After 32 years of campaigning, art lovers in the Southern Highlands may be one step closer to the opening of a regional art gallery.
Celebrated artist Ben Quilty said $6 million had been raised for the project with "no funds coming from the council".
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Mr Quilty addressed councillors at a meeting on August 28 in response to a proposed motion put forward by Cr Ian Scandrett.
The motion, that the case study and plans for the regional art gallery be presented on September 11 failed to get up due to the lack of a seconder.
Mr Quilty said he attended the meeting to "talk through Cr Scandrett's problems with the regional gallery" and to provide an update.
"We are taking the steps we have been asked to fulfill," Mr Quilty said.
He said the council had conducted it's own feasibility study and had found an overwhelming need for the gallery.
"[My aim is to] try and help realise the dream of eventually having a regional gallery."
The art gallery is to be established at the old dairy at Retford Park and will be the first regional gallery in Australia with an Aboriginal name.
Mr Quilty said a 25 year lease had been signed with the National Trust for the building.
However, the artist said that he had sat in his lounge room "looking out on the foggy night, night after night," realising that even if the project got a $100 thousand pledge it was still only a very small portion of what was needed to bring the gallery to reality.
His concerns were allayed in late 2018 when the state government provided $2.49 million for the project through the Regional Culture Fund.
This money was supplemented by $3.1 million donated by the community. A Sutton Forest family donated $2.5 million to the cause.
Mr Quilty said he "started crying because it took so much pressure off" when he received a call about the generous donation.
The artist said Richard Crooks would head up the construction team.
"We are head long into construction," he said.
On September 4 at 9am the council will receive a project update.