Canberra, Tuesday 9 May: While there were no surprises in this year’s Federal Budget for the library and information sector, our Members will be interested in these items isolated from within the hundreds of pages of Budget reports.
- There were no new measures relating to the National Library of Australia.
- There was mention of other cultural institutions in relation to the Public Service Modernisation Fund — agency sustainability measures. “The Government will invest $129.6 million over three years from 2017-18 in a number of agencies to support their transition to more modern and sustainable operating models. This measure enables agencies to upgrade outdated ICT systems and other assets. The measure will support improvements in maintaining the integrity of heritage assets such as the National Maritime Museum, National Film and Sound Archive and Old Parliament House.”
- In the cultural sector, the Australian National Maritime Museum was a winner, with $6 million extra in funding from government for the 2017-2018 financial year.
- The $90.2 million of additional funding for the Australia Council over five years, announced in March, was confirmed, as was funding to develop the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan. This plan will be informed by the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, which included recognition of the National Library of Australia’s Trove platform as an existing national research infrastructure asset.
- Public libraries may benefit from regional infrastructure funding, including $200.0 million extra for the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to support the construction of community infrastructure and build the capacity of regional areas, and the $27.7 million for round three of the Stronger Communities Programme – $5,000 to $20,000 grants for small capital projects that deliver social benefits to local communities across Australia.
- The government’s emphasis on skills development and the crackdown on welfare recipients could translate into more use of public libraries.
- The additional $1.2 billion for school funding and $118.2 million for students with a disability could see some flow through to school libraries.
- As announced previously in the 2016–17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), the National Archives of Australia revenue from government will decrease by $7.197m, mainly due to the ceasing of one-off funding received in 2016–17 for the relocation of records and staff to the new National Archives Preservation Facility. Employee benefits are expected to reduce in 2017–18 by $3.995m due to government savings measures affecting the Archives’ appropriation. Staffing levels will decrease from 390 to 375.
- In 2017–18, the major areas of focus for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner will be: preparing for the commencement of the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017, including producing guidance and resources to assist organisations and agencies; developing the privacy and FOI management capabilities of Australian Government agencies; and managing an increasing workload of privacy and FOI enquiries, complaints and review applications.
For more information, go to http://www.budget.gov.au.