History Trust

23 May 2005 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Emergency Services, representing the Minister for Environment and Conservation, a question about the History Trust of South Australia.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Last year I asked a question in relation to comments that were raised in the History Trust’s annual report in which it raised concerns about occupational health and safety as a result of long-term maintenance problems and the need for additional funds to address those problems. I note in the latest report, dated 30 June 2004, that the following comments were made by various contributors as follows:

Despite very considerable cost pressures I can report that the trust managed to achieve a balanced budget during the year. This reflected very stringent management of building costs in particular. However, this cannot continue indefinitely. The board is of the strong opinion that investment in the core business of the trust is now an immediate necessity. Once again the trust raised a significant proportion of its income from external sources—some 29 per cent. We believe that this is a notable achievement, but ultimately is unsustainable.

Further, it states:

For some time now we have identified the need to refurbish our ageing permanent exhibition stock at both the Migration and South Australian Maritime Museums as an urgent priority. These exhibitions first opened to the public in 1986. They are now out of date.

We were therefore delighted when the government agreed to fund a three-phase refurbishment program at the Migration Museum.

It further states:

Storage of the state history collection is looming as an issue for the trust in the next few years. Both stores in the Netley complex are now full and. . . the trust does not have resources to lease more space.

It continues:

There are now urgent and very serious maintenance problems on all sites. Particularly significant are a number of structural issues at the Birdwood Mill. The trust was obliged to close the mill completely this year, to the dismay of our visitors, and is currently working with Arts SA and the Department of Administrative and Information Services to estimate the cost of repairs.

My questions are:

1. When will the government provide the History Trust of South Australia with adequate funds to address these ongoing issues?

2. Can the minister give a commitment that they will be fully addressed in a timely fashion?

The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO (Minister for Emergency Services): I will refer the honourable member’s questions to the Minister for Environment and Conservation in another place and bring back a reply.