In the last two weeks there have been reports in the press regarding the possible $2 billion cost of moving the Powerhouse to Parramatta, and speculation that the government might reconsider the move.
I asked the Premier a question in Parliament last sitting, and she indicated that she is reviewing the business case, but that the Government’s position is that 'Parramatta will have a Powerhouse Museum'. You can read the full transcript here.
I'm sure that when reviewing the business case and seeing a possible cost of $100m per kilometre for moving the existing Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, any fair minded person would see that this is a colossal waste of money and cannot go ahead.
However, like all the great museums in the world, there could be several branches of the Powerhouse in the City of Sydney as well as Western Sydney. The Tate has four museums in the United Kingdom, and the Smithsonian in the US has 19 museums and galleries. Some of the Powerhouse’s enormous collection of exhibits, currently held in storage, could be looked at for use in a new Parramatta museum.
Thee type of museum that is built in Parramatta is a question for the people of Parramatta to decide. Many people I’ve spoken to want Western Sydney to have a museum of its own that reflects the rich culture and history of the area, rather than simply having the Powerhouse Museum transplanted there.
The people of our area want the current Powerhouse Museum to stay on its site in Ultimo. They want the government to reconsider the move, and to consult with the people of Western Sydney to establish a museum that reflects the unique history and spirit of that community.
To see the much-loved and iconic Powerhouse building in Ultimo converted into yet more high rise profit box apartments and taken away from the community is a disaster not just for the people of our area, but for all Australians. It’s an integral part of Sydney’s unique landscape and should be kept for the public to enjoy.
The campaign continues - and I'll keep you updated on our work as we go forward.