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Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs



Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs

Other title

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan; Internal review of MAGNT. Final report March 2004


Morgan, Gary


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




"This Review has looked at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s outputs relative to benchmark museum and art gallery activities and outputs around Australia and relative to international trends in museum practice. This Review has also considered possible service outcomes set against three funding scenarios." - Executive summary


This review was commissioned by Risk Management Services of the Department of the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, on behalf of the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs. The review was put to Tender in October 2004, with the Tender awarded in November 2004. - Introduction; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- Part A: Introduction - Background -- Outputs of this review. Part B: Outputs of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - A comparison of the MAGNT outputs in activities of collection development and management, public programs and research relative to those of other state museums and galleries - A discussion of the MAGNT outputs relative to national and international trends in museums and galleries - A consideration of the scientific focus of the MAGNT in terms of a) its management and outcomes relative to other museums and b) its contribution to Northern Territory economic activity and Government programs - A comparison of per square metre exhibition costs at the MAGNT relative to other institutions - A comparison of the acquisition budget of the MAGNT relative to other institutions. Part C: Possible budget scenarios - A discussion of three budget scenarios for the MAGNT with their consequent service outcomes. Part D: Summary of recommendations. Part E: Sources and acknowledgements. Part F: Appendices 1-8




Museums -- Northern Territory -- Public opinion; Museums -- Evaluation; Public relations -- Museums -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



xviii, 124 pages ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/458000; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/457995

Page content

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan 88 *The above costings are indicative only. It is understood that some informal input has been sought from a Quantity Surveyor in arriving at these figures so they should have some sense of reality to them. Caution should be exercised in any assumption as to their accuracy however given they are very notional. The Consultant has also informally discussed the notional areas with a QS and the advice for building in Darwin was that a higher figure might be appropriate. A figure of around $6,500 per square metre for construction has been suggested which would arrive at a cost of c. $30 million for the new construction alone (plus an escalation of around 10% per annum). This does not factor in a consideration of exhibition fitouts etc, which can be costed conservatively at a further $1500 to $3000 per square metre for complex displays. It may be that this advice is generous but it illustrates the need for properly detailed QS advice to be secured as soon as possible. Elements of the Masterplan are to the Consultants mind generous. For example, the Masterplan includes a new touring exhibitions gallery which in itself is justifiable. To set it at 1000 square metres places it at the upper level of touring galleries in any museum in Australia, comparable to facilities at the new Museum of Melbourne and National Museum of Australia. Even if the space is able to be partitioned into smaller areas, conformation of the need for such a large area is required in value managing the Masterplan. Other components of the plan are more defendable. Within existing facilities, a new history exhibition on the Northern Territory will be constrained in size (using the Cyclone Tracy gallery). Having a larger gallery space would be very desirable for such a complex theme. While this Review was not scoped to look in detail at the capital works plans of the MAGNT, it may be informative to compare a notional $30 million capital works program that could deliver the MAGNTs Five Year Building Masterplan against some other museum projects of recent years. In this one can compare both absolute costs (in short, what it costs to achieve an outcome at an acceptable standard) and relative costs (setting the budget within the community environment). By way of example of a relative environmental criterion, if comparing a project in two states of Australia or in New Zealand, one might use the respective constituent populations as a criterion of relative project size. For this exercise, two recent museum projects will be used as comparators. One, the Western Australian Maritime Museum is the most recent significant museum capital works project in Australia, opening in late 2002. At $36 million it was a medium sized museum project and of a similar scale to the notional capital works budget for the MAGNTs Five Year Building Masterplan. The other is Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, a very large museum-art gallery project that opened in 1998. At almost $NZ350 million it was one of the largest museum-gallery projects anywhere in the world over the past 10 years. How do these projects compare in absolute and relative scale to the notional MAGNT Masterplan? On an absolute comparison, the MAGNT Masterplan would deliver a medium-sized museum project, quite comparable in scale to the WA Maritime Museum. On a relative scale (per resident population), the MAGNT Masterplan would be a very large project, rather more costly per head than Te Papa Museum of New Zealand.