Question: Aboriginal Artefacts Storage


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 14:50 ): My question is to the Minister for the Arts. What steps will the government take to ensure that our museum's priceless collection of 60,000 Aboriginal cultural artefacts will be protected in adequate storage conditions? 

Concerns have been publicly raised this week by David Rathman, board member and chair of the museum's Aboriginal Advisory Committee, that priceless artefacts have been damaged both by vermin and by eight separate flooding events in recent times, most recently after the sprinkler system was set off as a result of a fire alarm. 

An honourable member: Put them in with the hospital records! 

The Hon. J.J. SNELLING ( PlayfordMinister for Health, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Health Industries) (14:51): It is a very serious issue and not a joking matter. Of course, we do have, I think, probably one of the world's greatest collections of Aboriginal artefacts, and its preservation is probably, I think, the number one priority for me as Minister for the Arts. 

Ms Chapman interjecting: 

The Hon. J.J. SNELLING: We are doing everything we can within the current facility to protect those artefacts. Of course, in the current facility we cannot protect against issues regarding insect infestation, but we are certainly looking at what might be other options, and we certainly recognise that, in the medium term, the continued keeping of that collection at the present site is unacceptable.