MEDIA RELEASE March 23, 2015
More than 100 Sydneysiders have resolved to oppose the sale of the Powerhouse building and support cultural facilities in Western Sydney in a public meeting against plans to convert the Sydney landmark into apartments, Greens Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker MP, said.
The public meeting on Friday evening was organised by the Ultimo Village Voice and Friends of Ultimo community groups, with speakers including Mr Parker, public historian Shirley Fitzgerald and publisher and president of the Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence Gibbons. The Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, was also present.
The meeting unanimously passed a motion put by Mr Parker to oppose the sale of the Powerhouse building, and support the construction of cultural facilities in Western Sydney.
Ultimo Village Voice and the Friends of Ultimo also undertook to create a working party to build the campaign to save the Powerhouse museum building from sale and demolition. A petition on Mr Parker’s website against the sale has gathered nearly 1,500 signatures so far.
Mr Parker said:
“The Powerhouse building is an icon in Sydney, and it’s a false economy to destroy a structure that has been purpose-built as a museum, with no guarantees it will be replaced with a similar building.
“Instead of moving the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney, an additional museum could be created there as part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
“Many of the great museums of the world have multiple museums and galleries. For example, the Tate has four museums in the United Kingdom, and the Smithsonian in the US has 19 museums and galleries.
“Sydney shouldn’t lose this landmark to developers in order for Western Sydney to have a museum.
“Thirty percent of people in NSW live in Western Sydney, but they only get 5.5% of state government funding. Rather than selling off this landmark for short-term returns, the Liberals should budget for a proper infusion of cultural funds for Western Sydney that reflects its status and size.
“I’ll be reaching out to organisations in Western Sydney to build a Sydney-wide campaign to support cultural equity and oppose this sale, which is simply part of the Liberals’ privatisation agenda.”