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Hall of Fame to tackle trust

KALGOORLIE’S Mining Hall of Fame hopes to raise $3 million to establish a trust fund and put its financial woes behind it.

Despite a 30 per cent increase in attendance this year, the multi million dollar not-for-profit mining museum has failed to reach its full potential.

A key factor has been its trouble repaying a $1 million loan relating to the settlement of a dispute with the museum’s builder earlier this financial year.

Mining Hall of Fame executive officer Norma Latchford said while the loan was quite an imposition, fears the complex was in danger of closing were unfounded.

She said the WA government announced an additional grant of $330,000 to support the Hall of Fame last week and it was also banking on receiving a $1 million Federal grant soon.

A spokesman for Federal Arts Minister Rod Kemp said the Federal Government was aware of the application but was yet to make a decision.

Although Ms Latchford said they were confident of receiving the Federal funds she conceded they might have to go "back to the drawing board" if it did not come through.

A second option was to hit the WA mining sector for funds.

However, Ms Latchford said, this option was not preferred because the mining companies generally did not like to fund deficits.

"They prefer to fund exhibitions which they can sponsor and put their name to," she said.

Seeking funds from the industry is an option WA Liberal Senator Alan Eggleston supports.

Following a Federal Estimates hearing last week Dr Eggleston called for the public disclosure of the "apparently desperate financial problems of the Hall of Fame" and urged the mining industry to give financial support.

"Clearly it could enjoy much better support from the industry," he said.

Ms Latchford said while Dr Eggleston’s intentions were good, the issue was a "storm in a tea-cup".

She said once the museum was back in the black a trust fund would be set up.

The income generated from the fund would be used to cover any operational shortfall, major non-annual maintenance programs and possible future upgrades.

Ms Latchford said there had always been a plan to establish a trust for the Hall of Fame, however, the building dispute had been a distraction.

She said there were plans to raise $3 million for the fund and the museum hoped to generate more.

The trust fund also requires the Halls of Fame’s constitution to be altered and the search is now on for a board of trustees who will operate separately from the museum’s existing board of directors.

The Hall of Fame’s board of directors includes Martin Albrecht, Cranston Edwards, Richard Tastula (Chairman) and Neil Warburton (Company Secretary).

Hall of Fame’s honorary patrons are: Mark Creasy, Robert J Champion De Crespigny, Sir Arvi Parbo, Professor Geoffrey Blainey, Sir George Fisher, J. Douglas Anthony, Ronald Manners and Jack MacKenzie .

 

“They prefer to fund exhibitions which they can sponsor and put their name to.”

-         Norma Latchford

 

 

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