28 October 2010

War Memorial wins this round of chicken

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times reports that the ever expanding War Memorial has forced the government to blink over its budget and Julia Gillard has ordered a review:

Former defence chief Peter Cosgrove has condemned continuing funding cuts to the Australian War Memorial, warning about 30 jobs will be axed and more programs will be shutdown.

It has emerged that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has intervened, ordering the Finance Minister and Veterans’ Affairs Minister to review the memorial’s budget and report to cabinet.

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Interesting numbers! Where did you find these? Can you also look up some of the smaller ones –

Film and Sound Archive
Old Parliament House
AIS would be interesting too.

I don’t the the AWM is as well funded as people might think. A few minutes on Google revealed their budges are ROUGHLY:
AWM $34m
National Museum $47m
National Gallery $62m
National Library $77m
National Archives $77m
How much each NEEDS to fulfil its mission is another question. For example NAA funds state offices.
I think AWM management is simply doing the best it can, just like the other cultural institutions should be.
One thing I have heard is that whilst money has been provided by government over the last 15 years for three buildings – it is the annual operating budget which is stretched. This is what the efficieny dividend affects.
I do agree that the AWM does have vocal supporters and to many people is a sacred cow.
I support scrapping Christmas Carols because it is not core business, unlike managing the collection, galleries and travelling exhibitions.

The War Memorial are better funded than the equivalent national cultural institutions. They’re not begging ‘cap in hand’, they’re playing politics in order to win more money (probably at the expense of the other institutions that don’t have as much pull with the pundits).

Everyone cries rivers of tears when the War Memorial cuts some poxy carols by candlelights event, but the National Library and Archives could fall over tomorrow and the general public wouldn’t give a sh1t.

Sacred Cow plays Chicken?

Note to Ms Gillard,

go to the Catholic Education Office and ask where the BER money is (hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions) that it saw fit take away from several catholic schools around the ACT in the past couple of months. If you can find this money, and as the CEO obviously believes it isn’t not needed by the schools it was originally given to, feel free to use this to fund the AWM.

In a breathtaking example of poor collegiate behaviour, Sarah Engledow from the National Portrait Gallery was on ABC Radio 666 this afternoon boasting, when asked about the War Memorial review, that staff in HER institution are happy to work for low wages … in fact, they’d be happy to work for nothing! Such is the privilege. Frankly in the wake of that display, the government should call Ms Engledow on that – and apply her wages to an AWM staffer.

they have let ‘small agencies’ with tiny budgets off the efficiency dividend. If AWM are paying it, then their budget must be not too bad to start with.

I think the govt should stand firm on this too. If they back down on this (OMG the war memorial has to let a curator go), then what will they stand up against?

Growling Ferret11:16 am 28 Oct 10

What hasn’t Gillards mob backed down from lately?

FFS – stop being pussies, show leadership, make decisions. If a hung parliament doesn’t work, go back to the polls. But show some balls in the meantime.

ps – cutting jobs at the War Memorial is stupid. Put a moratorium on the efficiency dividend for the next 3 years for cultural institutions such at OPH, NPH, Nat Gallery, AWM etc. They are already cut to the bone.

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