2018 Business Cases: Responses

1.0 Responses to Business Case papers, from June 2018

2.0 Responses to Business Case Summary, April-May, and lead up

3.0 Summary of related news reports, April 2018 to now

READ HERE: To access all the documents, and the background to making them available.

Following receipt of submissions below, the 11th hearing of the Upper House Inquiry was held on 12 September, 2018: 
‘Three convincing presentations; one clap-trap claim’
PMA reports that at the 11th hearing for the Upper House Inquiry on 12th September, museum experts Kylie Winkworth, Andrew Grant and Dr Lindsay Sharp exposed major flaws in the business case documents finally supplied to Parliament, and argued that the Powerhouse Museum should remain as a long-standing state museum in Ultimo while Parramatta deserved its own museum. Reasons included insufficient consultation in both locations, risks to the collection, questionable governance arrangements, faulty financial assessments and comparative inequity with regional NSW. These applauded statements were followed by a presentation by Arts Minister Don Harwin, which was received by the audience as a public relations hype-speech, demonstrating his complete ignorance of all the issues involved and, moreover, what the Powerhouse Museum actually is.
Cross-examination by the Committee exposed, however, that while many decisions were being made there were no binding contracts in place that would inhibit a future government from changing the proposal. For transcripts of the hearing, Read more 

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1.0 Responses to Business Case papers, from June 2018

A: Independent responses
B: Further submissions to Inquiry

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A: Independent responses

21 August, 2018
Kylie Winkworth – ‘Powerhouse to Property Play; plotting the eviction of the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo’
‘…In the last four years the NSW government has waged a cultural vendetta against the Powerhouse Museum, cutting its budget, depriving it of maintenance funding, and undermining public confidence in the museum and the custodianship of the collection. It is heartbreaking for the museum’s staff, volunteers and supporters. Thirteen volumes of a confected business case, an army of consultants and high level public servants have tried to justify the inexcusable destruction of major state museum…’. Read more: Winkworth 21 August 2018

July-August 2018
Applications called for ‘Chief Executive Museum Of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS)’ closing date 21/08/2018
Following the resignation of the former director of MAAS, and the announcement that the subsequent position would be that of a CEO rather than a Director, this advertisement was placed. Read here for published details of this position, or here: Chief Executive MAAS
However,
following the release of Business Case documents, an [anonymous] observer has offered an alternative job description: MAAS CEO (real!)

16 August, 2018
‘NPRAG calls on Premier Berejiklian to stop destroying Australia’s second oldest city’
‘Seven months out from the crucial 2019 state election, the North Parramatta Residents’ Action Group (NPRAG) calls on Premier Berejiklian to start listening to the community, stop destroying Australia’s heritage and history, and make seven urgent changes to her Government’s current policies’. Changes include protection of the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct in North Parramatta, abandoning the plan to destroy Willow Grove and seven St Georges terraces to make way for two 50-storey tower blocks, retaining the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo and building a new museum in the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct. Read more: NPRAG 16 Aug

12 August, 2018
‘Truth telling and cultural amnesia’
In her regular blog, commentator Judith White discusses ‘Truth telling’ as ‘the theme of this year’s Garma festival … Telling the truth should be a simple matter, shouldn’t it? Yet when it comes to the nation’s history, for those in positions of power it seems to be the hardest ask.’ Following several examples she also notes of ‘The culture heist in NSW’ and the Powerhouse Museum, that ‘Director Dolla Merrilees resigned, when Arts Minister Don Harwin should have, and his department announced that there would now be no director but instead a CEO with property and construction experience to oversee the hugely controversial move to Parramatta…The well-informed professionals of the Powerhouse Museum Alliance continue to campaign against the ludicrous move, and the Upper House Inquiry into Museums and Galleries has been asking all the right questions about what dirty property deals have been done… But the reasons for the Government’s obstinacy, in the face of expert opinion and public condemnation, remain shrouded in secrecy.’  Read more 

July, 2018
Des Griffin – ‘Heading for White Elephant Country?’

‘Not a single word of the evidence in the hearings has identified the special reason why the relocated PHM will meet the criteria which would justify the proposal. How does it compare with the costs and benefits of a museum which addresses what the population in the western suburbs want to see if carefully considered?’DGriffin-June2018

13 July, 2018
Tim Stone – ‘Sydney museum move could be most expensive gallery relocation in history’

Tim Stone, in The Art Newspaper, an international online and print publication with offices in London and New York, draws attention to continuing dilemmas regarding the proposal to move the Powerhouse Museum, including how  ‘critics fear that plan will lead to parts of the … collection being sold off’. Noting that ‘The Powerhouse Museum incorporates a historic power station and a tram depot with a contemporary steel-and-glass structure, and won the Sulman Medal, Australia’s most prestigious architecture award’ he continues: ‘Despite the accolade, the Powerhouse Museum is not protected by heritage legislation, putting its historic buildings at risk once sold.’ Read more

20 June, 2018
Stacy Thomas – ‘Historic buildings demolished if Powerhouse Museum relocation preferred option selected’

Stacy Thomas, in the Parramatta Advertiser, follows up information revealed in the now-public Business Case papers and reports community concern that historic buildings in Parramatta: ‘are earmarked for demolition to make the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences museum “work” ‘, and refers to Parramatta Council’s 2017-2022 Cultural Plan, while North Parramatta Residents Action Group’s Suzette Meade, said: “Protecting Parramatta’s heritage should be a priority but it looks like the Berejiklian Government’s bulldozers are back in town.” Read more 

B: Further submissions to Inquiry, August 2018

The following papers were submitted to the Upper House Inquiry, and published here on
7 September, 2018:
https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2403#tab-submissions
The papers refer to copies of Final Business Case (FBC) documents released to the Legislative Council in April 2018, and available to read on PMA site here: https://powerhousemuseumalliance.com/find-out-more/business-cases-access-to-documents/

 Jennifer Sanders – ‘Commentary: assessing the Business Case papers’
A critical analysis of the government’s vision for moving the Museum, particularly as it relates to the Museum’s history and collection, also noting other options that had not been followed up, and saying: ‘ What is most alarming about this benighted plan is its insistence on the destruction of the Powerhouse Museum – its reduction to a mere vestige of the power of its history, collection and stories – now a unique and distinctive combination which has inspired generations over its 138 years.’ No. 142g Ms Jennifer Sanders

Lindsay Sharp – Introduction to five documents
Introduction to five analyses (below) of government’s falsehoods and misleading of the public about the Powerhouse Museum Riverbank/Ultimo precinct Projects. No. 148o Dr Lindsay Sharp
1.0 Analysis of six Extended Business Case documents (New Western Sydney Museum, Nos 5,6,7,10c, 22, 24) These include: Vision statement, Project definition, Rationale, Super Towers Options, Museum benchmarking, and Willingness to pay. No. 148p Dr Lindsay Sharp
2.0 Analysis of No.2 ‘Final Business Case Supplement’ The New Museum in Western Sydney’ (the keystone Cabinet reference document) Analysis includes: Capital costs, alternative solutions, commercial development, storage safety, consumer demand, options analysis, development driven rationale.   No. 148q Dr Lindsay Sharp
3.0 Analysis of The MAAS Project No.6 ‘Integration Brief’
‘In its factual, fiscal and qualitative cultural statements this ‘Brief’ is completely misleading – for example it does not and cannot meet Treasury BCR minimal requirements.’ 6 August No. 148r Dr Lindsay Sharp
4.0 Analysis of Hirst Project’s ‘Review of MAAS Collection Move’
‘The summary analysis … suggests that it begs many questions leading to a high degree of uncertainty as to its reliability in regards to costings, risks, practicalities, reliability and implementability of the collection logistics plans on which it is supposed to be commenting.’ No. 148s Dr Lindsay Sharp
5.0 Analysis of No.33 ‘New Museum Flood study’, 2016
Identifying and elaborating on flood risks in Parramatta, this paper says ‘Museums …represent massive social and economic  investment  in cultural capital which engages us,  tells our stories and helps us make meaning from within our individual lives and together, within our communities. Responsible planning ensures these assets are protected from existential risks which are forseeable.’ No. 148t Dr Lindsay Sharp

Grace Cochrane – ‘Concerns about the collection: exhibitions, staff and audiences’
Issues discussed are: Background: context for issues; Who is a state museum for? Who is a local/regional museum for? Acknowledging significance of collection-based exhibitions; Recognising the breadth of the applied arts collection; Scheduling for exhibition development with permanent professional staff; Recommend investment in where it is and support of a different institution in Parramatta. No. 96d Powerhouse Museum Alliance
(See also PHM Exhibition archive for list of exhibitions 1988-2018)

Tom Lockley – ‘Moving’ the Powerhouse’
Issues include: ‘Moving’ our unique Powerhouse Museum is a bad choice for creating a cultural icon in Parramatta; little or no research into alternatives; no appropriate consultation; initially announced budget ridiculous; waste of money confirmed by later budgets; Government’s site choice undemocratic; Parramatta people prefer other options; Powerhouse Museum is an invaluable item of Australian heritage; Government has ignored massive opposition, has been secretive and has been forced into revealing plans; the Business Case does not refute the basic criticisms or allay concerns. No. 137c Mr Tom Lockley

Tom Lockley – ‘Lack of research into alternatives’
‘Despite what Government witnesses have tried to imply, Infrastructure NSW  has never researched alternatives to the “move” as a strategy for improving cultural facilities in Parramatta.’  No. 137d Mr Tom Lockley

Tom Lockley – ‘The lack of proper appraisal is exemplified in the negligible activities of the Expert Advisory Panel / Group.’ Exposes through schedules and reports, the limited advice requested from and provided by this panel. No. 137e Mr Tom Lockley

Lionel Glendenning – ‘Critique of Site Infrastructure Assessment: MAAS Powerhouse, Ultimo’
An informed discussion of the ‘fake news, untrue facts, biased conclusions and fake survey results that are statistically invalid’ in the arguments to leave the Ultimo buildings because of their physical condition: ‘Based only on a conclusion that accords with the Government flawed ‘visions’ then argued after-the-fact…’ Refer papers: Ultimo Presence Project 4 and 6. No. 155c Mr Lionel Glendenning

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2.0 Responses to Business Case Summary, April-May, and lead-up

24 May 2018:
‘The Powerhouse ‘Move’ – what next?’
Tom Lockley summarises issues of the government’s lack of research and consultation, poor budgeting, undemocratic choice of site and type of venue in Parramatta, and the many reasons for keeping the museum in Ultimo. He provides this as background for those who may attend Inquiry hearings on 28 May and 1 June. See: 24 May -What next – TL

22 May 2018
‘Does Sydney need a new theatre on the Powerhouse Museum site?’
Debbie Rudder comments on the current plan which ‘would see a substantial portion of Ultimo Powerhouse become a venue for musical theatre and the whole Harwood Building knocked down to make way for a block of flats.’ As well as arguing for the significance of the existing buildings and their museum functions, she lists the many operating (and closed) city theatres and questions the need for another, on this site. See:  Sydney theatres DR May 2018

May 18, 2018
International Museum’s Day: a day of mourning for the Powerhouse Museum
In a statement from the Powerhouse Museum Alliance (PMA), Kylie Winkworth, Jennifer Sanders and Lindsay Sharp identify 18 May, International Museum’s Day in 2018 as a day of mourning for the Powerhouse Museum (PHM). PMA ‘asks the community to visit the Powerhouse before the government flogs the museum to developers’.
They refer to many issues associated with the recent Business Case Summary, and also reports on a statement issued by the International Council of Museums on the independence of museums, which is ‘pertinent to powerless position of the Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences …The government is stripping the PHM’s land, assets and facilities from the hands of the trustees, and depriving them of the control and direction of the museum.’ At the same time it confirms that the PMA ‘has consistently supported the development of an iconic new museum in Parramatta, based on transparent community consultations’, and reminds us that ‘The Powerhouse Museum has suffered more than a decade of devastating budget cuts …TThe Powerhouse Museum must remain open, and in full control of its historic site at Ultimo, its home since 1893.’ PMA statement IMDay 18 May 2018

16 May, 2018
Lindsay Sharp: ‘Analysis of the Summary Business Case’
Dr Lindsay Sharp, for the Powerhouse Museum Alliance, analyses the Summary Business Case, saying:  The costs are wildly understated; the comparative scale of the project is significantly over stated; the basis for calculation of benefits is unproven and the process does not meet Treasury guidelines. The risks and access to the MAAS collections are unacceptable. The justification for the ‘move’ is untenable. There are far better options available utilising Government owned land. Read more: Analysis of Summary, LS 16 May

5 May, 2018
Tom Lockley: ‘Questions for the government regarding the Powerhouse museum move’. Tom Lockley, from the Pyrmont History Group and Powerhouse Museum interest group, traces decisions and developments along the way and lists a number of key questions, focussing on inadequate consultation, representation, and feedback, as well as lack of evidence and relaistic costing. TL- Qs for Govt 5 May 2018

3 May, 2018
John McDonald: ‘… not an act of cultural justice, it’s a piece of cultural imbecility. It’s vandalism disguised as largesse.’
In commenting on recent developments in the proposal to move the Powerhouse Museum, art critic John McDonald says it is ‘increasingly important to speak out against the authoritarian tendencies at work in this state.’ … ‘The people of Parramatta are not even in the picture. They will get a second-hand science museum built on a floodplain when they may have expected a major arts venue. Meanwhile in Ultimo a site currently devoted to a public institution will be carved up and sold off to private developers, who will cram in as many apartments and retail outlets as possible. Public good is being brazenly traded for private profit.’ 3 May John McD

3 May, 2018
Berejiklian Government embarrassed by Major Error in Business Case Summary for Powerhouse Museum move
In a press release, Walt Secord, Shadow Minister for the Arts, exposes an error in the government’s Business Case Summary. ‘NSW Arts Minster Don Harwin, who has faced repeated questions without notice in the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council admitted today (May 3) after further questioning that the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) discount rate was 7 and not 6.88 as published on the weekend.’ … ‘In response, Mr Harwin said Infrastructure NSW had corrected the error this morning and it was a “typo”. Secord 3 May

28 April, 2018
Powerhouse Museum Alliance Press Release:
  ‘Premier announces “decisions” for museum at Parramatta and Ultimo’ See:  PMA press release 27 April 2018 

24 April, 2018
Garry Horvai: letter to Robert Borsak, chair of Upper House Inquiry
Horvai draws attention to a Daily Telegraph claim to have access to a secret report from 2014: ‘The article comprehensively trashes the museum with the declared aim of “Wresting a prized museum from the inner city elite for the battlers of Western Sydney…”’ See: GH to Borsak 24 April

6 April, 2018
Nicholas Pappas AM, former Trustee and President of the Powerhouse Museum, writes on behalf of the Powerhouse Museum Alliance to all Liberal and National MPs., saying ‘The Berejiklian government is making a dreadful mistake in dismantling the Powerhouse Museum. Good governments build on the museum legacy of previous generations, expanding museum opportunities for the whole community.’ See Letter to  all Liberal and National Mps:  NP-Letter to Libs and Nats MPs – 06-04-2018 (2) and to all Labor MPs: NP-Letter to Labor MPs – 06-04-2018

6 April, 2018
Grace Cochrane AM, writes to all NSW Members of Parliament, providing reasons for adding their voices to seeking a better decision: GC Letter to all MPs 6 April 18

2 April, 2018
Letter to Education Minister Rob Stokes from former curator
Follows up the Minister’s ‘challenge to the STEM orthodoxy’ in relation to the Powerhouse Museum, and ‘addresses the potential loss of the Powerhouse Museum, the ideal cultural institution to address in its exhibitions and programs and in its current location at Ultimo – themes relating to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.’ Letter to Stokes 2 April

Supplementary submissions listed on Inquiry site, April-May 2018

No. 67a Ms Judith White
Examples of Sydney Modern extension for AGNSW and other international examples… Revitalising the reach, impact, research and collecting priorities of galleries and museums requires ensuring that the focus on scholarship and curatorship is not damaged by budgetary stringency and the need to develop commercial revenue streams.

No. 96c Dr Grace Cochrane
Letter to MPs: Is any government really prepared to carry on its conscience the destruction of a long-established institution that uniquely integrates decorative arts and design, science and technology and social history … culturally embedded in its current location and easily accessible to all visiting the capital city of NSW?… As well, we cannot forget that all significant institutions need adequate recurrent funding for staff and programs; the ‘efficiency dividend’ has been devastatingly destructive.

No. 142f Ms Jennifer Sanders
ICOM Statement on the Independence of Museums, Paris, 27 March 2018 and its relevance to the current situation of the Powerhouse Museum and the Final Business Case Summary: Powerhouse Museum in Western Sydney.

No. 143a Ms Debbie Rudder
Does Sydney need a new theatre on the Powerhouse Museum site? The NSW government’s intention to split the MAAS collection into sciences at Parramatta and fashion at Ultimo is an appalling decision, compounded by the announcement that a large part of the Ultimo heritage site will be handed over to developers.

No. 149f Ms Kylie Winkworth
Paper sent to the Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office (CIPMO) on 11 August 2017 after the consultations held at the Powerhouse Museum 31 July 2017, in response to the question ‘Is there anything else that should be taken into consideration when developing the business case?’

No. 149g Ms Kylie Winkworth
Paper sent to the Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office (CIPMO) in September 2017 to highlight some of the issues, risks and misconceptions in the government’s approach to planning the PHM to Parramatta project. If not addressed they will likely have serious ramifications for the costs, sustainability and community support for the new museum in Parramatta.

No. 167a Dr Lindsay Sharp
Analysis of government’s sub-optimal ‘Summary’ business case of the ‘Final business case’ for ‘moving’ the Powerhouse Museum.

No. 175 Mr Max Underhill
The Significance of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney’s Transport, Engineering and Manufacturing Heritage Precinct. ‘The Government’s proposed repurposing of the Museum would inevitably lead to a loss of these vital historical and heritage links for the city’s residents and also to cultural tourism generally.’

No. 176 Mr Alan Landis
A Life Fellow of the Museum: I have been a passionate supporter of the Museum for forty years and helped establish many collectors’ societies. In discussions with a majority of them, they will not go or support by donation or time a move to Parramatta, surely funds spent on this action could be better spent elsewhere and both the range of objects in the collection a sample could be placed in a “re-cycled” historic property in Parramatta…

No. 177 Dr Cassi Plate
Dear NSW politician, I remain staunchly opposed to the proposed dismantling of the iconic Powerhouse Museum. It is outrageous that a great museum, built and endowed by the people of NSW, which opened just 30 years ago, is being stripped of its property and facilities, and evicted from its purpose built premises. All of the papers relating to this act of cultural vandalism are secret. No credible business case can justify the $1.2b cost of ‘moving’ the PHM just 23ks west to Parramatta for no net increase in cultural facilities.

No. 178 Mr Bob Roach
When people from regional areas travel to Sydney to sightsee or visit cultural icons, often with children, the tendency these days is to travel by train, coach or air to the CBD or nearby, to stay and be at the centre of things, e.g. Opera House, Botanic Gardens, Harbour Bridge, Art Gallery, National Museum etc. In its current location the Powerhouse Museum fits this bill, within easy reach by public transport. A shift to Parramatta will add cost and time spent on congested roads to any future visit, and this reason should be added to the myriad of other reasons to stop a change of location.

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3.0 Summary of related news reports, April 2018 to now

For more detail see our News Chronology and related  Letters to the Editor.

13 July, 2018
‘Sydney museum move could be most expensive gallery relocation in history’

Tim Stone, in The Art Newspaper, an international online and print publication with offices in London and New York, draws attention to continuing dilemmas regarding the proposal to move the Powerhouse Museum, including how  ‘critics fear that plan will lead to parts of the … collection being sold off’. Noting that ‘The Powerhouse Museum incorporates a historic power station and a tram depot with a contemporary steel-and-glass structure, and won the Sulman Medal, Australia’s most prestigious architecture award’ he continues: ‘Despite the accolade, the Powerhouse Museum is not protected by heritage legislation, putting its historic buildings at risk once sold.’ Read more

20 June, 2018
‘Historic buildings demolished if Powerhouse Museum relocation preferred option selected’

Stacy Thomas, in the Parramatta Advertiser, follows up information revealed in the now-public Business Case papers and reports community concern that historic buildings in Parramatta: ‘are earmarked for demolition to make the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences museum “work” ‘, and refers to Parramatta Council’s 2017-2022 Cultural Plan, while North Parramatta Residents Action Group’s Suzette Meade, said: “Protecting Parramatta’s heritage should be a priority but it looks like the Berejiklian Government’s bulldozers are back in town.” Read more 

June 2018
Continuing debates and comments about Business Case
For many reports and comments following the demand to provide the Business Case for the Powerhouse Museum relocation to the Legislative Council in the NSW parliament, and the 9th and 10th Inquiry hearings which focused on the early stages of decision-making and planning, see this website’s News Chronology from late May 2018: News Chronology
Hansard record for provision of documents for: SYDNEY STADIUMS; POWERHOUSE MUSEUM; OUT-OF-HOME CARE SERVICES, leading to agreement that they would be provided by 5pm on Friday 8 June, see:
5 June: Read more   Pages 11-12, 14, 23-41 (motion p11, passed to provide by 6 June, p41)
6 June: Read more  (agreed to provide by 5pm, 7 June)

6 June, 2018
Minister Don Harwin censured in Parliament for refusal to release documents
In the Sydney Morning Herald, Alexandra Smith reports that: ‘The state government’s most senior minister in the upper house, Don Harwin, faces being suspended from Parliament over his refusal to produce key documents … including the business cases for the rebuild and renovation of Sydney stadiums and the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum. … Mr Harwin has until 9.30am on Wednesday to produce the documents …The motion was moved by the leader of the opposition in the upper house, Adam Searle.’ Read more 

And under ‘Minister could get the arts’ in the Daily Telegraph, Clarissa Bye says: ‘A state government front-bencher today faces being first minister kicked out of the NSW Parliament in almost two decades over an embarrassing constitutional showdown … Mr Harwin has been ordered to hand over key internal government documents … after the government lost an ALP censure motion by 21 votes to 20. … A coalition of the ALP, minor parties and maverick Liberal Matthew Mason Cox joined forces…’. Read more: Daily Telegraph 6 June

In ‘Untenable, repugnant’: Backbencher defies Premier to censure colleague’ in the New Daily, Rachel Eddie discusses issues of conscience votes where  ‘Matthew Mason-Cox crossed the floor anyway on Tuesday night to censure the leader of the government in the upper house, Arts Minister Don Harwin. … “It has been made clear to me today by the leader of the government and the premier that no conscience vote is permissible on this respective issue,” Mr Mason-Cox told parliament. “ To me, that is untenable and completely repugnant to the whole nature of a conscience vote, which is by its very essence personal to the member.” Greens MLC David Shoebridge said there had been a “shroud of secrecy over almost every controversial decision made by the government. “Finally parliament is striking back at executive overreach.” Read more 

23 May, 2018
‘Glad the Impaler’s demolition plans’
In Altmedia, Kylie Winkworth summarises the current situation where ‘ Premier Berejiklian is pushing ahead with the government’s world first museum demolition plan. … The government has spent three years and five months trying to justify Mike Baird’s captain’s pick to send the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta.’  She identifies issues, evidence and other options, concluding ‘The community’s best hope to save the Powerhouse is to visit the museum, write to MPs and the premier, and think carefully about voting for the mob that’s promising museum demolition at the next election.’ Read more 

10 May, 2018
‘Government scraps plan to buy Powerhouse’s Parramatta neighbour’
Carolyn Cummins, with Linda Morris in The Sydney Morning Herald report that: ‘The NSW government has ceased talks to buy a Parramatta office tower as part of its controversial plans to move the Powerhouse Museum to western Sydney. … it is understood it does not need as much space at Parramatta. Read more  or SMH 10 May Parra tower

8 May, 2018
Granville MP Julia Finn slams Powerhouse Museum’s Parramatta move as ‘lame 70s throwback’
Stacy Thomas, in the Parramatta Advertiser, cited Granville state Labor MP Julia Finn, who had berated the State Government’s decision to relocate a portion of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta and add a domed planetarium. Read more  and 8 May P Advertiser

7 May, 2018
Alex Greenwich: ‘Powerhouse Games’
In his regular newsletter, Independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich, said that in Parliament where ‘the government continued to praise its decision to ‘relocate’ the Powerhouse to Parramatta … I spoke of my concern at its attempt to pit western Sydney against the inner city and east … I am worried that the final decision is really an excuse to maximise private development on the existing Powerhouse site. My comments in Parliament are HERE. I’ve asked questions in Parliament to find out if any undertakings have been given to developers over the land, HERE.’

3 May, 2018
Berejiklian Government embarrassed by Major Error in Business Case Summary for Powerhouse Museum move
In a press release, Walt Secord, Shadow Minister for the Arts, exposes an error in the government’s Business Case Summary.  Secord 3 May

3 May, 2018
John McDonald: ‘… not an act of cultural justice, it’s a piece of cultural imbecility. It’s vandalism disguised as largesse.’
In commenting on recent developments in the proposal to move the Powerhouse Museum, art critic John McDonald says it is ‘increasingly important to speak out against the authoritarian tendencies at work in this state.’ … ‘Public good is being brazenly traded for private profit.’ 3 May John McD

 2 May, 2018
Kylie Winkworth: ‘Museum demolition; these are two words that don’t belong together’…
Only in Sydney could the property of a major state museum be seen as a development opportunity.’ Read more  or for longer version: 1 May 2018 Winkworth – long

1 May, 2018
Judith White: ‘NSW Government defies Parliament: Powerhouse to be vandalised’ 
in her Culture Heist blog: Read more
Grant Goldman, in his Breakfast show on Radio 2SM, broadcast White’s summary: for audio and text Read more 

May, 2018
Save the Powerhouse Facebook: a continuing record
This Ultimo-based community group with a wide-reaching following continues to document events and opinions associated with the controversial decision to move the museum, and leave remnants only in Ultimo. Read more 

30 April, 2018
‘RACISM, elitism and vandalism — politicians come out swinging over the latest Powerhouse Museum development.’
Maryanne Taouk, in The Parramatta Advertiser: Read more: 30 April Parra Advertiser

29 April, 2018
‘Costs of moving Powerhouse to western Sydney to top $1 billion’
Linda Morris, in The Sun-Herald, discusses the decision to move the Powerhouse museum…Read more   or  Sun Herald 29 April 2018-1 , and Read more  or  Sun Herald 29 April 2018 -2

29 April, 2018
‘Moving Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum: apartments for old site’
Andrew Clennell, in The Australian’; Read more: The Australian 29 April 2018

28 April, 2018
‘Full steam ahead, at $645 million’
Linda Morris, in the Sydney Morning Herald  Read more  or  SMH 28 April, 2018

28 April, 2018
‘Parramatta to get some star Power: Relocated museum rivals global icons’
Anna Caldwell, in The Daily Telegraph: Read more  oDaily T 28 April 2018

28 April, 2018
Premier’s announcement: ‘MAAS (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences) Project update’
Craig Limkin advised: ‘Today the NSW Government announced that the Powerhouse Museum will completely relocate to stunning new premises in Parramatta… the NSW Government has confirmed it plans to retain cultural spaces at Ultimo… See: the  MAAS project website. Attached to the message are:
1) Media Release: Gladys Berejiklian, Don Harwin
Gladys Berejiklian and Don Harwin med rel – Western Sydney becomes cultural powerhouse_
2)  Fact sheet: See Powerhouse factsheet

27 April, 2018
The Premier’s announcement on Twitter causes comment
Dozens of correspondents from many locations responded, disagreeing with the rationale for the proposal, commenting on the motives behind the decision and the reality of access.   https://twitter.com/GladysB/status/990054598789365760

27 April, 2018
‘Interview with David Shoebridge’
On Breakfast radio, ABC702, Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck follow up reports that expected documents about the business case for the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum were not made available to the Legislative Council as had been required. Read more ] Hear interview (from 1:00:54 to 1:09:23) at:  Read more 

 27 April, 2018
Museum to move despite ‘missing business case’
Andrew Clennell, in The Australian: Read more:  The Australian 27 April 2018

27 April, 2018
‘Powerhouse Museum move despite missing business case’
Stacy Thomas, in the Parramatta Advertiser, provides some contradictory opinions from Parramatta about the proposed relocation of the Powerhouse Museum. Read more  or see: Parra Advertiser 27 April 2018

 27 April, 2018
‘Contemptuous’ Powerhouse business case remains shrouded in secrecy
In the Sydney Morning Herald, Linda Morris and Lisa Visentin report :  Read more 

27 April 2018
‘Parra has the power’: the Powerhouse Museum is on its way to Parramatta.
In The Daily Telegraph, Anna Caldwell:’Daily Tele 27 April 2018
Editorial: ‘More power to the West’
With what has become an increasingly shaky rationale, the editorial in The Daily Telegraph: DailyT edit 27 April 2018

 26 April, 2018
Job advertised: Parramatta
 City Council: Project Manager – Cultural Infrastructure (TEMPORARY)
Before the Premier officially announced that the Powerhouse Museum would definitely move to Parramatta (See Media Release above, 28 April), the Parramatta City Council advertised this position. Read more 

 26 April, 2018
‘NSW government fails to produce Powerhouse Museum business case’
Rachel Eddie, in The New Daily, Read more 

 26 April, 2018
‘Western Sydney urges government to stand ground on Powerhouse Museum’ 
(on-line)
Linda Morris, in the Sydney Morning Herald, summarises reports of a current push from Western Sydney: Read more or see: SMH April 25 2018

 26 April, 2018
Elizabeth Fortescue, arts writer for The Daily Telegraph, says on her personal Facebook page: ‘…It could all be fixed so easily. I would leave the Powerhouse in its admirably central location. And I would give Western Sydney the facility it deserves…’  Read more (26 April)

 26 April, 2018
‘Cranking up power’ 
(on-line as ‘Sydney’s top business and education influencers get political over Powerhouse Museum move’)
Anna Caldwell, in The Daily Telegraph, advises that ‘A powerful group of ­Sydney’s biggest influencers in business and education has fired off a strongly worded letter to… Luke Foley …and… Premier Gladys Berejiklian: Read moreDaily T 26 April 2018-1  and from David Borger: Daily Tele 26 April-2

25 April, 2018
‘Great gallery divide’
In the Daily Telegraph, Anna Caldwell argues controversially that ‘Sydney’s great cultural divide has been laid bare by new data that reveals how the Powerhouse Museum is the centre of the inner city elite’. Read more: DailyT 25 April 2018

 25 April, 2018
‘Art Gallery’s Sydney Modern adds trees, open space and softens look to address critics’
Julie Power, in the Sydney Morning Herald, summarises issues raised in the 291 submissions… about the development of a new Sydney Modern wing at the Art Gallery of NSW, and … identifies similarities in the process of developing a business case with that of the Powerhouse Museum. Read more

18 April, 2018
Editorial: ‘Museum move makes sense’
and ‘Powerhouse Museum move: Labor’s backflip is a sellout to inner-city’s privileged interests’; Anna Caldwell, in The Daily TelegraphRead More18 April Daily T Anna C

18 April, 2018
‘Renovation nightmare ‘
(on line as: ‘Secret 2014 report warned NSW government the Powerhouse Museum needed a major overhaul’): Anna Caldwell, The Daily Telegraph18 April Daily T Anna C report
[The Powerhouse Museum Alliance advises that much of the cited information is inaccurate; that reduced administrative funding has affected all institutions; and that this would have been one of a number of reports leading to the then director’s proposal for development on-site and which was approved in 2014, and then overturned by Premier Baird.]

17 April, 2018
‘Museum move cost to be tabled’
Andrew Clennell reports in The Australian: ‘ …Next week, the full business case for the controversial move, put at various times as high as $1 billion, will be available to the NSW upper house after government MP Matthew Mason-Cox crossed the floor and voted for a “call for papers” to release the documents.’ Read more

16 April, 2018
‘Powerhouse stoush adds more fuel to cultural fire’
Andy Marks, in the Sydney Morning Herald:  Read more

 14 April, 2018
Editorial: ‘NSW government: good at big ideas, not the follow-through’
In its Editorial on 14 April, the Sydney Morning Herald considers a number of current development projects – including that of the Powerhouse Museum: Read more

14 April, 2018
‘Powerhouse: Labor still wants to keep museum near CBD’
In the Daily Telegraph, Anna Caldwell reports: ‘A 30,000-piece fashion and creative industries art collection will remain at Ultimo under the state government’s plans to shift the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta.’ Read more14 April, Daily T Anna C

 13 April, 2018
Media Release from Luke Foley, Leader of Opposition: ‘Labor withdraws bipartisan support’
‘… Labor will propose a multi-purpose performance and cultural exhibition space at the Parramatta site – and increased funding for arts and cultural activity, ongoing programs and infrastructure across Western Sydney.’  Read more  and 180413 FOLEY powerhouse

13 April, 2018
‘Rogue MP angers Libs as Labor backflips’
Sydney Morning Herald, on-line as two stories by Alexandra Smith, with Lisa Visentin; see ‘Foley reveals Powerhouse policy as government is left red-faced’Read more  and ‘Rogue Liberal MP crosses the floor, forcing release of documents’ Read more 

 12 April, 2018
See also: Rachel Eddie, in The New Daily  Read more 

 12 April, 2018
‘Motion passed in NSW Legislative Council to release business papers for proposed Museum move’
Greens MP David Shoebridge successfully moved that documents be tabled.
See: Hansard April 12 2018

 13 April, 2018
Powerhouse Museum move to Parramatta floodplain is ‘crazy’ and ‘risks loss of life’, flood expert warns
(ABC News with Michaela Boland and Alison Branley) Read more 

 12 April, 2018
Jill Wran ‘crushed’ by plans to relocate the Powerhouse Museum
Linda Morris, in the Sydney Morning Herald reports: ‘The widow of the former NSW Premier Neville Wran has made a rare intervention in state politics to criticise plans to relocate the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo to Parramatta.’ Read more 

 11 April, 2018
‘Perverse culture of secrecy’: Liberal MP slams Powerhouse decision
Alexandra Smith, (Sydney Morning Herald) announces: ‘Outspoken NSW Liberal MP Matthew Mason-Cox says the state government has developed a “perverse culture of secrecy” … the government has said it will withhold the business case for three months after the final decision is made’ Read more 

 11 April, 2018
Powerhouse plan needs a rethink
Matthew Mason-Cox, a Liberal member of the NSW Legislative Council, writes in an opinion piece the Sydney Morning Herald, that ‘Sadly, poor implementation is becoming the curse of the NSW government’.

11 April, 2018
‘Power play for Parramatta’
Addie Morton, in Altmedia, records that ‘Community outrage continues to grow … Jamie Parker, Member for Balmain [says] “This proposal was always a real estate deal rather than any type of cultural decision,” Read more 

10 April, 2018
Frantic battle under way to save the Powerhouse
(Linda Morris, Sydney Morning Herald)
‘Frenzied last-minute lobbying is under way to save the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo as the NSW cabinet is poised to ratify plans to build a dedicated science and innovation museum in Parramatta.: Read more