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