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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4074

(Question No. 3016)


Mr Tickner asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 29 November 1985:

(1) What Commonwealth and State programs exist to encourage the purchase and/or commissioning of works of art as part of public building programs.

(2) What sums were spent by the Commonwealth during 1984-85 on the acquisition or commissioning of works of art for (a) new and (b) existing Commonwealth buildings.


Mr Cohen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Commonwealth encourages the purchase and/or commissioning of works of art for public buildings in a number of ways.

Artbank, a program administered by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment, promotes the development and appreciation of Australian art by the acquisition of art works by Australian artists. The works of art acquired are made available to clients by rental for display in locations accessible to the public, such as Government offices and private business throughout Australia and Australian overseas posts.

In 1984-85 a total of 438 new works were acquired by Artbank for a sum of $319,000. 90% of the total 3,456 piece Artbank collection was on hire at the end of 1984-85 and the rental income generated for the year was $275,000.

In 1984-85 Artbank spent $33,850 on the purchase of artworks requested by client Government departments for display in new Commonwealth buildings.

The Department of Housing and Construction may make provision for works of art in new Commonwealth buildings to a maximum of 0.5% of project cost subject to agreement by the client and approval by the Government. There is close consultation with Artbank in the case of portable works of art and with the Australia Council in the case of fixed works.

The National Capital Development Commission makes provision for works of art in appropriate public buildings and places as part of the integrated development of Canberra. Such works are located in areas where they will be accessible to a maximum audience across the community.

In consultation with the Australia Council and the Department of Housing and Construction, the Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment is reviewing current arrangements with a view to encouraging greater use of art works in public buildings.

The Commonwealth does not have details of possible State Government programs to encourage the purchase and/or commissioning of works of art as part of public building programs.

(2) My Department has sought advice from all other portfolios on the sums spent by the Commonwealth during 1984-85 on the acquisition or commissioning of works of art for Commonwealth buildings:

(a) in 1984-85 approximately $1,113,000 was spent by the Commission on the aquisition or commissioning of works of art for new Commonwealth buildings; and

(b) in 1984-85 approximately $129,875 was spent on works of art for existing Commonwealth buildings.