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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



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

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

Page content

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan 54 Where funding for research projects is from a non-Northern Territory Government source, those funds can be seen as direct contributions by the MAGNT and its partners to the Northern Territory economy. The museum is marketing its expertise, either alone or in partnerships, and attracting funds into the Territory to support activity that would otherwise be impossible. The projects in Box 18 represent $2.26 million worth of activity in and around the Northern Territory of which $1.9 million was funded from external sources. It is assumed that the greater part of this funding is spent in the Northern Territory. Economic impact studies often use multipliers to assess flow-on effects to the community. Multipliers of 2.0 or higher are commonly used but the study on the Natural History Museum (Travers et al, 2003) was more conservative, employing a multiplier of between 1.5 and 1.7 for the impacts of general museum expenditure. If the middle of that conservative range (1.6) is used here as a multiplier, then the MAGNT has been an active or lead partner in research projects since 1998 generating an impact of $3.62 million, $3.04 million of which has been from non-Territory funding. There are other economic impacts that are impossible to measure but are potentially enormous. By way of example, let us look at the Port of Darwin survey. That study resulted in the report, Baseline Survey of the Port of Darwin for Introduced Marine Species, Russel & Hewitt (2000). That report was referred to in Parliament by the tabling Minister as: This report represents a major milestone in marine scientific research for the Territory and will be an invaluable reference source document for the marine research community nationally. The identification of marine species for this survey was led by the MAGNT with support from its network of specialists at other museums across Australia. One of the revelations was the infestation of blackstriped mussel in Cullen Bay. This notorious exotic fouling species had colonised 100% of hard surfaces in the bay. Its detection allowed eradication and the avoidance of its progression into other Territory waters. The savings or avoided costs to the Territory and possibly Australia cannot be measured but this type of infestation can cause many millions of dollars of damage to shipping, ports and marine-based industry (including mariculture), not to mention marine habitat destruction, if undetected and unchecked. A similar story can be recounted in Western Australia, where the research staff of the Western Australian Museum identified several potentially devastating exotic fouling species on the dredge brought from overseas for recent port works at Geraldton Port. If one or more of those species had become introduced into the marine system, the potential costs of environmental degradation, impacts on industry and attempts at remediation are unimaginably high. Such examples show how the expertise of museums can be applied in unpredictable ways. Research projects can be planned and undertaken in a strategic way, funds permitting, as shown in Box 18, and the MAGNT is participating in that type of strategic research. But as well, there will be times when the expertise in species identification will be needed urgently. The urgent requests cannot be predicted but if the resource of expertise is not available, and at short notice, than the potential for major negative and extremely costly impacts is high. One of the key trends in research in Australia over the past two decades has been an increase in collaborative projects that link States and Commonwealth, and government agencies with universities and the private sector. Box 18 shows that the MAGNT is engaged in a range of scientific ventures spanning various combinations