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Friday, 5 May 1989
Page: 1921

Senator CROWLEY —Mr President, my question, which is addressed to you, follows the letter I wrote to you recently seeking your consideration of establishing a competition for Australian artists, ceramicists, silversmiths, et cetera, to produce a memento for our Parliament House. Such a competition would provide not only an appropriate commemorative gift for visitors to our Parliament or for our parliamentarians on overseas visits but also an opportunity for recognition of the excellent abilities and talents of Australian artists and craftspeople. Can you inform the Senate of your response to this proposal?

The PRESIDENT —I am interested in Senator Crowley's initiative, not only because of the benefit to the Parliament but also because it will present a challenge to Australian artists. But I should point out that a parliamentary medallion for distribution to distinguished parliamentary visitors has already been produced by the Royal Australian Mint. Currently there are sufficient stocks of this medallion to meet the demand for the next two years. However, Senator Crowley's idea provides the means to find a replacement medal for the Parliament. I am advised that the parliamentary departments do not have the resources to organise a design competition of this nature. I will therefore approach the Australia Council, through the Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories, to ascertain whether the Visual Arts-Craft Board can assist the Parliament in this worthwhile project. I will keep Senator Crowley informed of developments.