Project Update

Thank you to the residents, community organisations and businesses who shared their feedback during the community engagement period from 22 November to 22 December 2023.

We received feedback from over 1000 people via online survey responses, direct submissions and at on-site pop-ups.

Community feedback indicated there is strong support for the entertainment/conference and convention centre and First Nations Cultural Centre.

Council endorsed the Riverside Stage 3 report at the 13 May 2024 Council meeting and the recommendation to:

  • note and accept the outcomes of the stakeholder and community engagement program and the Riverside Stage 3 Business Case and supporting documentation.
  • pursue future funding opportunities, for the continued planning of the project, as they arise.

You can read the full Council Report and Meeting Minutes here.


What public venue do you want in Wagga Wagga for events, shows and conferences?

As one of the leading regional centres in NSW, Wagga Wagga needs facilities which provide both lifestyle and economic benefits for the community at a regional scale. Investment in contemporary cultural and conferencing facilities is critical to the continued growth of the city and will build on the region’s attractiveness and liveability.

We currently have two concepts to chase for the region. The purpose of this engagement is to obtain community feedback on which of these concepts is seen as the highest priority.

What is being asked?

The Wagga Wagga Cultural Projects - Information Brochure presents two potential projects – both resulting from previous community engagement – that will provide increased access to arts, entertainment, and cultural experiences for our residents while generating jobs and providing significant economic benefits to the community.

Both opportunities are relevant to our growing population and the purpose of this document and supporting engagement is to understand our community’s priority. If there was only an opportunity to fund one of the projects at this point in time, which one?

The Projects

Which of these two options would you like Council to pursue first? Have your say via our survey on this page.

Project A

A new regional scale entertainment, conference and convention centre, partnered with a Wiradjuri Keeping Place and cultural education centre. (Details on page 11 of brochure).

Project B

An expansion of the Civic Theatre at the Wollundry Lagoon that adds two new venue spaces to support more performances, theatre, live music concerts and workshops. (Details on page 19 of brochure).

Key points of comparison

Project A:

A new regional entertainment and conferencing venue with configurable space options through interconnected operable walls and acoustically treated spaces and a First Nation’s cultural centre and keeping place located at Riverside.

Project B:

An expansion of the Civic Theatre at the Wollundry Lagoon that adds two new venue spaces to support theatre, performances, live music and workshops (referred to as Venue 2 & 3).

Project A:

$102.5 million (to be secured through State and Federal funding)

Project B:

$55.6 million (to be secured through State and Federal funding)

Project A:

  • Entertainment/Live Music: 5000 people standing
  • Business conventions/conferences: caters to all conference sizes, seats up to 1200 theatre style, 800 banquet.
  • Tradeshows/exhibition space: large scale tradeshows to intimate showcases.
  • Large community events e.g. school concerts and end-of-year awards nights
  • National meetings of key industry associations
  • Cultural tours, educational programs and cultural dance performances.

Project B:

  • Venue 1: Maintain 492 seats in the current auditorium.
  • Venue 2: Live music / festivals: 328 people seated / 774 people standing. Gala dinners: 270 people. Large retractable window/wall for indoor/outdoor events on the lagoon.
  • Venue 3: Intimate gigs and events: 119 people seated / 200 people standing.
  • Total capacity across three venues increases from 491 to over 1,500.

Project A:

  • Creates the largest entertainment and conference facility in southern NSW, creating new markets for conventions, conferences, trade shows, the arts, and creative sectors.
  • Creates a hub for education and training for the arts, hospitality, and cultural sectors while building the region’s profile as a leader in cultural tourism.
  • Contributes to the liveability of our city by providing residents access to entertainment and live music experiences that are not currently on offer.
  • Increases recognition of the value of our First Nations heritage, provides opportunities for aboriginal cultural tourism experiences and supports job creation.
  • Positions the region as a cultural destination of state-wide significance with Wagga Wagga as the gateway, drawing visitors and tourism to the region.

Project B:

  • Activates the Wollundry foreshore to deliver more live entertainment and festival style indoor/outdoor events.
  • Enables the Civic Theatre to present standup live music gigs for 774 patrons.
  • Boosts the city’s night life and visitor economy for the Central Business District as a whole.
  • Contributes to the liveability of our city. Provides different sized venues that are affordable for community use, such as workshops, meetings, conferences and events.
  • Creates training and career opportunities for events, arts, hospitality and technical employees.
  • Expands an existing facility under the one roof, providing for efficiencies in the provision of technical services, bar and front-of-house staffing.