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Thursday, 25 May 1989
Page: 2745

Senator COOK (Minister for Resources)(8.03) —I do not rise to interrupt the flow of discussion in the chamber, but I want to honour an undertaking given earlier today by Senator Gareth Evans who was asked a question by Senator Hill concerning the funding of the national functions-in particular, the education functions-of the National Library of Australia, the Australian National Gallery and the National Botanic Gardens. I am in a position to answer that.

The Commonwealth is not attempting to avoid its responsibilities in these areas and will continue to meet the costs of its national functions. So far as the National Gallery and the National Library are concerned, the Commonwealth will continue to meet the costs of both authorities and their ongoing programs, including their education programs. So far as the Botanic Gardens is concerned, the Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories is continuing to provide appropriate resource for the education function of the Botanic Gardens as a national institution. That is the answer to the question Senator Hill asked earlier today.