The Senate has today passed a Greens' motion calling on the government to reverse a decision to close the offices of the National Archives in Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said: "The government should properly consult with the public before closing down valuable public assets such as these. All Australians should have access to the collections in their home state or territory. Researchers in Tasmania, South Australia or the Northern Territory are no less valuable to the preservation of our history and culture."
The motion was jointly moved by Senator Brown from Tasmania and Senator Hanson-Young from South Australia.
The motion reads:
Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) and Senator Hanson-Young: To move-That the Senate-
(a) does not support the non-consultative process which has led to the closures of the Tasmanian, South Australian and Northern Territory offices of the National Archives of Australia;
(i) the disadvantages that will be faced by researchers, organisations and the general public as a result of the office closures, and
(ii) that the number of reading room visits has remained steady over the past 5 years despite an increase in online requests and viewing; and
(c) calls on the Government to reverse the decision to close the three offices to ensure all Australians have access to the archive collection in their state or territory.