Tuesday 23 June 2009
Legislative Council
Estimates Committee B  (David Bartlett)

3.2 Tasmania Archives and Heritage Office -

Mr FINCH - Chair, there was something that the Premier mentioned and I think would fit into this particular category - our online oral history digital -

Mr BARTLETT - It absolutely fits into this category, you are dead right.  It is a project that I have been committed to.  We have been working through the planning of it, and essentially it was supposed to be funded in this budget but it was not funded because of the budgetary constraints we have.  But I am deeply passionate about that project.  I believe it is a perfect project for the Community Knowledge Network because it links heritage, archives, story-telling, digital collection with online access centres and with an adult ed course.  It is all of those things put together, so it is perfect.

Mr FINCH - The report may not have come back to you, but the ABC has agreed to contribute the series of Kerry Finch's Tasmanians that I recorded with the ABC some years ago, some 300 oral history interviews, to this development.

Mr BARTLETT - Great.

CHAIR - Is this self promotion?

Mr WING - I do not have any problem with this because it is good to see an increase in the funding in each successive year in view of the great history and heritage that we enjoy here, being the second-oldest State, Hobart the second-oldest city, Launceston the third-oldest city and George Town the oldest town in Australia.

Mr BARTLETT - Is that right?

Mr WING - Yes.  They did not realise that until about 10 years ago but they do now and they promote it a little.  We have so much history here, unlike the junior States of Victoria founded 35 years later.

Mr BARTLETT - By us.

Mr WING - Yes, that is right.  I would like to know what is planned with the increases here.

Mr BARTLETT - Do you want to respond to that, Siobhan?  I would add in terms of any increases digitisation is a particular key area.  The reason for that is that we have these fantastic documentary records, and if you have not been to the Archives I can arrange a trip for you, Mr Wing.  It is fantastic.

Mr WING - I would really like to do that.

Mr BARTLETT - There are some great assets there.  What we want to do, as we have done with the convict records, is digitise them so that again you can walk into your online access centre or pull up your own PC and look these things up without having to go to the Archives Office.  Once they are digitised they are available for everybody and those sorts of things.