WA’s ‘rich’ history

CHARGING people $15 to get into the Perth’s revamped museum will deter people on low incomes from visiting, The Chamber of Arts and Culture WA says.

Last Saturday (May 19) the McGowan government issued a press release announcing; “children to get free entry to New Museum”. The sting in the tail was that adults will be charged $15 and pensioners and concession holders $10.

The new 6000sqm museum, due to open in 2020, will overhang the old WA Museum and allow more of the state’s collection to be shown to the public.

Chamber executive director Henry Boston says taxpayers are already stumping up $400 million to build the New Museum, as it’s being branded.

“The New Museum was framed as a museum for everyone,” he says.

“The people most affected by an admission charge will be those on lower incomes, many of whom come into Perth from the outer suburbs.

• The New Museum’s overhanging design will add more floorspace—but it will cost adults $15 to get in.

Accessible

“Whilst there is free entry for children, who will be accompanying those children?”

The chamber says around the world there’s a tacit understanding that major museums should be accessible to all.

All major museums and art galleries in London are free, along with the Smithsonian Museums in the US and major museums in Queensland, Canberra and Sydney.

“It’s bit like paying to build a house, paying for the contents of the house and then being asked to pay for the privilege of being let past the front door. Western Australians deserve better than this,” Mr Boston says.

The chamber wants to know what modelling was done to test whether Sandgropers had the appetite to pay for a bit of history.

Arts minister David Templeman said: “The decision to exempt children from an entry fee was made despite significant budgetary pressures…the McGowan government is committed to keeping entrance fees affordable for Western Australians.”

by DAVID BELL

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