Friday, 22 Sep 2023

Tarrkarri, Adelaides Aboriginal art museum, hangs in the balance

SA premier Peter Malinauskas has cast doubt on his governments commitment to funding Diller Scofidio and Renfro and Woods Bagots Aboriginal art centre.


Tarrkarri, Adelaides Aboriginal art museum, hangs in the balance

The future of Diller Scofidio and Renfro and Woods Bagot's Aboriginal art centre in Adelaide appears uncertain, with South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas casting doubt on his government's commitment to funding the project.

Known as Tarrkarri, which means "the future" in Kaurna, the North Terrace centre was meant to be Australia's premier Aboriginal art and cultural centre. The previous Liberal government approved the $200 million project, but construction was put on hold last October when fears of a $50 million blowout caused the government to order a review.

The review panel, which was headed by former federal Indigenous Australians minister Ken Wyatt, former New South Wales premier Bob Carr and Reserve Bank board member Carolyn Hewson, handed its report to state cabinet in April. Now, the premier suggests the project could cost up to three times more than the budgeted $200 million.

Malinauskas told ABC Radio he would seek money from the federal government and private philanthropists to meet the shortfall. Asked if the project would proceed without further outside funding, he said that any opportunity to mitigate state government spending would be "a good thing."

The project's managing contractor warned in October that building quality would be below standard for an internationally significant cultural destination if the budget wasn't increased. ­­

"It's got to be good enough to make someone get on a plane to come to Adelaide to see it,'' Malinauskas told the ABC. "All I'm saying is that whatever we do has to be good enough to be able to meet that standard, because otherwise why do it at all?''

Tarrkarri was to be built on North Terrace within the Lot 14 precinct, at the site of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital.

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