Page 3137 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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rationale for there being such high humidity levels, but I will leave that to experts to assess. My hypothesis is to suggest that art galleries the world over are required to confront issues of high humidity in their facilities and I would reckon that they could take steps to engage technology to encounter those issues to ensure the preservation and protection of the artworks.

It would seem to me extraordinary that technology would not be available to counter the effects of humidity at the Nolan Gallery. In terms of visitor numbers, the minister in his answer to a question on notice provided some figures on visitor numbers as well as the number of special exhibitions and activities. I note that the information that the minister provided in answer to questions on notice varies significantly from the assertion that he made today in question time that the average visitor numbers to the Nolan Gallery over the past few years has been 5,000 visitors. I seek leave to table a graph that shows this data from 1998-99 to 2005-06.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: I table the following paper:

Nolan Gallery—visitor numbers and activities—graph.

This graph shows that the onsite visits did, indeed, decline over the years 2004-05 and 2005-06. It also shows that the number of special exhibitions has been largely static over the years, with an increase from four to seven in the last year of operation at Lanyon. The most telling data is the number of special activities. It shows that visitor numbers fluctuated directly in line with the fluctuation in the amount of special activities provided. With a decline in number of special activities over 2004-05 and 2005-06, visitor numbers to the gallery declined accordingly. Rather than throwing his hands up in the air and preaching gloom and doom of visitor numbers, perhaps this graph provides a simple picture with a simple answer for the minister. But it is interesting to note too that the government has allocated $2.6 million over four years for capital works to be undertaken at Lanyon under the historic places major project, which has a total cost of some $3.7 million over the same period.

The Lanyon allocation includes a range of works which will include the public amenity of the property as well as conserve its heritage values. But none of that has been considered for allocation to the Nolan Gallery—not a dollar. It will continue to languish while the attractiveness of its surrounding precinct will be enhanced for what will surely draw increased visitors to the area. It is interesting, I think, that this government can take on a project that will create a doughnut effect at Lanyon. No doubt Lanyon’s beauty will be enhanced considerably by this project but sitting right in the middle will be a building with considerable potential which will be empty, unused and in a sorry state of repair, thanks to the Stanhope government.

The word “priority” comes to mind—“priority”, the act of working out the main concern, the precedence and the right way ahead. With a little imagination and determination, both of which this government seems to lack, the Nolan Gallery could be returned to its former glory and its purpose returned. It could be done in concert with the rest of the capital works activities to be undertaken at Lanyon and we could

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