Tuesday 22 June 2004


[2.46 p.m.]
Mr FINCH (Question) - In the Heritage Review 2000 and the Babington Report of 2003 there were five listed house museums recommended to receive government support on a triennial basis. Franklin House is not one of those. Does the Government recognise the special position that Franklin House holds whereby its purchase and restoration led to the formation of the National Trust in Tasmania and its status as the only house museum in the City of Launceston? Is the Government prepared to include it on the list of major house museums recommended to receive support?

Mr AIRD - Mr President, I thank the honourable member for his question. The State Government is aware that the National Trust is continuing to experience financial and other difficulties that are complex and need to be addressed with some haste. Departmental officials have commenced a series of meetings with representatives of the State council to discuss the key issues and work to address them.

The specific situation of Franklin House in the future has not been raised by the trust with the State Government at this time. However, it is understood the National Trust has initiated a review of all its properties across the State, as recommended by the Babington Report. It should be noted that the Babington Report is a report commissioned by the National Trust and considers only National Trust properties. Franklin House was considered in the 2000 Heritage Review, however it did not feature in the top five properties. This does not mean that the property is not considered important. The review's terms of reference ask that properties be considered on a needing-and-warranting basis, a special public funding basis.

Franklin House receives State government support by way of the funding provided to the National Trust. The future of Franklin House is a consideration for the National Trust. The property focus of the State Government at this time is on working with the trust to ensure it remains a viable and sustainable organisation, both now and in the future. Current planning aims to have this work culminate in the development of a partnership and funding agreement between the National Trust and the State Government.