The National Gallery of Australia faces a $67 million funding shortfall

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The Tune review of archives suggests that $167 million is needed to protect and upgrade archival and preservation systems.

The NGA Building was constructed between 1979 and 1982. Although the building is very well maintained, the original structure is 40 years old and much of its core is at or near the end of its life.

A review by Ventia Property, commissioned last year, noted that the gallery’s “average base capital works budget” was $4 million per year over the next five years.

“We found that the NGA will also require additional funding to support asset replacements over the next five years of $87.557 million, leaving a deficit of $67.557 million,” he said. .

“The asset replacement of several important assets is behind schedule, increasing the risk of failure and outages across the portfolio. Ventia notes that there are several items to be replaced that pose compliance or WHS risks very high associated with later replacement.

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At the bare minimum, Ventia urged the gallery to prioritize $50 million for 27 projects that were “very high” or “high risk,” with high risk defined as when the asset is past its date. of substitution.

Descriptions of these projects have been removed from the document, but are believed to relate to the elevators and escalators, cabling and air conditioners needed to keep the exhibits in top condition. The leaks at the windows and the roof are persistent.

The report says the NGA may consider closing part or all of the gallery for a period of time, similar to the National Portrait Gallery project which recently completed a large volume of work in a short time.

This could allow the gallery to complete disruptive work quickly and efficiently.

The gallery acknowledged that its most recent strategic asset management plan identified funding gaps in its capital replacement program.

In 2017, Australis Facilities Management identified 57 “major infrastructure rehabilitation venture capital items”. A failure by critics “would or could impact life safety, damage to the physical building or the $5 billion art collection, or the gallery’s ability to remain open.”

The arts minister’s office said it was unable to comment as incoming discussions with ministry officials had yet to take place.

During his swearing in, Tony Burke said he was committed to a national cultural policy.

“Australia’s arts and entertainment sector has a government that cares,” he said. “A government that sees the arts not as an optional extra but as a fundamental part of our society and our national identity.”

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