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The slaughter of the national institutions?

By johnboy 22 February 2011 9

national museum

Senator Humphries is wailing and gnashing his teeth at efficiencies being imposed on Canberra’s National Institutions.

“Gillard Labor has ripped the guts out of our national institutions,” Senator Humphries said today.

— The Director of the National Museum of Australia, Andrew Sayers, revealed that he had called for voluntary redundancies in the order of 10% of the Museum’s workforce.

–The Director of the National Gallery, Ron Radford, indicated “we’ll have to cut programs as well…we’ll have to look at both our travelling exhibitions and our current exhibitions”.

— The Acting Director-General of the National Library, Dr Warwick Cathro, revealed “we will be reducing staff numbers…in addition to reducing staff we’ll be reducing a number of services. We’ll be reducing next financial year by 17 staff.” Only last December the Library was foreshadowing a reduction of 13 staff. Dr Cathro also noted:
— “What we call retrospective cataloguing of the collection – that is material that was catalogued in the past – that effort will be reduced.”
— “We will be reducing our level of newspaper digitisation, and relying on external funding for that activity.”
— “We had an online reference service – like an ask-the-librarian service … that service has now ceased.
— “We will be increasing significantly the charges we charge other libraries for inter-library loans”

“This is an absolute disgrace,” Senator Humphries said today. “We already know that the Australian War Memorial is looking into the possibility of closing one day a week next year and sacking 1 in 5 staff.

“If this Government had an ounce of respect for our national institutions, they would make sure that they were adequately resourced to do their respective jobs.

“Gillard Labor has created a perilous situation which has forced our national institutions to the brink.

“It’s blatantly clear that Labor takes Canberra for granted. Andrew Leigh, Gai Brodtmann and Kate Lundy should be ashamed of the way Labor’s treated Canberra.

The downside of National Institutions doing away with admission fees was that it puts them at the mercy of the political winds of fortune.

3,000 years ago Psalm 146 had this warning which our new age princes of parliament are less keen to remind us of:

Put not your trust in princes

What’s Your opinion?


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The slaughter of the national institutions?
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Thumper 8:33 am 23 Feb 11

National institutions belong to the people. They are a hallmark of our society and pretty much every society that has gone before us. They are an intergral part of our national pysche and cultural heritage.

As such we need to remove the petty political bickering from the discussion and ensure that these institutions have adequate funding so they can continue to fully function in a meaningful way in the future.

breda 10:00 pm 22 Feb 11

Maybe the senator is trying to stand up for these people who are about to lose their jobs and just maybe the government could look at cutting spending elsewhere in the country.
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As the ACT has one of the lowest (perhaps the lowest) unemployment rates in the country, the notion of Gazza going to the wall for 10-15 jobs for constituents is a bit rich. Would he be issuing press releases and jumping up and down if a local restaurant or bar closed?

As for cutting spending somewhere else, apparently it is fine if people lose their jobs out of sight, out of mind. That must be the unique Aussie spirit we keep hearing about.

Thumper 9:30 pm 22 Feb 11

Maybe the senator is trying to stand up for these people who are about to lose their jobs and just maybe the government could look at cutting spending elsewhere in the country.

No. Senator Gaz is the spawn of the devil.

Obviously.

Chop71 9:08 pm 22 Feb 11

when you add up 10 here and 17 there, that’s a few jobs lots to ACT residents.

Maybe the senator is trying to stand up for these people who are about to lose their jobs and just maybe the government could look at cutting spending elsewhere in the country.

That would not be “having it both ways” it would be representing local constituants.

breda 3:10 pm 22 Feb 11

It was the Howard government, many years ago, that brought in the efficiency dividend for all agencies including the AWM. Funny how different things look from the other side of the fence.

There are good arguments as to why the efficiency dividend should not be applied (if at all) across agencies of vastly differing size. But the AWM has form for cutting the most visible and sensitive functions to bolster its case. There is no limit to their ambitions for funding – which is understandable – but they are very far from being destitute. What they do, in the best traditions of Sir Humphrey, is to keep expanding while simultaneously complaining that a funding freeze is a ‘cut’. Being able to play on the sacrifices of dead soldiers for funding bids is not exactly an example of ‘their finest hour’.

Politicians who ride on their coattails are as bad as they are.

Holden Caulfield 12:42 pm 22 Feb 11

amarooresident3 said :

You can’t have it both ways.

Ooh, I hadn’t heard that rumour. Nice one.

screaming banshee 12:32 pm 22 Feb 11

amarooresident3 said :

You can’t have it both ways.

Yes he can, in the ongoing joke of Australian politics this is exactly what the role of opposition has become.

But all I hear is LOUD NOISES!

amarooresident3 11:19 am 22 Feb 11

This is the thing Gary. You belong to a party that is constantly harping on about the need to cut spending. Yet when the Government does cut spending, you scream like a little girl.

You can’t have it both ways.

gospeedygo 10:59 am 22 Feb 11

It’s all them muslims eh Garry?

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