Dismantling The Powerhouse Museum

2 July 2020

What a win for the community! 

Finally some commonsense.  The Berejiklian government has done a backflip and the unique Powerhouse Museum, home to some 400,000 artefacts, will not be bulldozed and will remain in Ultimo!   As many of us have argued, the obvious and most cost effective option is for a new venue at Parramatta which is an opportunity to provide a second cultural centre to display more of the institution’s huge collections.  However the proposed building appears to be more of an ‘entertainment centre’ and the site is completely inappropriate, being on a flood plain. The government is also still apparently determined to demolish important heritage items to make way for it and dismissive of the green ban that the Union has placed on their demolition!  The Trust’s letter to Anthony Roberts is here.

Previous update:

There have been some very important news reports recently criticising the proposed relocation of the Powerhouse Museum eg last weekend’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Continuing issues include:

  • the destruction of the site in Ultimo, so suited to the collection;
  • inadequacy of the design of the new space;
  • the perception that it will be a local entertainment space rather than a state museum;
  • concerns about the future safety of rare and precious objects, large and small;
  • blowout costs that cannot be tolerated when so many other community needs must be met;
  • continuing concerns about destroying heritage buildings in both locations.

If you would like to add your voice we encourage you to:


1.  Write to the Premier and your local MP – addresses at: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/members/Pages/all-members.aspx


2.  Make a short submission to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment here. https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/26576 objecting to the ‘new powerhouse’ design plan and the demolition of heritage in Parramatta. 

More details here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YgnQWkgn0BF7tjM8JH1a2oEfQbBzhbnS/view

March 2020

A fresh parliamentary inquiry has been launched into NSW Government’s $1.5 billion plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to an inappropriate flood prone site in Parramatta,  Overwhelmingly the voices of the community have advocated to preserve the current site, build a new locally influenced cultural institution at Parramatta and use the funding saved from moving the Powerhouse Museum to create regional museums and galleries.  Given the project in Parramatta has now been declared a ‘State Significant Project’ we are concerned that the use of this legislation has only been enacted to enable the Government to override and ignore all reasonable opposition or community input and permit the destruction of local heritage.  Here is a link to The Trust’s submission to the Premier and political representatives to which so far we have had an acknowledgement but no detailed response.

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