Labor welcomes the Turnbull Government’s decision not to go ahead with its plans to gut the National Library of Australia of the resources needed to continue with its world-renowned Trove project.
However, this decision should not have required a last-minute intervention to secure the protection of Australia’s cultural history.
Preserving Australian culture isn’t limited to books, music and art, it also involves preserving the essential historic records contained within Trove.
Once a resource like this is lost, there’s no going back.
Successive cuts from the Abbott-Turnbull Governments to national institutions have compromised on their capacity to tell Australia’s story.
Most recently it was revealed that Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to the National Library from July 1 had forced Trove to transform itself into a user-pays business, only preserving the stories of those who are able to pay for it.
This back down is an admission that this Government’s cuts to Canberra have gone too far.
But there is more to do to reverse the damage of this Government.
The Turnbull Government’s announcement of $16.4 million comes a year after the 2015 MYEFO confirmed $52 million in cuts to the arts portfolio.
Labor went to the last election with a commitment to fully fund Trove over the forward estimates and not proceed with the Turnbull Government’s cuts.
WEDNESDAY, 21 DECEMBER 2016