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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 549

Mr ELLICOTT - The construction of the Museum is a matter which will have to take its course, but it is not a matter for the Government not being committed to the development and construction of the Museum. I remind honourable members that the planning for the National Gallery started, I think, somewhere in the mid-1960s and has proceeded since. The collection for the National Gallery is not something that has been put together overnight. In this year's Budget some $7m, I think, has been set aside for that collection. The National Gallery is still putting together a collection which, one hopes, will be on exhibition towards the end of 1982, which is when the National Gallery should be ready to be opened. I stress again that these things cannot be done overnight. On the other hand, the Government is as anxious as anybody else to see our national capital with a fine museum which embodies the three themes that the Pigott report has suggested. They are magnificent themes. Obviously they have the support of both sides of the House. They will fulfil whichever object one wants to fulfil - whether it be an indication of the pride that Australians have in their heritage or something that speaks of what Australians are, what their background is and what their environment has been and means to them. It is a magnificent concept. Again I commend this Bill to the House.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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