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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 56

(Question No. 3027)

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

(1) What specific programs are there within his Department intended or designed to achieve co-operation with State, Territory and local governments to facilitate the showing of works of art and craft throughout Australia.

(2) What sums were provided under the programs in 1984-85.

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

(1) and (2) Within the Arts, Heritage and Environment portfolio there are a number of programs which facilitate the showing of works of art and craft throughout Australia and which involve co-operation with State, Territory and local governments.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment administers a scheme whereby exhibitions of cultural property valued at greater than $2 million may be approved for Commonwealth indemnity against loss or damage.

The purpose of the scheme is to ensure that the Australian public has opportunity to see major international and Australian touring art exhibitions which would not be possible without indemnity, because of the prohibitive costs of insurance. The International Cultural Corporation of Australia and the Australian National Gallery are approved managing organisations for these exhibitions, many of which are initiated by State Art Galleries. The exhibitions are shown in at least two States.

The total value of the seven exhibitions of cultural property indemnified by the Commonwealth during 1984-85 was $254,353,029. However, there was no expenditure by the Commonwealth for claims under the indemnity scheme in 1984-85.

The Australia Council provides a coordinated network of support for exhibitions at regional and State levels through the National Exhibitions Touring Support Program (NETS). There are three interdependent components of the scheme:

(i) State and regional based exhibition development, including the coordination and facilitation of intra State touring,

(ii) National communication of exhibition practices and broad based professional development and

(iii) National management, coordination and facilitation of interstate exhibition touring.

The Council allocated $87,454 towards the development of NETS in 1984-85.

In addition, the Crafts and Visual Arts Boards, and to a lesser extent the Aboriginal Arts, Design Arts and Community Arts Boards of the Australia Council operate a number of programs to facilitate the showing of works of arts and craft throughout Australia. Such programs may include exhibitions, acquisitions of art works and craft demonstrations and are intended to meet perceived needs and/or complement existing programs. The Australia Council also provides funds to the Arts Council of Australia and the Crafts Council of Australia, for many purposes, some of which encourage the showing of art and craft works at a regional, State and Territorial level. It is not feasible to identify specific sums provided in 1984-85 through the Australia Council for these co-operative exhibition programs.

The Australian National Gallery lends works of art to art museums and other institutions (including State and regional galleries) in all States and Territories. In 1984-85, 383 works were lent to 33 institutions to enhance their exhibitions and to enable the Australian National Gallery collection to reach a wider public throughout Australia. Two travelling exhibitions were organised for 1985 and three were organised in 1986. Under the Gallery's loans program all costs are borne by the borrower.

The National Library of Australia, as part of its Exhibitions program, lends works including paintings, works on paper and photographs for exhibition by State, Territory and local organisations such as libraries, art galleries and museums. On occasions, the Library also borrows material for exhibitions displayed at the Library. The costs of individual loans under the Library's Exhibitions Program are negotiated on a one-off basis. It is not possible to identify the exact cost to the Library of the various components of its Exhibitions Program for 1984-85.

Looking to the future, the newly established National Maritime Museum will also work with State, Territory and local government collecting institutions in its task of developing policies, collections and facilities which will adequately preserve, record and display all aspects of Australia's mercantile and naval history, as well as the life of Australians on its shores and waterways.