Legislative Council: Thursday, February 08, 2024



The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:04): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs on the subject of Tandanya.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Tandanya, also the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, is well known to many South Australians. The management of Tandanya comes under the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act, and it has been for many decades something that many South Australians are rightfully proud of. Recently, it has come to my attention that Tandanya has been closed for some time, so my questions to the minister are:

1. How long has Tandanya been closed for?

2. What have been the reasons for its closure?

3. What meetings has the minister had with the Aboriginal Lands Trust in regard to its continuance, or any other bodies in regard to it reopening?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:05): I thank the honourable member for her question. Again, Tandanya itself as an operational organisation falls within the Minister for Arts portfolio area but, as the honourable member has correctly identified, the building and the land on which Tandanya operates out of is part of the estate of the Aboriginal Lands Trust.

I have had a number of meetings with the Aboriginal Lands Trust on occasions where Tandanya has been discussed. I have also had the opportunity to have discussions, and I think I have one due in the coming days with representatives from Tandanya about where they are, and what they need in the circumstances.

I am aware that certainly areas of the building and large parts of the building—and sometimes the entire building—have been closed to the public in recent times with physical issues to do with the site. It is a very old building. I think some of the issues included the skylight windows at the top of the building, and other forms of maintenance that are needed. I understand that there is likely some work being done on a report to identify what infrastructure work needs to be done. As the member identified, it is property of the Aboriginal Lands Trust, but certainly as a government we are keen to understand what Tandanya need, and how we can help if possible.