The West

Mark McGowan's proposed deferral of the new museum to pay for Labor's transport plans would delay the project another decade, arts and culture advocates say.

"This is the idea of a shoddy populist who imagines that the ordinary people of WA don't want first-class educational and cultural facilities for themselves and their children," WA historian Geoffrey Bolton said.

The need for a new museum was identified more than 20 years ago but the project has been deferred repeatedly. The Carpenter government committed $500 million in 2008 to redevelop the old East Perth power station but the Barnett Government canned that.

The last State Budget included $71 million towards the $428 million projected cost of a new museum in the Perth Cultural Centre.

"A new museum for WA is long overdue and it is not only a popular attraction for West Australians but also a key component of cultural tourism," Chamber of Arts and Culture chairman Warwick Hemsley said.

Stephen Bevis

The West Australian

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