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National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000



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Bills Digest No. 85 2000-01

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

ISSN 1328-8091

 Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2001

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Department of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document. IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

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Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 2001

I N F O R M A T I O N A N D R E S E A R C H S E R V I C E S

Bills Digest

No. 85 2000-01

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Rosemary Bell Law and Bills Digest Group 5 February 2001

Contents

Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Key Developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Functions of a National Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Visitors to Australian Museums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Quotes about the Functions of Museums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Main Provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Commercial and Fund Raising Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Disposal of Historical Material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Date Introduced: 6 December 2000

House: Senate

Portfolio: Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Commencement: Royal Assent

Purpose

To amend the National Museum of Australia Act 1980 in order to:

• enable the National Museum of Australia to exhibit material relating to Australia’s future as well as its past

• confirm that the Museum has the power to engage in a range of commercial and fund raising activities relating to its functions

• increase the value of historical material that may be disposed of without Ministerial approval, and

• establish a Museum Fund.

Background

The National Museum of Australia will open in Canberra on 11 March 2001 as a centre-piece for the celebrations of the Centenary of Federation. The Museum was established with bipartisan political support by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980 following recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections in 1975.1

The idea for a national museum had been around since Federation.2 In 1902 A Plea for a National Museum was made by Mr Arthur T Woodward, then Director of the Art Department at the Bendigo School of Mines in Victoria. Speaking to the Third General

Meeting of the Library Association of Australasia, Mr Woodward said that:

2 National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Sooner or later a National Museum will be founded, and it must be clear to any thinking person that no good can come of having a multiplicity of collections, and no central one. It must not be supposed for one moment that the existing State museums will be stripped of their treasures to such a degree as shall make visible the hand of an invisible desolator, and strike with dismay those who have nobly contributed to and upheld them in the past. Neither would the foundation of such a museum relieve them of the necessity of making future efforts in the many directions in which they are so fully, and we may hope, enthusiastically, occupied. Unless the spirit of magnanimity and patriotism dominates the people of Australia, and those who represent them on the management of such institutions, and those who are in possession of rare and choice specimens, I fail to see how it can ever be possible for a National Museum of Australia to become possessed of a great number of articles, particularly of articles that have an Australian historic interest. The natural home for the latter, now that we are one nation with one destiny, surely would seem to be a National Museum of Australia.3

Mr Woodward concluded that:

It behoves us all to look to it that our money is well spent, and that we get good value for it. The best men must be put in the best positions, and when the National Museum of Australia is founded let us make sure that its staff is composed of men of the highest attainments, experience, and integrity, and then allow them to have, as far as possible, a free hand to develop their respective departments according to their desire, and so ensure to the future of this vast continent a museum of such completeness and comprehensiveness of range that it may remain an everlasting monument to its founders and a source of living helpfulness to those who shall enjoy its many privileges.4

Despite repeated promises from the major political parties to proceed with permanent facilities for a National Museum, Australia has remained, until this year, one of the few countries in the world without an easily identifiable National Museum. In the past quarter of a century a number of potential sites have been considered, and issues of urban design, economics and environmental impact have all been debated.5

Key Developments

Key developments in the history of the National Museum of Australia have included the following:

• 1975. The Committee of Inquiry set up by the Whitlam Government developed the concept of a low profile museum with three themes (Aboriginal Australia, Social history, and the Environment), and recommended that the museum be sited at Yarramundi Reach in Canberra.

• 1980. The Act to establish a National Museum of Australia was passed in 1980.6 An initial collection was gathered, links were created with Aboriginal and Torres Strait

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000 3

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Islander and other communities, and travelling tours, open days, and public exhibitions were organised. The construction of permanent facilities was deferred by successive governments.

• 1993. The Keating Government committed $3 million for preliminary design work on a National Museum at Yarramundi Reach and pledged $26 million towards its construction, conditional on the private sector providing the remainder of the anticipated $60 million. However, within 18 months, the Commonwealth was advancing a new concept. In October 1994, the Creative Nation document described a Museum without any permanent exhibition galleries at Yarramundi Reach.7 Instead, it was proposed that the Museum would organise travelling or electronic exhibitions, and produce educational programs, information databases and multi-media resources. A permanent Gallery of Aboriginal Australia, not necessarily part of the National Museum, would be built at Acton Peninsula.

• 1995. Though the proposal to build the new Museum on Acton Peninsula rather than at Yarramundi Reach engendered much public debate,8 in 1995 the Federal Arts Minister and the ACT Government arranged to swap the Commonwealth’s land at the Kingston foreshore for the ACT’s land on Acton Peninsula.9

• 1996. In the March Federal election the Coalition parties promised to go ahead with a full three gallery Museum.10 The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)11 would be co-located with the Museum. The Howard Government set up an Advisory Committee to advise on the most appropriate site, cost options and strategies for the building of the new facilities.12 In December 1996 the Government committed $750 000 for design work to commence on a three-theme Museum to be located on Acton Peninsula. This was followed in 1997 by the Government’s announcement approving the total funding of $151.9 million, drawn largely from the Centenary of Federation Fund, for the construction of the new facilities for the National Museum and AIATSIS on Acton Peninsula. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has provided an additional $3 million for the project.13

• 1998. Construction began. The Museum was to have an opening date in 2001. The Government recognised that the timeframe of a little over four years to complete the construction was ‘extremely tight’. Using a traditional tendering and construction approach, previous projects of this scale have taken six years to complete. In July 1998, the Minister for Finance and Administration stated that:

the government has concluded that the method of project alliancing is the most appropriate delivery strategy for this complex project and the one most likely to achieve the project objectives relating to time, cost and quality.14

Project alliancing was a relatively new method of contracting that seeks to deliver a cost-effective outcome within a set time frame for a project through the project owner - in this case the Commonwealth (with the ACT Government) - sharing project risks

4 National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

and rewards with contractors. The project alliance method had not previously been used by the Commonwealth and, according to the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, not used on a building construction project anywhere else in the world.15

• 2001. The National Museum of Australia is to open on 11 March 2001.

Functions of a National Museum

The National Museum of Australia’s function is defined in section 6 of its Act. It is to research Australian history, develop and maintain a national collection of historical material, create exhibitions and programs which explore Australia’s heritage and history, and to make our history accessible to more Australians. The functions most usefully served by major museums change over time. In the nineteenth century and for much of the twentieth century, museums of natural science tended to be impersonal. The objects on display were heavily labelled and meticulously arranged so that the messages of evolution and progress might be enforced.16 A century ago, up-to-date museums of technology were seen as a vital means of inspiring and instructing mechanics, artisans, engineers, inventors and as an essential step in the advance of local manufacturing and mining. Today, museums are also asked to address issues of cultural diversity and social inclusion and to foster a sense of community.17

The National Museum has been collecting and storing historical material since its foundation in 1980. During the 1980s and 1990s, it focused on developing its collections through the transfer of existing Commonwealth collections, and acquisitions of new material. Many objects in the collection have been donated by public and private sector bodies, individuals, community groups, associations and Aboriginal communities. The total collection was valued at $128.286 million at 30 June 2000.18 Among the items in the Museum’s storage areas are: 110 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artefacts, including 95 000 stone tools ranging in size from tiny backed blades to an axe-grinding stone almost too heavy to lift; Australia’s largest collection of bark paintings; convict artefacts; prints and lithographs featuring early European images of Aborigines; material from federation ceremonies; protective garments and equipment from the 1994 Sydney bushfires.19 Through its eclectic collection, the Museum wants people to ponder what it means to be Australian.

The public has been able to see some of the Museum’s collection through a number of static and travelling exhibitions which have been organised, sometimes with State-based and other national institutions. The National Museum will continue with its outreach and educational programs. However the opening of the new facilities in March 2001 will mean that a central showcase can be developed for the first time, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore Australia’s cultural and environmental history, its place in the world and address questions about the country’s future.

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000 5

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

The Museum has three themes: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture; Australian society since 1788; and people’s interaction with the Australian environment. Central to the concept of the museum is the proposal that it be developed as a complex of inter-related galleries. The National Museum of Australia Act 1980 identifies only the first of these - the Gallery of Aboriginal Australia. According to the National Museum’s publicity, the museum facilities have been designed as a forum for sharing ideas from different cultures and interpreting the complex origins of Australia and Australians rather than simply housing static collections. It will present blended exhibits using technology, media, live performances, dynamic architecture and landscaped spaces to convey a sense of movement and evolving heritage.20

Visitors to Australian Museums

During the 12 months ending April 1999, about 85 percent of Australians attended at least one cultural venue or activity. 21 It has been reported that Australians spent more time visiting cultural venues, including museums and art galleries, than attending sporting events.22 Attendance rates were highest for people in the lower to middle age groups. However, compared with a similar survey of attendance at selected cultural venues carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1995, attendance at museums fell in 1999. Approximately 3 million Australians went to a museum in 1999 (19.9%) compared with nearly 4 million (27.8 %) in 1995. In 1999 about two-fifths of the residents of the Northern Territory (38.6%) visited a museum. Tasmanians (28.8%) and residents of the Australian Capital Territory (25.8%) also had attendance rates significantly higher than the Australian average (19.9%). Employed people, particularly those employed part time, had higher attendance rates than unemployed people and those not in the workforce. The highest attendance rate at museums was for people aged between 15 and 17 years (25.8%).23 There was little difference between the attendance rate of people living in the six State capital cities and those living in the rest of the country.24

The large drop in museum attendances (almost 900 000 people since the 1995 survey) has been partly explained by the temporary closure of some large museums, including the National Museum’s Visitor Centre at Yarramundi Reach which closed in October 1998. Other factors contributing to the decline in museum visitors could include the increased ‘virtual’ access to museums on the Internet, and a reduced number of special exhibitions.25

Visits to Australia’s museums and art galleries were also popular with tourists from other countries. According to a report on Cultural Tourism in Australia, compiled by the Bureau of Tourism Research in 1999, ‘around 60 percent of all tourists to Australia visit our cultural attractions’. The report found that, compared with the average international visitor, inbound visitors to cultural attractions tended to be younger, to stay longer and spend more.26

6 National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Quotes about the Functions of Museums

Virtually every nation has its national museum but here the argument for a national museum is particularly powerful. For the nation covers a whole continent; and moreover that continent, because of its long isolation from the other land masses, has had an unusual natural history and human history. A new comprehensive museum offers - for the first time - an unsurpassed opportunity to display the geological, climatic, natural and human histories of an entire continent. (Museums in Australian 1975)27

Museums [are not] simply buildings where ancient objects are preserved and displayed. Museums [are] vital places of education, entertainment and research where facets of the daily life of past generations of Australians can be seen and where our heritage of old trades, crafts and skills can be displayed and practised. (Museums in Australia 1975)28

Irrespective of whether a museum collects paintings, mineral specimens, archaeological relics, early printing machines or butterflies, its first duty is to preserve them. Some categories of objects are preserved because they are rare or will ultimately become rare. Some categories are preserved because they are typical and representative. (Museums in Australia 1975)29

[The National Museum’s] true importance…is to provide the nation with a museum that for the first time tells accurately, entertainingly and educationally a history of Aboriginal and European society in Australia and the interaction of both with the unique Australian environment. (Barry Cohen MP)30

[The National Museum’s] establishment will fill a gap in the array of institutions charged with the preservation of our cultural heritage and will demonstrate to the world the pride that we have in our country. (Bob Ellicott MP)31

Museums and galleries are there to educate, stimulate and fascinate: they satisfy our curiosity about the world and enlarge our understanding of the past and the present. They make a hugely important contribution to education and to the social and cultural identity of communities, as well as tourism. (Museums & Galleries Commission (UK)).32

I am not interested in being just an elitist institution that does not speak to a broad cross-section of the population. People say that the distinctions between fields are shrinking - the workplace and home, for example. These distinctions are also blurring in an art museum. Culture can be educational and entertaining. (Thomas Krens, Director of the Guggenheim Museum)33

The whole concept of the museum is to provoke, not to sit there as a group of mouldy old samples in a glass case. (Jack Thompson, Australian actor and Friend of the National Museum of Australia)34

The National Museum of Australia will enrich the lives of Australians by increasing interest in, and understanding of, Australia and Australians. It will do this through collecting, researching, preserving, interpreting and presenting, in an enjoyable way, Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture including people’s interaction with the environment. (National Museum of Australia)35

The National Museum - exploring the past, illuminating the present and imagining the future. (National Museum of Australia, Vision Statement)36

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000 7

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Main Provisions

Items 1 of Schedule 1 proposes a change to the Museum’s statutory functions to enable it to exhibit material relating to the future, as well as to the present and the past. One of the planned exhibits for children is called ‘kSpace - Creating a City of the Future’. This is a hands-on exhibit allowing children to contemplate life in Australian cities of the future. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the kSpace might be outside the Museum’s current powers. 37 To address this issue, item 1 inserts proposed new paragraph 6(1)(baa) into the Act. This will enable the National Museum to exhibit kSpace and other permanent or long term exhibitions of matters that relate to Australia's present and future as well as its past.

Commercial and Fund Raising Activities

Items 2 and 3 provide the Museum with power to develop and implement sponsorship, marketing and other commercial activities relating to the Museum’s functions. Proposed new paragraph 6(1)(e) is based on a provision in the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 199038. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, this will give the National Museum the power to enter into arrangements with commercial sponsors that could give the sponsors naming rights in relation to the Museum or parts of its building, or particular exhibitions, in return for donations of cash, goods or services to the Museum.39

Comment: Sponsorship of major exhibitions has occasionally led to controversy. Two recent examples in Australia were the 1996 sponsorship of a major retrospective exhibition of works by popular Australian landscape artist, Sir Arthur Streeton, by a woodchipping company, and the ‘Sensation’ exhibition of modern British art put together by art dealer Charles Saatchi which the National Gallery of Australia first sought and then cancelled.40

In 1983 German artist Hans Haacke gave the keynote address at the Australia Museum Association’s annual meeting in Canberra. In his address Haacke warned that corporate sponsorship was coming to have a pernicious effect on American art museums by both directly and indirectly influencing what was exhibited. As Haacke described it, ‘Exhibition proposals that do not fulfil the necessary criteria risk not being considered, and we never hear about them. Certainly, shows that could promote critical awareness…or question relations of power, have a slim chance of being approved, not only because they are unlikely to attract corporate funding, but also because they could sour relations with potential sponsors for other shows. Consequently, self-censorship is having a boom…’.41

Item 4 inserts proposed new paragraphs 7(2)(ja) and (jb) enabling the Museum to charge fees and impose charges for its services, and to raise money through events. The National Museum has been set a revenue target of $4.2 million in its first year. The proposed amendments will enable the Museum to engage in a range of commercial activities that will allow it to raise funds to meet this target. According to the Explanatory

8 National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Memorandum, the Prime Minister has asked that a review of the Museum’s financial position be conducted 12 months after it opens.42

By way of comparison, in 1999-2000, from the sale of goods and services, the Australian National Maritime Museum recorded a total of $5.135 million,43 the National Library of Australia, $8.598 million,44 and the National Gallery of Australia, $6.544 million.45

In September 2000 it was reported in the press that the National Museum was considering charging entry fees for general admission.46 More recent press reports suggest that general entry to the Museum will be free with an entry charge applying only to the temporary exhibitions.47 The National Gallery of Australia which had charged an entry fee from its opening in 1982, introduced a policy of free entry to the permanent collection in October 1998. The National Maritime Museum charges for general entry with an additional charge for temporary exhibitions.

Disposal of Historical Material

Items 5 and 6 concern the disposal of historical material. Most large museums conduct an ongoing review of their collections and storage facilities. From time to time objects are selected for disposal primarily because of their condition, their lack of provenance or duplication within the collection. In 1999-2000, 537 objects from the Bureau of Mineral Resources collection were approved by the Museum Council for disposal from the National Historical Collection. These objects included various technical instruments and miscellaneous equipment relating to the early work of the Bureau of Mineral Resources.48

The amendments proposed by items 5 and 6 raise the threshold at which objects for disposal require the Minister’s approval from $20 000 to $250 000. The Explanatory Memorandum explains that the current statutory limit of $20 000 was set when the Act commenced. It states that the proposed figure of $250 000 will better reflect current values of museum items and is consistent with the limit set out in paragraph 7A(1)(b) of the National Library of Australia Act 1960. As a comparison, paragraph 10(4)(b) of the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990 enables material included in the national maritime collection to be disposed of without the Minister’s approval if its value is less than $20 000 (amended 1991). Section 9 of the National Gallery Act 1975 provides that the Minister must approve the disposal of all works of art from the national collection.

Item 7 is a technical amendment relating to one of the grounds on which the appointment of the Director of the National Museum may be terminated, that is, if the Director ‘fails to comply with his or her obligations under section 19’. Section 19 of the Act was repealed by the Audit (Transitional and Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 1997. Section 19 required a member of the Museum Council with a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter being considered by the Council, to disclose it at a Council meeting and absent himself or herself from any deliberation or decision of the Council dealing with the matter.

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000 9

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

The disclosure of, and voting on matters involving material personal interests by Council members is now dealt with by sections 27F to 27J of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. Accordingly, item 7 omits the reference in paragraph 27(2)(e) of the Act to ‘section 19’ and substitutes a reference to ‘sections 27F to 27J of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.’

Item 8 adds a new section to Part VI Finance in order to set up a National Museum of Australia Fund. Section 36 of the National Gallery Act 1975 and section 44 of the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990 provide for the establishment of a Fund for each institution into which may be paid gifts and bequests (made otherwise than on trust) and money received from the disposal of property, devises, bequests and assignments. Proposed new section 34 of the Act will enable the Museum to have a similar Fund.

Endnotes

1 Australia. Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections, Museums in Australia 1975: report of the Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections including the report of the Planning Committee on the Gallery of Aboriginal Australia, Canberra, AGPS, 1975. (Chairman: P.H. Pigott).

2 A.W.Martin, Henry Parkes: a biography, Melbourne University Press, 1980, p. 370, records that in 1887 Sir Henry Parkes proposed that a National Palace be built on the most elevated spot in Sydney’s Centennial Park. ‘This he saw as the real monument to the cententary, a building “for the education of the soul of citizenship”, to consist of a repository for historical manuscripts, a gallery for statuary and works of art, and a mausoleum to be “the resting place of eminent persons, who shall have been ordered a public funeral by both Houses of Parliament”.’

3 ‘A Plea for a National Museum’, by Arthur T Woodward, In Library Association of Australasia, Transactions and proceedings at the Third general meeting held at Melbourne, April 1902, Adelaide, The Association, 1902, p. 93-96.

4 ibid., p. 96.

5 For greater detail on the development of the concept of a National Museum, the reader should see ‘The National Museum of Australia: the history of the concept’, by John Gardiner-Garden, Department of the Parliamentary Library Current Issues Briefs (Social Policy Group), no. 21 1996/97.

6 It was first proposed that the museum be called The Museum of Australia. This was in recognition that the two largest State museums - The Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Museum in Melbourne - both had continent-wide names and that confusion might result from the use of the words ‘Australian’ or ‘National’ in the title of the new museum. The name was changed to the National Museum of Australia in 1985 by the Statute Law

10 National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (no. 2) 1985. In September 2000 the council of the National Museum of Australia rejected suggestions from consultants that it ‘brand’ itself by adopting an Aboriginal or other name. The museum put out tenders for branding proposals because it was concerned at being confused with other museums, including the Australian Museum in Sydney. But the council chairman, Mr Tony Staley said: “Fundamentally the overwhelming view of the council was that we’ve got a great name and it must go on being the name”. He said the museum would continue to position and brand itself but “very often history just handles these things”. (Reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, 13 September 2000).

7 Australia, Creative Nation: Commonwealth cultural policy, October 1994, p. 76.

8 For details of this debate, see ‘The National Museum of Australia: the history of the concept’, by John Gardiner-Garden, Department of the Parliamentary Library Current Issues Briefs (Social Policy Group), no. 21 1996/97.

9 Hon Michael Lee MP, Minister for Communications and the Arts, News Release, 11 April 1995; Kate Carnell, ACT Chief Minister, Treasurer and Minister for Health and Community Services, Media Release, 11 April 1995.

10 For Arts Sake - A Fair Go! [The Coalition’s 1996 election platform for the arts], p. 12.

11 The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) was founded in 1964. It is now the largest research centre of its kind for information about the cultures and lifestyles, both traditional and contemporary, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. AIATSIS awards research grants which support a wide range of projects each year, including language research, personal life stories, education, music, art, history, archaeology, anthropology and Native Title developments. It also cares for a collection of printed and manuscript materials, and its Aboriginal Studies Press is the leading publisher of works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.

12 Advisory Committee on New Facilities for the National Museum of Australia and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. (Chairman: James Service AM).

13 According to the Australian National Audit Office, the project has been allocated a total budget of $155.4 million comprising:

• $5 million appropriated in the 1997-98 Budget for design development and approvals

• $146.9 million allocated from the Centenary of Federation Fund by Cabinet in November 1997

• $0.5 million in unexpected funds from the 1996-97 Advisory Committee process ‘rolled-over’ into the project, and

• $3 million from the ACT Government as a contribution towards on-site and off-site infrastructure costs.

Australian National Audit Office, ‘Construction of the National Museum of Australia and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’, Audit Report No. 34 Performance Audit, 1999-2000, p. 29-30.

14 House of Representatives, Parliamentary Debates, 1 July 1998, p. 5789.

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000 11

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

15 Australian National Audit Office, ‘Construction of the National Museum of Australia and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’, Audit Report No. 34 Performance Audit, 1999-2000, p. 33.

The project alliance method is innovative. The Queensland University of Technology, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the CSIRO are all recording the experiment. The alliance comprises the architects (Ashton Raggatt McDougall and Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowan), the contractors (Bovis Lend Lease, Tyco Australia Pty Ltd and Honeywell Ltd), the exhibition designers (Anway & Co.), and the clients (the Commonwealth and ACT governments). Contractors and subcontractors belong to one big contract and litigation is prohibited within this ‘no dispute’ culture. Both risks and rewards are shared. Savings are shared 70 per cent by the contractor and 30 per cent by the government; cost blow-outs of up to $7.2 million are funded 30 per cent by the government and 70 percent by the contractors. Above that figure, the government pays.

For more detail on the project alliance method see Australian National Audit Office, ‘Construction of the National Museum of Australia and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies’, Audit Report No. 34 Performance Audit, 1999-2000, p. 35-41.

16 Museums in Australia 1975, op cit, p. 5.

17 See for example the policy of the British Labour government as discussed in ‘English cultural services: government policy and local strategies’, by Stuart Davies and Sara Selwood, Cultural Trends, Issue 30, 1998, p. 69-110.

18 National Museum of Australia, Annual report 1999-2000, p. 9.

19 Edgar, Suzanne, ‘Dawn Casey’, Eureka Street, vol. 10, no. 7, September 2000, p. 40.

20 Clack, Peter, ‘Time to put our past on show’, Canberra Times, 16 July 2000.

21 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Attendance at selected cultural venues, ABS Catalogue No. 4114.0, April 1999. During the 12 months ending April 1999, 7.0 million people or 47.1% of the Australian population aged 15 years or over, attended sporting matches or competitions (excluding junior or school sports) (ABS, Sports Attendance, ABS Catalogue No. 4174, April 199, p. 3). In the same period, almost 85% of the Australian population aged 15 years and over (12.6 million people) attended at least one of the cultural venues/activities surveyed (ABS, Attendance at selected cultural venues, ABS Catalogue No. 4114.0, April 1999, p. 7).

22 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Time use on culture/leisure activities, 1992. ABS Catalogue No. 4173.0.

23 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Attendance at selected cultural venues, ABS Catalogue No. 4114.0, April 1999, p. 7.

24 ibid., p. 3.

25 ibid., p. 36.

26 Cultural Tourism in Australia: characteristics and motivations, commissioned by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts and compiled by the Bureau of Tourism Research, March 1999.

12 National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

27 Australia. Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections, Museums in Australia 1975: report of the Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections including the report of the Planning Committee on the Gallery of Aboriginal Australia, Canberra, AGPS, 1975. (Chairman: P.H. Pigott), p. 70.

28 Museums in Australia 1975, op. cit p. 1.

29 Museums in Australia 1975, op cit, p. 8.

30 Debate on the Museum of Australia Bill 1980, House of Representatives, 20 August 1980, Parliamentary Debates, 1980, p. 538.

31 Second Reading speech, Museum of Australia Bill 1980, House of Representatives 2 April 1980, Parliamentary Debates, 1980, p. 1639.

32 United Kingdom, Museums and Galleries Commission, [http://www.culture.gov.uk/heritage/museums_galleries.html]

33 Klebnikov, Paul, ‘Museums Inc.’, Forbes, No. 68, 8 January, 2001.

34 Cassidy, Frank, ‘Museum should be stage for ‘debate’’, Canberra Times, 3 November 2000.

35 National Museum of Australia, ‘Mission statement’, 1994.

36 National Museum of Australia, Annual report 1999-2000, p. 82.

37 Explanatory Memorandum, National Museum of Australian Amendment Bill 2000, p. 4-5.

38 Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990 provides that one of the functions of the museum is, at subsection 6(e) ‘to develop sponsorship, marketing and other commercial activities relating to the Museum’s functions’.

39 Explanatory Memorandum, National Museum of Australian Amendment Bill 2000, p. 5.

40 In 1996 the National Gallery of Victoria accepted sponsorship from North Limited to put on the first retrospective of Streeton’s work in 50 years. People who wrote about the exhibition commented on the inconsistency between Streeton’s views and the sponsor’s business. Through the 1920s Streeton protested repeatedly against the destruction of Australia’s forests. In the 1930s he railed against the granting of the first big pulp and paper concession to Australian Paper Mills in Gippsland. Commentators asked whether the National Gallery of Victoria had acted responsibly in accepting North’s sponsorship, and argued that an artist should not be shown under the auspices of a company whose activities are of a type he abhorred. (Bonyhady, Tim, ‘Streeton’s ghost’, Eureka Street, Vol. 6, no. 9, November 1996, p. 16.)

When the ‘Sensation’ exhibition was shown in New York there were allegations of private agreements between the Brooklyn Museum and the sponsor of the show, art dealer Charles Saatchi, and that other dealers with artists in the show were solicited to support the exhibition with donations. In March 2000 the Director of he National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Dr Brian Kennedy, was reported as saying that the NGA could not have accepted sponsorship from Charles Saatchi to display the controversial exhibition (AAP, 2/3/2000). Mr Saatchi owned many of the works in the ‘Sensation’ Exhibition which the NGA had cancelled in November 1999. Dr Kennedy told the Senate Estimates Committee on 25 May 2000 that the decision to cancel the exhibition had been made on advice from an exhibition agent after

National Museum of Australia Amendment Bill 2000 13

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

controversy at a New York showing had overshadowed the artworks. (Senate Estimates Committee, 25/5/1999, p. 327.)

41 Quoted in Bonyhady, Tim, ‘Streeton’s ghost’, Eureka Street, Vol. 6, no. 9, November 1996, p. 16.

42 Explanatory Memorandum, National Museum of Australian Amendment Bill 2000, p. 3.

43 Australian National Maritime Museum, Annual report 1999-2000, p. 54.

44 National Library of Australia, Annual report 1999-2000, p. 79.

45 National Gallery of Australia, Annual report 1999-2000, p. 69.

46 Price, Jenna, ‘Museum considers entry fees’, Canberra Times, 21 September 2000.

47 ‘Hyatt to open five new restaurants at National Museum of Australia’, Canberra City News, January 2001, p. 1, 6.

48 National Museum of Australia, Annual report 1999-2000, p. 23.