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Role and functions of the Minister

The Ministers responsible for the Australian National Maritime Museum during the reporting period were Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts, from 1 July 2018 to 29 May 2019, and the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, from 29 May 2019.

Key ministerial powers under the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990 include the Minister’s ability to:

  • transfer property, real or personal, held on lease or otherwise by the Commonwealth, to the museum for its use or for inclusion in the National Maritime Collection (Section 8)
  • approve criteria and guidelines for the National Maritime Collection (Section 9)
  • approve the disposal of material in the National Maritime Collection with value exceeding $20,000 (Section 10(4)(b))
  • give direction to the Council with respect to the performance of the functions or the exercise of the powers of the museum (Section 14)
  • appoint a member to act as chairperson of the Council or appoint an acting member of Council where there is a vacancy (Section 18)
  • approve guidelines for the leave of absence to Council members (Section 19)
  • convene a meeting of the Council at any time (Section 23)
  • approve the Corporate and Annual Operational Plans and any variations (Sections 25–28)
  • approve the Director engaging in paid employment outside the duties of the Director’s office (Section 32)
  • approve leave of absence to the Director on such terms or conditions as she or he determines (Section 34)
  • appoint a person (not a member of Council) to act as Director during a vacancy with such appointment not to exceed 12 months (Section 38)
  • approve contracts exceeding $1,000,000 and leases exceeding 10 years duration (Section 47).