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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2388

(Question No. 4882)

Mr Connolly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 13 November 1986:

(1) What agreement has been reached between the National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Maritime Museum.

(2) What efforts have been made to rationalise the resources of these Sydney-based institutions.

(3) Are the scarce funds available for museums being spent on the National Maritime Museum project that is overlapping existing facilities.

(4) What expenditure on the National Maritime Museum has been spent on (a) travel, including details of (i) who undertook travel, (ii) places visited and (iii) reasons for travel, (b) consultants, (c) publicity, (d) office accommodation, (e) design, (f) construction and (g) the collection.

(5) Has the decision to develop the National Maritime Museum resulted in a reduction in funding to other museum projects.

(6) What proposals are being considered for the establishment of a National Aviation Museum.

(7) What consideration has been given to siting such a museum at (a) Laverton, (b) Ballarat or (c) elsewhere.

(8) What offers have been made for the construction of such a museum.

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

(1) The Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Maritime Museum are discussing possible arrangements for the Sydney Maritime Museum to lease some of its historic ships to the Australian National Maritime Museum for display at its wharves in Darling Harbour. Discussions are also taking place about other artefacts which the Sydney Maritime Museum has generously offered to make available to the National Museum for its opening and future displays.

(2) Current discussions with the Sydney Maritime Museum aim to ensure that the two organisations work together to provide the best possible displays and activities, for the benefit of all Australians and overseas visitors. Both museums also recognise the need for the two organisations to continue as separate institutions. The Australian National Maritime Museum's role and function is much wider than that of the Sydney Maritime Museum. The Sydney Maritime Museum is a private organisation operated partly by volunteers, which is concentrating on the preservation, restoration and operation of a fleet of historic ships.

(3) No-the Australian National Maritime Museum is being established for all Australians as a national institution to assemble and exhibit the national maritime collection to display all aspects of Australia's maritime history.

(4) (a) Travel-$60,600 comprising travel to the date of the question (13 November 1986) as follows:




Places visited


Reasons for travel




Attend meetings with Minister, Department and attend Council Meeting

Perth Member

7 trips Sydney and Canberra

Attend Council Meetings

Hobart Member

2 trips Sydney 1 trip Canberra

Attend Council Meetings

4 Sydney Members


Attend Council Meetings.




Attend Interviews

34 from Canberra

4 from Melbourne

4 from Adelaide

4 from Perth

2 from Brisbane

1 from Darwin

1 from Newcastle

1 from Griffith (NSW)

1 from Rockhampton



Attend Interviews

2 from Sydney

1 from Melbourne

1 from Perth

Members of Panel 3 from Canberra


Conduct Interviews

Member of panel from Canberra


Conduct Interviews

Members of Panel 4 from Sydney


Conduct Interviews

Successful applicants 3 from Canberra


Take up duty

Staff Travel-$28,100

Director (Interim)

19 x Canberra

2 x Melbourne

1 x Brisbane

Discussions with Minister, Department, other Commonwealth organisations, Senate Estimates hearings, visit other Museums.

Resources Management:

Class 11

Class 8

Class 7

Class 6

Class 4

C.A. Gr. 5

3 x Canberra

1 x Melbourne

1 x Canberra

1 x Melbourne

1 x Canberra

1 x Canberra

1 x Canberra

1 x Canberra

Meetings with Minister, Department, Senate Estimates hearings, visit other Commonwealth bodies


Class 7

7 x Canberra

Discussions with Department


Class 9

Class 7

5 x Canberra

1 x Melbourne

1 x Canberra

Meetings with Minister, Department, other organisations, Commonwealth Fire Board


Class 9

1 x Canberra

1 x Adelaide/Perth

Attend conference, meetings with other institutions.


Class 9

2 x Canberra

1 x Perth

1 x Echuca/Melbourne

1 x Canberra/


Attend conferences, discussions with potential sponsors

Collections Management:

SES Level 1

Science 4*

Class 9

Curator Grade 2

Museum Assistant Grade 2

2 x Canberra

1 x Canberra/Echuca

1 x Brisbane

1 x Canberra/Sydney/Mackay

3 x Canberra

1 x Brisbane

1 x Melbourne/Launceston/Hobart

1 x Adelaide/Perth

1 x Canberra

Attend conferences, discussions with Depts and other bodies re. the mari- time collection

* Officer on loan from the Australian War Memorial.

(b) Consultants-$73,000

(c) Publicity-$72,000

(d) Office accommodation-$138,000

(e) design-$39,200

(f) Construction-$3,153,000

(g) Collection-$334,000.

(5) No, not directly. Following the decision to undertake a review of the Commonwealth's involvement in the development of museums, it was decided to put the National Museum of Australia on hold. Funds previously identified for the National Museum which were then in excess of requirements were made available to the Australian National Maritime Museum.

(6), (7) and (8) The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment and the Minister for Finance are reviewing the Commonwealth's involvement in the development of museums including the National Aviation Museum. The terms of reference are:

The role of the Commonwealth in relation to that of State and local governments and of non-government interests.

Assessment of concepts and practical options for development of museums and related facilities in relation to any Commonwealth role identified above, having regard to the Commonwealth's heritage and budgetary policies.

The potential for economies including minimising duplication between current development proposals for museums and other institutions, maximising revenue raising opportunities and the involvement of State and local governments and non-government interests in museum development.

The position of Canberra as a museum location compared to other population centres bearing in mind considerations of community access and impact on the Canberra economy.

Recommendations of alternative strategies for Commonwealth involvement in museums development.

The Commonwealth has received a proposal from the Victorian Government for the construction of a National Air and Space museum at Laverton. The proposal provides for the Victorian Government to share the design and construction costs of the Museum and to make the State aviation collections available for display in the Museum.

The Victorian Government is understood to have examined numerous sites in Victoria, including Ballarat and Mangalore, before reaching its conclusion that Laverton provides the optimum site for the proposed museum.