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4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Jul 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/08/2001   
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A SNAPSHOT OF AUSTRALIAN CULTURAL INDUSTRIES

MUSEUMS ATTRACT 27.5 MILLION VISITS A YEAR

In the 12 months to June 2000 there were 27.5 million admissions to museums, galleries and historic properties. Of these admissions, 60% were free. The average price per paid admission was $4.80.

At the end of June 2000, there were 2,049 museum establishments in Australia. These contained a total of 61.6 million artefacts, artworks and museum objects, of which 16% were on display. Australian museums directly employed 6,956 persons, 59% of whom were employed on a full-time basis. In addition, museums employed 484 people who were paid by related organisations. The sector was particularly dependent on volunteers, with almost 30,000 volunteers working in Australian museums in June 2000.

These results were published in Museums, 1999-2000 (ABS Cat. no. 8560.0; $18.50).


LIBRARIES GAIN IN POPULARITY

In the year ending June 2000, there were 99.4 million visits to the National Library and State and local government libraries - an increase of over 10% since 1996-97. Some 93.3 million visits were made to local government libraries, representing 4.9 visits per head of population for the year. Visiting local government libraries was particularly popular in South Australia (6.7 visits per person), the ACT (5.7 visits) and Tasmania (5.6 visits).

As at the end of June 2000, there were 1,510 local government library locations operating in Australia. Total holding stock of these libraries was 39.4 million books and other materials. Local government libraries contained 2,832 Internet workstations - an increase of 242% since the end of June 1997.

Local government libraries employed 9,592 people and a further 4,493 volunteers worked in local government libraries during June 2000. The National Library and State libraries employed 2,248 people.

These results were published in Public Libraries, 1999-2000 (ABS Cat. no. 8561.0; $19.00).


AVERAGE AUSTRALIAN RENTED EIGHT VIDEOS A YEAR

During 1999-2000, 152 million video rental transactions were made by businesses in the video hire industry, representing an average of eight transactions per person. The video hire transactions comprised 67 million new release videos rented at an average price of $4.60 each and 85 million other videos rented at $1.60 each.

At the end of June 2000, there were 1,166 businesses operating in the video hire industry. These businesses employed 11,034 people, 66% of whom were employed on a casual basis. Females made up 61% of those employed in the industry.

These results were published in Video Hire Industry, 1999-2000 (ABS Cat. no. 8562.0; $18.00).


BOTANIC GARDENS THRIVE ON 12 MILLION VISITS A YEAR

In the 12 months to June 2000 there were 11.8 million visitors to the 123 employing botanic gardens in Australia. These gardens covered a total area of 3,664 hectares and held 7.4 million plant specimens.

Botanic gardens employed 1,250 people, 78% of whom worked on a full-time permanent basis. In addition, a further 1,991 volunteers worked for botanic gardens, giving a total of 3,241 staff at the end of June 2000.

The main contributors to botanic garden statistics were the six large organisations with employment of 50 or more. These large organisations accounted for 69% of the employees, 42% of the volunteers, 72% of the plant specimens and 62% of the visitors.

These results were published in Botanic Gardens, 1999-2000 (ABS Cat. no. 8563.0; $17.50).


GOING TO THE MOVIES COSTS MORE

Average box office takings per paid admission rose by up 15% between 1996-97 and 1999-00 from $7.50 to $8.60. In the 12 months to June 2000, there were a total of 79.4 million paid admissions to cinemas. On average each Australian visited the cinema 4 times during the year, a figure relatively unchanged from 1996-97.

In 1999-2000, there were 173 businesses operating 325 cinema sites and 17 drive-in sites containing a total of 1,540 screens. While the total number of cinema sites has remained virtually unchanged since June 1994, the number of cinema screens in Australia has doubled. The motion picture exhibition industry employed 9,282 people at June 2000 - 60% more than at June 1994. Of these 81% were employed on a casual basis.

The industry is dominated by the eight largest motion picture exhibition businesses, each of which had an income greater than $8 million. These businesses accounted for 68% of industry employment, 74% of paid cinema admissions and 70% of cinema screens.

These results were published in Motion Picture Exhibition, 1999-2000 (ABS Cat. no. 8654.0; $17.50).



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