Council and Friends to re-open Federation Street Exhibit

Published on 15 December 2021


Council is excited to announce that it will enter into a partnership with the Friends of the Museum to re-open the Federation Street exhibit in its current location.

The Federation Street exhibit is part of the Burnie Regional Museum and was commissioned 50 years ago by Peter Mercer, who recreated a streetscape to depict what life in Burnie might have been like at the turn of the twentieth century. Federation Street is considered extremely valuable by the community, with many residents having grown up visiting the exhibition themselves and with their families.

Burnie City Council Mayor Steve Kons said “The Museum closed in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. It remained closed after Council announced, in early 2021, its plans to combine its art gallery, museum, and function centre in the one existing location to create an integrated function and cultural facility.

“Council decided at that time that the Federation Street exhibit would not be integrated into the new Cultural Centre given it would not fit nor was it in keeping with the design of the new Centre.  It was always intended however that there would be opportunities explored at the appropriate time, to consider how the exhibit may continue into the future under a different operating model.

“Discussions have taken place with the Friends of the Museum and a partnership model agreed by both parties, for the future operation of Federation Street. This partnership is a great outcome for Council, The Friends of the Museum, the Burnie community and to our visitors, at a time when visitation will recommence on account of the border reopening.”

The model will see the Friends of the Museum operate the Federation Street exhibit as a standalone venture, operated by volunteers on a part time basis. Operating hours will change depending upon the time of the year, and are likely to increase during peak periods.

Under the new partnership agreement, Council will support the venture by continuing to cover the volunteers under its volunteer insurance and will continue to provide recurrent services and costs such as power, water, building and property insurance, cleaning and other costs.

Under the new partnership, Council and The Friends anticipate that the exhibit will reopen in early 2022.

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