MEDIA RELEASE February 27, 2015
Award-wining playwright and columnist Van Badham has joined Greens Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker MP, in condemning the government’s proposed sale of the Powerhouse building as a blow to the emerging arts community in NSW.
“The Powerhouse Museum, because of its central location, has been an important cultural resource for creative young people for years,” said Ms Badham, who last year won the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Playwriting.
“When I was 15, my very first play was performed as a youth drama project at the Powerhouse Museum. I was a working-class kid from the suburbs, living in Hurstville, and the accessibility of the Powerhouse Museum by public transport made that life-changing project possible.
“Sydney kids from non-traditional backgrounds for creative careers have gone on to success in the arts because accessible public infrastructure was there to support our development when we were young. The Powerhouse Museum was a central place to meet in the city, to experience collections and have a place to make work.
"Of course, there should be additional cultural infrastructure built in Western Sydney to expand such opportunities for young people. Taking out an existing site with no consultation, no planned site and a plan to privatise public land to enrich no one but developers is a disgrace.
“The relocation of the entire Museum and the sale of the Powerhouse building is a destructive and short-sighted move that will affect Sydney’s cultural community,” said Ms Badham.
Mr Parker said:
“The Powerhouse Museum is an important cultural space that must be preserved for generations.
“We are seeing the steady leaching away of our culture and history by the Liberal government with this fire sale of our historic buildings.
“Sydney is simply not for sale to the highest bidder. Soon every prime building and location that belongs to the public will be in private hands, and Sydney will be stripped of its unique identity.
“The Greens have launched a petition to keep the Powerhouse building in public hands, and we will be taking this to the next state government.”