Powerhouse Museum sell-off update

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.

See my comments in the Inner West Courier 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.


Showing 4 reactions

  • Janice Aitkin
    commented 2017-03-13 13:21:48 +1100
    No, we don’t need another Powerhouse in the West. The best for the West would be a large Questacon type facility such as the very successful one in Canberra. It would need a large greenfields site with lots of parking and close to a railway line. Much cheaper to build from scratch and with the emphasis on STEM learning it would be very timely.
  • Jane Sampson
    commented 2017-03-13 11:55:41 +1100
    It is not rocket science. Look ahead! The City of Sydney is expanding at a rapid pace. I appreciate that the area Parramatta serves is also expanding quickly but that is NOT a reason from taking from one area to give to another. BOTH areas need a Power House style museum.
    The City of Sydney – the inner part of the city is growing rapidly with residential as well as work locations – increasing the population very dramatically! It is a ‘new’ population, in that they are living in units with very limited personal outdoor spaces. Increasingly we need public spaces for these residents of the City of Sydney to visit. Sydney is also receiving an increasing number of tourists who with limited time in Sydney, do not want to travel very far but are interested in visiting museums and art galleries!
    So we need TWO Power Houses!! Keep the existing one where it is – a site specifically designed for it! To remove it is an outrageous and unforgiveable waste of taxpayers’ money. The Power House attracts a lot of visitors to it every year – it is viable.
    Build a new museum in Parramatta!
    From all accounts the Power House is storing material which would fill three or four Power Houses! Make those reserves of resources available to the public in a second museum – (consider saving the cost of storage).
  • Janice Aitkin
    commented 2017-03-04 12:08:08 +1100
    There is a simple and probably much cheaper solution. Leave the Powerhouse where it is and jazz it up. In the Parramatta area set up a new facility like Questacon in Canberra. Use a greenfields site near transport and with lots of parking. Wonderful for science education and why shouldn’t the West get the best.
  • Philip Sinclair
    commented 2017-03-04 10:41:57 +1100
    Only in Australia would we decide to move an important institution from the heart of the city to appease greedy developers. As you stated there are thousands of artefacts waiting to be displayed at a new Parramatta museum.

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