Protecting Australia’s cultural and historical institutions

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Albanese Labor Government will secure the future of Australia’s most cherished cultural and historical institutions in this year’s Federal Budget – restoring them as a source of national pride and reversing a decade of decline under the Liberals and Nationals.

The Government will invest $535.3 million towards the nine National Collecting Institutions over four years – addressing the decade of chronic underfunding inflicted by the former Coalition Government.

This is yet another example of the former Government’s underhanded approach to budgeting that Labor has been left to fix. The Albanese Labor Government is cleaning up the mess left behind by the previous Government and providing the necessary funding for the services that Australians rely on and cherish.

This investment will guarantee ongoing, indexed funding into the future and ensure that vital repairs and urgent safety improvements can finally be made.

It means staff will finally have ongoing certainty about their jobs.

It means our institutions will be able to meet their financial obligations and invest for the future knowing they finally have a Government that values them just as the Australian people do.

The Government will also establish clear line of sight over future capital works and improvements to ensure the institutions never again fall into the state of disrepair they did over the last decade.

This funding will ensure Australia has a strong cultural infrastructure – which is a key pillar of Revive, the Government’s new National Cultural Policy.

The funding will be provided to the Australian National Maritime Museum, Bundanon Trust, Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), National Archives of Australia, National Film and Sound Archive, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

The Government is also acting to secure the future of the National Library’s digital archive Trove.

These institutions house a majority of Australia’s most valuable collections. They also play an important role in truth-telling for First Nations people and in fostering international cultural exchange.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

“I want all Australians to be able to visit, appreciate and learn from these institutions for generations to come.

“These are special places and we should be proud of them. They preserve, protect and celebrate Australia’s stories and history. My Government is committed to preserving, protecting and celebrating them.

“This is yet another example of my Government having to clean up the mess left behind by the former Coalition Government.”

Arts Minister Tony Burke said:

“This gets our institutions back to where they should be – where the Government delivers strong core funding and philanthropists take them to the next level.

“This funding means people will be able to go to places like the National Gallery of Australia and enjoy the exhibits without worrying about the physical integrity of the building that’s housing them.

“It is a disgrace that the former Coalition Government allowed these institutions to fall into such a shocking state of disrepair.”

Minister for Finance and Senator for ACT Katy Gallagher, said:

“Canberra is the proud custodian of some of the most treasured pieces of art, literature and culture from Australia’s national story,” Senator Gallagher said.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to maintaining and protecting the invaluable institutions that house them, and reversing the damage and decay that occurred under the previous Government.”

“The Institutions are often the gateway to attracting visitors to the Canberra region and are a key driver of the ACT economy, so this funding will ensure local jobs and the tourism sector are supported into the future.”

/Public Release. View in full here.