Monday 13th July 2010
Hansard of the Legislative Council
LIBRARIES - ONLINE ACCESS CENTRES
Mr FINCH (Rosevears - My question is to the Minister for Education. Does the minister agree that State Library branches are the logical place for public access to online services and will she consider expanding the Exeter library on the West Tamar Highway to accommodate an extra five or six computers from the Exeter Online Centre, which is inappropriately located off the main highway at Tresca?
Ms THORP - I thank the honourable member for his question. My personal philosophy is that online access centres are often best placed within libraries. I think they are much more useful to the community there, and I agree with you that the situation in Exeter is less than ideal. Members may not be aware that although Exeter library is right in the shopping centre, it is actually leased from the local council.
Mr Finch - Yes.
Ms THORP - The local council does not have the money to expand the building to make room for the online access centre.
Mr Finch - If you just put a new roof on it, it would be right.
Ms THORP - Or they claim they do not have the money. At the moment the online access centre is out at Tresca, as the honourable member said, which is a community house some way out of town, so it is less than ideal. However, a number of community members access Tresca and one could argue that some of the clients who use the community house are the people most likely to use an online access centre.
In an ideal world, I would like to see them altogether, but we are limited by the fact, from the State Library of Tasmania's point of view, that the building which would need to be expanded to accommodate the online access centre is not the property of the State Government so the funds need to be found at local government level. I am more than happy to keep working with the honourable member on this issue, Madam President, because it is less than ideal.
I can give you an undertaking that we can keep working on it, but I think you know as well as I do what the issues are.