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Rudd's barber shop of horrors will destroy the national collections.



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THE HON. DR SHARMAN STONE MP Shadow Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Federal Member for Murray

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Wednesday 12 March 2008

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RUDD’S BARBER SHOP OF HORRORS WILL DESTROY THE NATIONAL COLLECTIONS

The Federal Department of Finance and Deregulation is attempting to cut further funding from the national collecting institutions, such as the National Library of Australia, by changing the calculations for depreciation funding, says the Shadow Minister for Environment, Heritage, the Arts and Indigenous Affairs, Dr Sharman Stone.

“Already, these national collecting institutions are being hit by massive cuts totalling $20 million through the 2% efficiency dividend imposed by Labor”, Dr Stone said.

“Now, it has been revealed, Minister Lindsay Tanner, wants to scrape even more funding away from the National Library and National Museum.

“At Senate Estimates hearings the Assistant Director-General for Corporate Services, Gerry Linehan, of the National Library worried that the issue of depreciation funding hang in the air. Depreciation for the Library’s collection now was estimated at $12 million per annum, up from $4

million dollars from several years ago.

“The Director-General of the National Library, Jan Fullerton, made it clear at Senate Estimates that the depreciation funding was primarily used for acquiring material.

Mr Linehan confirmed that the Rudd Government was investigating this issue.

“Australia’s cultural institutions are under attack from the bean counters at the Department of Finance. If the changes to depreciation funding are implemented as suspected, they will reduce the funds available to our national collecting institutions”, Dr Stone said.

“So far the Arts budget has been slashed by almost $50 million by the Rudd Labor Government. We have seen regional touring programmes squeezed away, international support for Australia’s artists cut, funding for new collections in jeopardy and support for young and emerging artists not announced”, Dr Stone said.