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Wednesday, 21 August 1985
Page: 88

Senator DEVLIN —Is the Minister for Veterans' Affairs aware that the galleries at the Australian War Memorial are being used as office accommodation? What efforts are being made to relocate staff from galleries so that Australia's outstanding collection of wartime artifacts can be displayed?

Senator GIETZELT —It is apparent that the Australian War Memorial has been starved of resources for some years and despite its increasing popularity with tourists and other visitors to the memorial, making it one of the most popular institutions in Canberra, there have nevertheless been great difficulties in making available sufficient gallery space to exhibit most of the material held by the War Memorial. For this reason the Government was persuaded during the allocation of portfolios and ministerial arrangements to transfer the Australian War Memorial to my jurisdiction.

I refer Senator Devlin to the fact that, in the Budget reported in the Senate last evening, sufficient staff has been made available to make an impact on the effective functioning of the Australian War Memorial and $0.5m has been allocated for the preparation of plans and specifications to build a special administration block. At the moment, too much of the gallery space is taken up with the administration of the War Memorial. When the plans are prepared the Government will allocate sufficient funds to have the new administration block functioning by 1988. That will enable a very considerable proportion of the Australian War Memorial space to be available for galleries and exhibitions.