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Federal inquiry launched into Canberra’s national institutions

By Ian Bushnell 28 March 2018 4
The National Library of Australia

The National Library of Australia. The inquiry will examine what innovative strategies Canberra’s national institutions are using. Photo: Jack Mohr.

A federal parliamentary inquiry has been launched into Canberra’s national institutions to see how they are maintaining their viability and relevance, particularly their interaction with the private sector.

The institutions, such as the National Gallery of Australia and the National Library of Australia, are operating in a tight funding environment after being subjected to repeated efficiency dividends over many years that have caused job losses and cuts to programs.

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories will inquire into what innovative strategies the national institutions are using to sustainably grow their profile, visitor numbers, and revenue.

The terms of reference include whether they are creating a strong brand and online presence, experimenting with new forms of public engagement and audience participation, reaching out beyond Canberra, cultivating private sector support, developing other income streams and ensuring the appropriateness of governance structures.

National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia. Photo: Jack Mohr.

The Committee will look at any other relevant matter, including the process for establishing new institutions.

The Chair of the Committee, Liberal MP Ben Morton, said Canberra’s national institutions were a major drawcard for the nation’s capital, attracting local, interstate and overseas visitors, and contributed significantly to the local economy and Canberra’s culture.

“In launching this inquiry, the Committee is keen to examine creative ways that national institutions engage with both visitors and the private sector,” he said.

The Committee will accept written submissions until Tuesday, 8 May 2018.

Further information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, is available here.

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4 Responses to
Federal inquiry launched into Canberra’s national institutions
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Capital Retro 7:35 am 03 Apr 18

We may not be able to afford Enlighten again:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-03/canberra-taxpayers-cough-up-25k-after-person-falls-in-enlighten/9603568

This was only the “excess”, the balance of the undisclosed settlement came from the federal government.

Frankie Machado 1:36 pm 29 Mar 18

Before long the only thing Canberra will have going for it is Enlighten and Floriade.

Bring back motorsport to the capital!

Gabriel Spacca 9:17 am 29 Mar 18

So we cut their funding because of lack of money, but we can afford an enquiry into their viability. Righteeeooo then.

Jennifer Strover 7:11 pm 28 Mar 18

I understand that reviewing national cultural institutions is important, but I do wonder how they're supposed to be effectively "experimenting with new forms of public engagement and audience participation, reaching out beyond Canberra" without funding?

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