake." Council has also agreed to enter into a heads of agreement with the site's owner, Perilya, to allow for the transfer of ownership of the land and buildings to Council."Perilya has been very helpful in making this all happen," Mr Zaknich said.

The mining company has agreed to give Council the land and building provided it moves the electricity line that runs through the building that connects the north and south mines.

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