The Western Australian election campaign has provided the Council with a number of fora and issues on which to speak.
The Chamber of Arts and Culture held a forum on Monday 25 February. We provided a list of questions, and were able to ask one on the day:
The proper care and storage of the State’s archival collections, its documentary heritage, is an issue not just for the cultural sector – it is also an issue for all government organisations. What steps will you take to ensure our history is recorded and made accessible?
It was a great discussion, with the Greens Lyn McLaren putting arts and culture front and centre in their policy. John Day for the Liberals supported a new museum by 2020, while John Hyde for Labor identified the lack of resources for a State archives repository as his major concern. Colin Holt for the Nats promoted regional arts funding and an ambitious arts education scheme.
The ongoing or planned destruction of State owned heritage sites is of concern, with the Elizabeth Quay project at the Perth Esplanade being the most obvious example of the urgent need to revamp our heritage legislation to ensure these sites are not just registered, but properly managed, protected and conserved.
The question of funding and the program for the development of the Perth Museum has again been raised, along with funding for the State Archives.
Not only did Lynn MacLaren, MLC, respond to our concerns on the day, but she also wrote a Letter to Dr M Nowak and Ms M Allen 14 3 13, Chair of the Library Board and the State Librarian, expressing her support.