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Monday, 8 February 2010
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To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives:


This petition of concerned citizens draws to the attention of the House to the following:

  • The announcement of the closure of the Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart offices of the National Archives of Australia starting in less than 10 months with the Darwin office;
  • The contradiction between this announcement and the service stated to be provided to the public in the National Archives of Australia’s Service Charter, viz:- “We have reading rooms in each capital city in Australia where you can research the Commonwealth records held there,”;
  • The contradiction between the announcement and the Government’s commitment to more openness in government as stated on the website of Prime Minister and Cabinet in relation to changes to the Freedom of Information regime;
  • The disadvantage this imposes on the people of those states and Northern Territory, not least to indigenous people who are part of the Stolen Generation, and on child migrants, so recently acknowledged by the Prime Minister, who attempt to trace their family;
  • The withdrawal of the help pledged by the National Archives of Australia to “Australian Government agencies Ito] create and manage their records” to those agencies in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

We therefore ask the House to instruct the National Archives of Australia to reverse its decision and to provide funds to the National Archives of Australia so as to sustain the services of those offices in Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart into the future.

Mrs Irwinby (from 5,748 citizens)