Tuesday 7 April 2009 -
GOVERNMENT BUSINESSES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE B
PORT ARTHUR HISTORIC SOCIETY
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Hear, hear, Chair, to your commendation of the work of our secretary and the wonderful help she has been to our committee over the years.
I make comment first on the Port Arthur Historic Management Authority. It became clear in the questions and answers over the management of the Port Arthur site that there is a strong awareness of the new insistence by many visitors for authenticity in the historic sites they visit. You can corrupt a site such as Port Arthur with the wrong type of restoration and then it just becomes another Disneyland, without the visitor numbers. I was interested in the Burra Charter which helps to ensure that people are given that authentic message from the past. It is working brilliantly at Port Arthur. After our visit there, I had a couple of groups of visitors travelling from Sydney at different times and I recommended that they both go down to Port Arthur. They were really taken with the work down there, the layout, the way it is managed and the presentation of Port Arthur. They came back with really good messages from Port Arthur.
My impression is there needs to be more resources not just for the restoration but also for research. I was interested to hear of the partnership with the University of Tasmania on those archaeological matters. I realise in times of economic constraint it is very difficult. In private business what is the first thing that goes? Your marketing budget goes. I imagine in a lot of situations such as this what is the first budget item slashed? It would probably be research. I think it needs to be focused on when times improve.