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$67.7 Million to boost National Archives

Media Release

Minister for Industrial Relations
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General
Assistant Minister for Women
Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations
Senator for Queensland
Senator the Hon Amanda Stoker

Joint media release​

Attorney-General Senator Michaelia Cash has today announced funding of $67.7 million to the National Archives of Australia to provide a funding boost for its critical functions as the custodian of Australia’s history through the preservation of Commonwealth records.

Attorney-General Cash said that the proposal will provide vital funding to the National Archives of Australia’s immediate needs.

"This funding will be critical to preserving our history, the national treasures that define it, and increasing the public’s access to it," the Attorney-General said.

Attorney-General Cash said that the measures represent a substantial investment in the functions and activities of the National Archives and an increase to its existing funding.

"I am proud that the Morrison Government can provide additional funding to the National Archives so that they can continue their important work"

The $67.7 million in additional funding will go towards:

  • Digitisation and preservation of the National Archives’ at-risk collection over an accelerated four-year digitisation program.
  • Additional staffing and capability to address backlogs for ‘access applications’ for Commonwealth records and provide improved Digitisation on Demand services.
  • Investment in cybersecurity and further development of the National Archives’ Next Generation Digital Archive to facilitate secure and timely transfer of records to the National Archives’ custody, their preservation and digital access.

The funding will allow for a staged and sequential implementation of the proposal to ensure the approximate 270,000 most at-risk records are digitally archived (digitised, stored, cyber-secured, preserved and catalogued).

Assistant Minister to the Attorney General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations and Assistant Minister for Women, Senator Amanda Stoker said the funding was crucial to fast-tracking the digitisation of at-risk records.

"The Morrison Government is prioritising the protecting and preservation of government records, by providing funding on a fast-tracked timeline for digitisation works to be completed within a four year timeframe."

"Recognising the importance of these records, this funding will allow the National Archives to do the digitisation work that is needed - including for military documents relating to World War II, Vietnam and Korea."

These records come in a variety of formats, the majority of which are in the form of paper-based files; there are also significant holdings of maps & plans, photographs, motion picture films, magnetic audio-visual tapes, digital files, as well as 3-dimensional ‘objects’.

Formats that are particularly susceptible to deterioration and loss include magnetic tape audio visual records, and photographic and film records particularly on nitrate and acetate film.

The National Archives of Australia’s collection is the critical information infrastructure of the nation. Preserving these records is crucial to the identity and heritage of Australians and makes them available for future generations.

The collection includes irreplaceable information about our citizens, such as immigration records, military service records and Census data.