Canberra’s Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has announced that he’s had his hands on the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Red Book (briefing for incoming governments) which is ringing the alarm bells hard on funding for the War Memorial.
Senator Humphries has even provided two pages from the book. Which does have alarming sounding quotes:
The Memorial has long recognised the need to reduce activities so as to operate within the available funding. This has led to an ongoing review of programs and staffing levels, with no option but to reduce both. In an attempt to insulate front-of-house activities from budget pressures, behind the scenes activities have been savagely cut over a period of several years. This strategy cannot continue as it carries with it considerable risks that must be recognised, including significant stakeholder dissatisfaction, damage to the Memorial’s long standing reputation, potential for audit criticism, unstable staffing, and potential difficulties meeting legislative obligations.
The Memorial is facing potentially constraining, if not crippling, financial circumstances.
Bear in mind though that the DVA has in the past pushed a lot of it’s own archival tasks onto the War Memorial and has an interest in attracting more funding through one of the few sexy parts of its portfolio.