A creative hub celebrating the life of Mary Poppins author PL Travers has given Maryborough a new star attraction and an arts and culture focal point for Fraser Coast region.
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious project transformed the unique heritage-listed Australian Joint Stock Bank building, where PL Travers was born, into an interactive home for stories and storytellers.
"Aptly named The Story Bank, it will add an 'element of fun' to the Maryborough Portside Precinct, housing the stories of the community and telling the tale of the city's most famous author," Mr O'Brien said.
"The Story Bank provides a touch of magic, with interactive displays, a theatrette, gallery and storyteller's workshop, which brings to life the stories of the world's most beloved nanny and will become a practically perfect tourism gem for Wide Bay."
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project, which supported 10 jobs and will create one ongoing role, would position the precinct as a significant centre for arts and culture.
"This hub will continue to support jobs in the regional culture and arts industries by creating a focal point for local artists and businesses to meet, work and showcase their work to an increased number of visitors to the area," Mr McCormack said.
Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the building's adaptive fit-out included the creation of interactive displays, a workshop, meeting space and a retail and café area.
"The project also includes the ongoing restoration of the historic building – originally the Australian Joint Stock Bank – ensuring our heritage is maintained along with the memory of one of our most beloved Australian writers," Mr Dick said.
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the project is something all Queenslanders can be proud of.
"We have a rich, creative history in this region, and it will be fantastic to share this history with visitors from across Queensland and the world.
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said visitors would be enthralled by the stories and robust program of creative arts on offer, with budding artists able to take advantage of the new workshop space.
"The restoration of this historic building and its transformation into The Story Bank is a testament to what we can achieve when the three tiers of government work together," Cr Seymour said.
The project was jointly funded with the Australian Government providing $395,000, the Queensland Government $395,000 and Fraser Coast Regional Council $790,000.