Open Letter and Comments

On 17 February 2016, this campaign group, the Powerhouse Museum Alliance, prepared an Open Letter, signed by 178 leading members of arts and business communities, which was was published in the Sydney Morning Herald .

[At that time it suggested…] Many people have added their names and comments to the letter through this website, and we encourage you to continue to contribute to it. You can add your name and comment to our Open Letter by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

As the result of a strong public petition, and publicity through the PMA and other lobby groups, the issue was debated in Parliament on 26 February, 2016, and an Upper House Inquiry then held hearings between 25 September, 2016 and 6 June, 2017.   See Find Out More, on our website:

This is what the letter said:

An Open Letter from the Powerhouse Museum Alliance:

We join thousands of people from Sydney and beyond in urging the NSW Government to reconsider its plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum from the heart of Sydney to Western Sydney.

For 122 years the citizens of our great city have found entertainment, enlightenment and education at this iconic institution in Harris Street, Ultimo. Its vast holdings embrace science, technology, social history and an encyclopaedic collection of decorative arts and design, making it a cultural institution unique in Australia.

The Ultimo Power House was brilliantly repurposed just 30 years ago as a world class museum. Since it opened in 1988 the museum building and its exhibitions have won numerous awards. The project was a major investment for the people of New South Wales That investment will be squandered if the museum’s site is sold to developers.

The Powerhouse Museum is a vital part of the Ultimo education and innovation precinct. The new Goods Line walkway, light rail, and existing public transport ensure that the museum is easily accessed by visitors to Darling Harbour and the city.

We support the creation of a distinctive ‘cultural beacon’ in Parramatta, but to transport a pared-back, small scale Powerhouse would be folly.

Western Sydney deserves better – a unique institution shaped by community consultation, one that reflects the history, achievements and cultural diversity of the region and the aspirations of its people.

Nowhere else in the world are governments moving major museums away from the heart of their cities. Instead they are building satellite museums to display the collections of their great museums. The Powerhouse has the collections with which to create an original, exciting new museum for Western Sydney without abandoning its historic home.

Over ten thousand people have signed a petition which will bring this matter before the Parliament this month. Contact your Member of Parliament and add your voice to the growing movement to save the Powerhouse Museum and seek a visionary new cultural centre for Western Sydney.


Powerhouse Museum Alliance Open Letter Signatories

Click here or scroll to the bottom of the page to add your name and comment to our open letter.


229 thoughts on “Open Letter and Comments

  1. John Passlow says:

    Um!!!! I wrote a very long letter absolutely denigrating the NSW Government when this site was first set up and an a bit surprised that my name does not occur in the list of contributors to this site!!! Nevertheless if I could speak directly to our Premier I would say wake up and listen to the people but of course that would require a sensible approach to this question rather than Money that would be made by selling the present site and I am sure that this sale has already been agreed to which means all the posturing and protest in the world will not change this present government’s push to move the Power House!!!!! Message to Premier and Government is stop this ridiculous move Immediately ….. give Parramatta the venue that is planned but according to the experts this new venue is more a function centre rather than a Museum. So Premier STOP THIS MOVE NOW!!!! John Passlow.

  2. Humphrey Armstrong says:

    I believe the closing of the existing Powerhouse Museum and it’s partial move to Parramatta accompanied by the splitting up of the world renowned collection is historic vandalism on a scale almost as serious as the destruction of the Juukan Gorge Caves in the Pilbara by Rio Tinto.
    Parramatta certainly deserves a significant cultural center but not at the expense of the current world class Museum located in an appropriate powerhouse historic building.

  3. Tony Richardson says:

    Stop the Powerhouse museum move and save the heritage listed buildings in the flood prone part of Parramatta.
    This will save thousands of exhibits that will never see light of day again – leave the Powerhouse where it is.

  4. Geoff Boccalatte says:

    The Powerhouse should stay where it is…a stones through from the footprint of its original incarnation, the Harris Street Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences.

    Moving to Parramatta will dilute its unique collection to the four winds.

    Feels like Gladys is in the pocket of some hungry developers that are eyeing off its current location and licking their greedy lips.

    One thing we don’t need is more unaffordable residential development on the city fringe.

    Hands Off!!

  5. John says:

    I am sickened by the lack of vision displayed by the philistine NSW Government which is hell bent on sucking up to developers rather than having the intelligence to keep the Powerhouse where it belongs – in it’s existing purpose-built facility. No doubt the proposed Parramatta building will be an awful, inadequate mistake.

    • ken morgan says:

      CFMEU to slap a green ban on the heritage building do you think will this action stop the whole move in the long time have you tried to have the CFMEU slap one on the power house

  6. Marina Parton says:

    We cannot believe that the State Government does not value the Powerhouse and its history.
    Now it has come to light that the new building for a museum in Parramatta will be unfit to house the main exhibits and also be below the required standards to house international exhibitions.
    And the emphasis will be on spaces for commercial hire.
    And the old Powerhouse building will be demolished to make way for commercial housing.
    The Powerhouse Museum is close to our heart – our now adult son, who is on the Autism Spectrum, would enjoy going to this museum almost every school holidays with us, mostly to see and stand in the beautiful Locomotive as well as to enjoy the many interesting interactive science exhibits.
    It was a place of unique charm and irreplaceable educational value.
    Please reconsider, for the sake of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren…….
    Please conserve what is special. Once it’s gone, Sydney (and Australia) has lost something that no amount of money can buy.

    • ken morgan says:

      Marina i think if possible have the National Trust Register power house listing report 29/07/2015 pasted over the internet twitter facebook etc it is the only way you can connect with the young ones

  7. ken morgan says:

    ken Morgan i have been working on saving the power house and i cannot believe the national trust has not stopped it please read the national trust register listing on the power house

  8. Russell Goldstein says:

    Agree 100% and yes there are artifacts, stories and apparently much more than enough cash to create a second world class exhibition space in Parramatta. Its hard to recall a compelling reason to pursue this dreadful lose/lose proposal. Destroy a world famous museum. Destroy a couple of heritage sites in Parramatta. Place priceless major exhibits in indefinite storage. Risk damage and loss of unique exhibits. Spend years and big bucks to do it. The message needs to go out that these cultural institutions and assets don’t belong to the government of the day, they belong to the people in perpetuity.

  9. etienne hingee says:

    In 50 years time kids will ask what is a power station and what is a can opener.

    NSW and Victoria are well on the way to demolishing all the coal power stations

    PHM is a clean one and nice to walk around, easy for a country train visitor to get to and who does not have all that much time or the inclination to go Parramatta.

  10. Anthony Shorter says:

    The destruction of this icon of Sydney’s heritage will be another evil that will live in infamy, to quote a more articulate voice than mine.
    This will be a monument to a state premier’s pig headed tin ear, and will stand along with the hole in the ground in Moore Park, the 38 million dollar bridge to nowhere across Anzac Parade and the snail paced tram line to Randwick and Kingsford, built to justify the billion dollar gift to developers that will follow Anzac Parade like a Wuhan style eyesore.

  11. Vivien Haley says:

    The Power House Museum should remain in Ultimo, as an accessible and valuable part of our Heritage and Future.
    Pedestrian and cycle access along ‘the goods line’ from Central Station, offers green space that passes the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, UTS by Frank Ghery, the ABC and Power House Museum. Opening out to Sydney Harbour and the International Convention Centre.
    Ultimo and the surrounding area has finally come together. Connecting culture, entertainment, business, heritage and education for the people of Sydney and tourists alike… lets keep it that way!

  12. Steve Malikoff says:

    I am apalled by the descision to destroy part of Sydney’s cultural heritage. I recall excitedly visiting the “tech museum” as we called it back then, with the wonder of learning as well as having fun. The same feelings are evoked when I visit the Powerhouse these days. Surely our politicians would have done the same?

  13. Elizabeth Bailey says:

    Parramatta deserves a new museum preferably one telling the story of early colonial settlement and especially the story of indigenous peoples before and after European settlement which does not exist anywhere else and fits well with the many other historic buildings in Parramatta – NOT the Powerhouse Museum.
    The building in Harris St. is unique, fits in with the location and former connection to what was Sydney Technical College now TAFE. The potential damage in relocating exhibits such as the priceless Boulton and Watt rotative steam engine, the oldest still existing in the world, does not bear contemplation.
    A reason given for relocation was falling attendance numbers. There are reasons for this. Firstly a huge renovation a few years ago involving demolition and rebuilding toilet blocks, lifts and escalators caused huge disruption, dust and noise. Soon after this was completed the redevelopment of the Goods Line commenced which cut off access from Darling Harbour and the CBD for some considerable time. Presently the Future Park exhibition is very popular sponsored by Toyota. Possibly more sponsorship is required that may not be forthcoming due to the announcement of the move and uncertainty about the future.

  14. Robin Comino says:

    Surely the people of Sydney should have the right to demand the Powerhouse remain where it is. By all means, build another one for Parramatta…we can use and enjoy more than one.
    At what point do the citizens rights count ?
    I have written to the Government several times but it seems we are not entitled to expect our opinions count.
    It is such a fabulous place to visit . I sincerely hope we can keep it . Especially when the only motivation is greed.

  15. sasha young says:

    The Powerhouse should stay in central Sydney where it is accessible by all. The history of the building and the precinct should be preserved for future generations, not bulldozed and turned into apartments which offer nothing culturally or financially for the city of Sydney.

  16. Malcolm Anderson says:

    As a recent volunteer guide at the Egyptian Mummies exhibition I was amazed and very proud of the work that the MAAS achieves with limited resources and, particularly, the genuine love that the visitors have for the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo. The idea of closing this significant cultural institution on the basis of an undisclosed report is running counter to what we expect of a democratically elected government.

  17. Paul Limmer. says:

    As a young bloke I had the pleasure of visiting the original Science museam in Harris Stree which was up near where the UTS is now situated. I can remeber the hands on stuff which may have guided my career direction. I now live in Pyrmont and belong to Pyrmont History Group just up the road from the magnificent Powerhouse Museam (PHM) with the very rare and valuable Steam Engine. Please don’t move the PHM as I beleive the visitors will not go to Parramatta. Surely there is room for another Museam at Parramatta which could focus on the history of Parramatta and use some of the items stored in the Hills District.

  18. Kerry Playle says:

    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot

    “Big Yellow Taxi”

  19. Paul Limmer. says:

    Like the way most people think Parramatta needs its own museum to feature local exhibits. Leave the Power House Museum where it is, close to the city and easily accessable to vistors and local NSW people alike. I ask which visitor is going to travel to Parramatta to view a museum ?? This is obviously a grab for the land at Ultimo which will not pay for the building of a new museum and the moving of exhibits to Parramatta. Please leave the Powerhouse Museum where it is and forget this foolish costly idea.

  20. Peter May says:

    Much has been said in support of maintaining the Power House Museum at its present site. There is another issue involving Ultimo/Pyrmont and public funds. That is, the Public School redevelopment and the options for relocation.
    Might it be possible to relocate the school to the land area available near the Power House?
    Some advantages include linking science and technology and early education, ready access to existing and projected safe public transport (noting the light rail corridors), utilising existing facilities such as the Power House restaurant (possible school cafeteria). The school could become a centre of excellence for science and technology and a lead-in the further education (noting the proximity of UTS, Sydney University and UNSW).
    We need science based education …. why not facilitate it?

  21. Sam Bernstein says:

    Moving MAAS/ Powerhouse Museum from its wonderful site in Ultimo would be an expensive and destructive mistake. A city is about more than apartment blocks and shopping malls and Ultimo is home to thousands of apartments already.

    Just take a look at what is currently being built on the site of the once public land of Sydney Markets and later the Sydney Entertainment Centre — right next door to the MAAS/ Powerhouse Museum – thousands of apartments!

    Keep MAAS in Ultimo and give Parramatta a new and innovative cultural space of its own. The revenue raised by the State government in Stamp Duty from Sydney property sales in the last few years is enormous.

    Please think outside the square and use some of it to fund Parramatta’s own new cultural space, Premier Berejiklian!

  22. Kylie Vuong says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is more than a place to store and exhibit objects. It is a much loved place to explore our shared past, present and future. Maintaining the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo will ensure its ongoing contribution to our society.

  23. Gretel Power says:

    It is really important to save this iconic part of Sydney. Although I do acknowledge the need for more space at the Powerhouse, I feel that the solution to this problem is a second museum in Paramatta and not to rip down such an important part of our heritage. As a school student I am constantly taught the importance of preserving our culture and yet here is the government selling our heritage to developers.

  24. Jan Wegner says:

    The Powerhouse is an amazing resource and in its present place, is relatively easy to access. I dread visiting cities and trying to get to important cultural resources that are somewhere out in the sticks and require lengthy and expensive journeys to find.

    I would also add a major note of caution: whenever a museum is moved, inevitably some of the collection ends up being discarded because of the costs of packing, transport and re-homing. Things that should be kept, aren’t.

  25. Dr Liz Coats says:

    As a past employee of the Powerhouse Museum during the First Stage of the new construction,
    and as a full-time artist, I have always been commitment to sharing the historical legacy of Australia and its connection with the wider world in a people’s museum at the heart of Sydney. For ease of access to the whole community, apart from short-term political considerations, I strongly support the continued presence of this important social and cultural institution in the centre of Australia’s largest city.
    Liz Coats (Dr)
    Visiting Fellow,
    Australian National University,

  26. Cathy says:

    The west deserves its own museum. The Powerhouse Museum should stay in its current location. Schools across NSW, local, interstate and international visitors deserve convenient access to the Powerhouse Museum and should not be inconvenienced for the sake of developers and an elite few. Illogical and downright disadvantageous to those planning a visit who want to see a number of Sydney’s attractions at same time.

  27. Helen OBoyle says:

    I’m a concerned citizen formerly of the CBD (a walk across Darling Harbour away from the museum) and now of a suburb 10km away from the CBD and even further from Parramatta.

    Because I’m aware that sometimes numbers speak to politicians, I attended most of the September hearing sessions in person to show my support for keeping the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. When work commitments precluded my attendance in person, I watched over the web via the government’s streaming video. And I will be attending today’s “return engagement” of the Powerhouse Museum executives as well.

    For anyone not across the content of the Powerhouse-related content of the hearings to date, here is a quick summary of what happened on that day in September.

    What stood out to me during the September hearings the absolute competence, surely due to years of hard-won experience, of the PMA speakers and the brilliant duo of Dr. Sharp and Mr. Glendenning. Quite simply, I was in awe of the knowledge and experience that these individuals brought to the table. Every piece of fact and logic is screaming, “This is not a good idea” and (something which is usually near and dear to Liberal hearts) “There are numerous other solutions that will cost much less and leave NSW, including the Nationals’ regional areas, with better facilities!”. The combination of calm assurance and passion, backed by the ability to cite specifics, shown by so many speakers with backgrounds in the industry should be enough to convince any impartial body of the folly of shuttering the Ultimo location of the museum. Unfortunately, that it should be doesn’t mean that it will be.

    How can one fight such irrationality? It’s difficult to know what could possibly make a difference to the outcome when you have people fronting a hearing, expressing nonsensical opinions like (paraphrased):

    * But it was an election promise! We don’t have any other option. We have to proceed! (Because election promises are always kept to the letter) – The Hon. Shane Mallard, Member, General Purpose Standing Committee No. 4 (LNP)
    * Parramatta is a great place for it because of all of the other activities and restaurants there! (Because there’s nothing to do in one of Sydney’s main tourist precincts, Darling Harbour) – David Borger
    * A brand new purpose built building will be so much more appropriate! (Because some think that someone just put up a tin shed in Ultimo one day and MAAS saw it later and decided to shoehorn its irreplaceable objects into it, rather than having the building designed specifically FOR some of its significant objects, which is actually what happened, to the extent that some of the objects are in fact structurally significant to the building) – (Multiple speakers expressed this)
    * People in the West can’t be stuffed to travel more than 20 minutes to get to Ultimo, but people will gladly travel from Sydney and other locations further afield, to Parramatta. (Because the tyrrany of distance apparently works like a tidal current and only matters in one direction) – David Borger, I believe
    * We have to have the Powerhouse because it will bring all sorts of great Jobson Grothe effects to Parramatta. (Because absolutely no other museums located in Parramatta would have the same effect) – again, David Borger
    * We are on the board of trustees and in executive management roles for the Powerhouse Museum but we’ve seen no cost estimates… those will be produced for the final business case later this year. (Because boards routinely back recommendations without knowing the financial ramifications of doing so) – Professor Barney Glover (President, Board of Trustees) and Ms. Dolla Merrillees (Director)
    * I run museum A, but I’m helping move museum B which is located in the same general area as museum A, out of that area, and there is no conflict of interest in my doing so whatsoever – Ms. Liz Ann Macgregor, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art

    What is the missing piece of information that makes the government so determined to implement this poor decision? Is a developer who wants the Ultimo site owed a favour? Is this some sort of political payback to Ultimo for going for the Greens? Has some foreign entity who likes the Powerhouse Museum promised to build a few 70 storey towers in Parramatta, but ONLY if the Powerhouse Museum is moved there? Is this some sort of emotional ancient history “Ha! Gotcha at last!” scorched earth thing by the LNP, similar to how Nick Greiner reappeared to run Infrastructure NSW long enough to close the monorail he abhorred (he retired a day or two after it ceased operation, if I recall correctly) and how they’re completely remaking Darling Harbour whose 1980’s reinvention was a Labor project, to erase all evidence of Labor’s achievements in that precinct? What is really behind this?

    It’s just so frustrating to watch a great institution with so much potential RIGHT WHERE IT IS, pointlessly being gutted and reconstructed elsewhere, likely in a subset form. I might suggest that any tiredness or out-of-date-ness with respect to current technology that appears at the Powerhouse, or any other museum, is more due to the so-called efficiency dividend’s reduction in funding of those institutions, than due to the location of the museum. Subjecting many cultural institution to these kinds of funding cuts, and then spending EXTRA money to close a museum in one location and open a similar but likely inferior museum in another place – rather than using a fraction of that amount to improve all existing museums – just seems financially ridiculous and wasteful of NSW dollars.

  28. Kerry Heckenberg says:

    Please leave the Powerhouse Museum in its present central and historic location and create a NEW museum for Parramatta.

  29. Andrew Palummo says:

    Andrew Palummo

    It would be such a shame if the powerhouse museum is moved from the heart of the city. I don’t want to see this happen.

  30. Andrew Montana says:

    The Powerhouse Museum sprung from the world famous 1879 Sydney International Exhibition, just as the Victoria and Albert sprung from the Great Exhibition of All Nations in London in 1851.

    The trajectory of the Powerhouse Museum is steeped in history and innovation, and its site and collections remain close to its former ancestor in Harris Street, the Sydney Technological Museum and the Sydney Technical College, now the central campus of Sydney TAFE. The purchase of lands by the NSW Government from the Harris estate was considered and planned throughout the 1880s and resulted in a superb pile of prized Romanesque Australian Arts and Crafts buildings in which many young working and middle-class females and males were inspired and skilfully trained. These heritage buildings still function and remain near adjacent the current Powerhouse museum precinct.

    It is visionary to keep the Powerhouse museum where it is, as it was practically visionary to open it in a repurposed building in 1988. This museum continues to have rich outreach programs throughout New South Wales and it has a significant collection of arts and sciences that await innovative exhibitions, which speak of the past, our present and the future to established and new audiences.

    Parramatta has deserved its own arts and cultural centre, including a museum and gallery for many, many decades. It is steepend in indigenous, imperial and immigrant history. A centre can draw on collections from state and regional cultural institutions as well as developing new collections, exhibitions and educative entertainments. Like Sydney, Parramatta has a rich history and growing and changing demographics; it is the responsibility of governments and partners that Parramatta’s diverse population and visitors are interactively represented through a new home of arts and culture, The civic ‘fathers’ of Ballarat, Bendigo, and Geelong in regional Victoria did just that in the late nineteenth century and not one government in Victoria since has erased this perpetual history. Why then does the NSW government in the early twenty-first century propose to erase? Be practical- be visionary-

    Dr Andrew Montana

  31. Ann Elias says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is a vital part of the city. Its location in Ultimo provides cultural depth to the City of Sydney. Without it we lose the symbolism of culture as the heart of contemporary life.

  32. Connie Attard says:

    If it isn’t ripping people out of their homes, tearing down trees, destroying significant architecture – then it is “moving” museums out west. Will nothing stop the blatant land grab of this NSW Government?
    When I think about how much longer they have in power before the next election, I despair at the amount of damage and loss yet to come.

  33. Virginia Hackney says:

    I hate to think that an institution such as the Powerhouse Museum is not being preserved by our elected government for future generations. Certainly, a museum at Parramatta would be an excellent idea but it should be a separate project not an excuse to dismantle an vital part of the city of Sydney’s history and an iconic building in the city’s centre.

  34. Jean Nicholson says:

    The Powerhouse Museum needs to remain accessible from all parts of Sydney. Moving it to Parramatta or indeed anywhere other than its current location will limit its accessibility for those from south and North. too far and too expensive to travel. Let”s keep some things in Sydney.

  35. Annie Cook says:

    I agree totally with the opinions expressed in this letter. Moving the Powerhouse is a disgraceful plan and losing it from its current site is a terrible loss on many levels but will also result in a huge waste of public funds.

  36. Ann Daly says:

    The Ultimo museum was built as part of the cultural precinct of Darling Harbour. It would be a great shame and a negation of its original purpose if the Ultimo site were to become yet another residential or commercial interest in what has been designated a cultural precinct.

    The Powerhouse in Ultimo was purpose built to house rare and outstanding artefacts that are the envy of museums in other countries. The museum was designed and built around the huge Bolton and Watt engine and an aeroplane was installed without its wings before the roof went on – it is the largest in a museum worldwide. It is unlikely that such items can be relocated and if they could it would be extremely expensive. To lose such items would be a cultural disgrace.

    It is important for the museum to remain in the centre of Sydney at Ultimo. All trains radiate to and from the centre of Sydney. If there were only one Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta, that would not assist people in south west Sydney, the southern suburbs or northern peninsular. The Ultimo site is also visited by a large number of tourists who are unlikely to travel to Parramatta.

    Ann Daly

  37. Bob Daisley says:

    Baird, have you ever heard the expression ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’? Leave the Power House Museum where it is and where it belongs, in Ultimo. Maybe you’d like to move the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as well? Wake up!

  38. Norma Daisley says:

    Please don’t move the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. Parramatta is too far for most people in Sydney. Also, what about tourists visiting Sydney?

  39. John Passlow says:

    Mr Baird and the NSW Liberal/National party…..why are you all so soulless…stop making our city into an ugly conglomerate of Square/rectangular Boxes!!!!!!…look at the skyline you are creating using all those soulless modern architects who cannot see beyond the singular box shape. I have already sent a personal letter to you Mr Baird about walking the “GOODS LINE” to the Powerhouse Museum from Central Railway….an amazing addition to Sydney’s recreational and tourist attractions….it will lead to nowhere when you close down the Powerhouse Museum…not even talking about the actual museum….I attend on a regular basis and if it is left alone I will become a member of the museum. Look around you Mr Baird and please leave the Powerhouse Museum where it is and if you want to add another Branch of the museum at Parramatta…I will visit it too.

  40. Irma Havlicek says:


    There are many reasons why the Powerhouse Museum should remain where it is, in Ultimo, Sydney. Here are the four reasons I consider most important.


    A state with a rich and supported cultural life flourishes. The cultural fabric of a capital city helps to define the state and the nation.

    Sydney’s major museums provide visitors with a fine balance of subject areas that, together, reflect a balanced, thoughtful society: Powerhouse Museum (applied arts and sciences), Art Gallery of NSW (fine art), Australian Museum (natural history), Museum of Contemporary Art (contemporary art), Sydney Living Museums (social history).

    The loss of any of these museums to Sydney would diminish Sydney. However the exponential and unprecedented rise of technologies in our era argues strongly for the need of a forum to display, demystify and discuss the artefacts that are changing our lives.

    No institution in Sydney addresses that need as the Powerhouse Museum does, showcasing human ingenuity past, present and looking to the future in this age of innovation.


    The Powerhouse Museum opened to the public in 1988 as a Bicentennial Project. It was visionary in ideals and scope, and in its awe-inspiring, award-winning building. It sensitively repurposed the buildings that had powered Sydney trams, incorporating their design into the aesthetic, and added modern, lofty, airy spaces into which you could look up and out at the diverse objects, large and small, which have affected the development of our society.

    The entrance experience was unforgettable, with gorgeous pink marble floors and soaring ceilings; a truly great and wonderful interior. You knew you could anticipate something special from your first entry to the building.

    This creation was a huge investment of NSW taxpayer money and the time, effort and care of a large number of committed professionals.

    It is folly to squander that investment only some 30 years after its inception. The building should continue to be part of the identity of Sydney far into the future. As time goes by, the building will gain importance as one of the few remaining pieces of great architecture from the 1980s.


    Much has been said elsewhere on this point. Obviously, governments need to raise revenue. But there is only so much you can sell off, and then what? However even on the basis of potential income from the sale of the Powerhouse site, the cost of building a world-class museum of the same size with the same storage capacity at Parramatta, and safely moving and storing hundreds of thousands of objects there (some the size of locomotives, steam engines, helicopters, space satellites) – how can this not cost at least as much as the sum raised from the sale of the Ultimo site?


    Like every other person I have spoken with on the subject of the planned move of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, I believe there should be cultural institutions in cities and towns outside of Sydney. The plans for improved infrastructure for Parramatta argues that Parramatta should be a priority for provision of cultural facilities. But not at the expense of the Powerhouse where it is.

    And however improved infrastructure for Parramatta may become, it will never be as easy for most people to get there as it is for them to get to Sydney. (I live on the Central Coast and make trips by train to Sydney to visit the Powerhouse; I would be unlikely to visit the museum in Parramatta. I imagine this would equally be the case for people from Newcastle and Wollongong.) And if there are fewer visitors, government funding is likely to be cut, so staffing, exhibitions and education programs will be reduced, and the museum and its support will begin to deplete.

    However the catastrophe I envisage if the Powerhouse Museum is moved to Parramatta relates to the ultimate erosion and dismantling of the collection if it is moved.

    The amazing and wondrous thing about the Powerhouse collection is its diversity. That is what makes the Powerhouse special but also difficult to easily conceptualise or comprehend: a collection that includes bionic ear implants, dolls houses, sea planes, guns, coins, furniture, space technology, musical instruments, steam engines, clothing and computers, to name but a few. There are about 400,000 objects, some of which are phenomenal masterpieces on a world scale: the Boulton and Watt steam engine, the Enigma cipher machine, the Babbage difference engine, the first elastic-sided boots in the world (made for Queen Victoria), penicillin mould from Howard Florey’s laboratory, and many, many more.

    The move of the collection from the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo (and there is much that is in storage there, out of sight) would be an unbelievably massive undertaking.

    Moving a museum is not like shifting house. It is not only the scale that is different – vastly different. There are also professional requirements to protect the collection that make moving each object much more time consuming and complex. Every move of every object must be documented so its whereabouts is known at all times.

    The museum professionals who work at the Powerhouse Museum have a deeply held personal conviction that the work they do is for the public good, and they must care for the objects which are held in trust for the people of New South Wales. I know this. I worked there for 22 years. The commitment of Powerhouse staff is personal and emotional as well as professional.

    So here is my point of greatest fear. That after the move is planned and started, there are political changes. Money is needed elsewhere. The plan for an excellent museum building in Parramatta is suddenly truncated because of a crisis in health/education/power…. name your crisis. Suddenly the money is no longer available to complete the building as planned. Costs must be cut. Space is reduced so that there isn’t the space for the entire collection. If the money and/or space is no longer available, the trustees are in a bind.

    A science-focussed trustee may wonder why the Powerhouse needs so many shoes, or any shoes at all. A craft-expert trustee may wonder why the Powerhouse needs so many steam engines. Or they may wonder about the need for a collection of philately – and yet what a story stamps can tell about communication, transport and design. And so it could begin. Someone may wonder why the Powerhouse collects musical instruments (fine examples of both applied arts and sciences). It may be thought that to protect one area of the collection, another could be deaccessioned, sold off, housed elsewhere. This may not happen in the next few years, but perhaps in 10 or 20. If hived off, those parts of the collection could never be replaced to the same standard. They would be lost forever.

    And if one area of the collection were to be depleted or lost, that could set a sorry precedent for removing other areas of the collection. A lopsided collection would cease to be able to to tell a comprehensive story of human ingenuity from its own collection. I fear this may put the very existence of the museum at risk in the future.

    The huge and fundamental strength of the Powerhouse Museum is its diversity. The human narratives that can be told from its collection are infinite. It is vital not to weaken any part of the collection. Its diversity is its strength.

    The best way of protecting the Powerhouse Museum and its outstanding collection, is to leave it where it is, and to resource it adequately where it is, so that it can do its vital job of educating and enlightening visitors.

    By all means, build a brilliant museum in Parramatta, and lend objects to it from all of Sydney’s state museums. Why should Parramatta be deprived of exhibitions from the Art Gallery of NSW, Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museums?

    Most objects from previous centuries and even decades are now in landfill, their stories lost. The Powerhouse Museum protects such objects for us and for future generations. And however brilliant our online collection is, nothing can replicate the experience of standing in front of an authentic object, with a story to tell.

    Please don’t diminish Sydney, and leave the Powerhouse Museum where it is.

  41. Terence Measham, AM, FRSA says:

    The Powerhouse Museum collection has been part of the fabric of central Sydney for more than one hundred and thirty years since its foundation at the Great Exhibition of 1879 on the Domain.

    When it entered the Ultimo power station in the 1980s, it was an international role model and was soon followed by the Tate in London’s east.

    Lionel Glendenning’s design for the remodelled Powerhouse is an architectural masterpiece whose brilliance has been recognised all over the world. His grand south entrance introduced visitors to one of the most dramatic architectural interiors in Sydney. That awe inspiring experience was eradicated a few years ago by the then management in order for them to receive packaged exhibitions of dubious relevance to the museum’s collections. Fortunately, the original entrance can be reconstituted easily at negligible expense.

    The collection is one of the greatest in the world and is the result of contributions from several generations of scholars and benefactors. It includes an original score of the Messiah which Handel himself used to conduct. The museum owns a harpsichord contemporary with the young Mozart on which the composer might well have played. The instrument collection is unique in Australia and ranks with the greatest in the world such as the Metropolitan, NY, and the Deutches Museum in Munich. And that’s just music, a blend of art and science.

    In engineering, the gigantic Whitbread engine is unique in the world and acknowledged by the NSW Auditor General as priceless. It made the ale which 18th century artists such as Gainsborough drank as they painted aristocratic portraits, masterpieces, none of which today are quite as valuable as the Boulton & Watt machine.

    The Powerhouse Museum abounds in masterworks and collectibles of the most profound significance in all aspects of its collection (original specimens of penicillin!). Only the Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian, rivals the Powerhouse in scope and range but is restricted to American material only. By contrast, the Powerhouse Museum situates Australian artefacts within their international context.

    The building itself on Harris Street is historically significant and to destroy it would be a very brave act of desecration. To move the Museum out of Sydney would be like moving the Metropolitan Museum out of New York to New Jersey.

    Terence Measham, AM, FRSA
    Former Director and CEO, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences

  42. Karen Weiss says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is a significant historical structure. Like London’s Tate Gallery it serves to remind us of the industrial history of Sydney. It is an excellent tourist destination, located as it is near the CBD, Chinatown, Darling Harbour and its attractions and easily accessible by public transport. By all means, create a branch of the Powerhouse at Parramatta, one that relates to local interests and history, however this rich and magnificent collection should not be removed from its current location.
    Being able to access the Powerhouse Museum’s collection and archives made a considerable contribution to my Master’s thesis. Its present location makes it readily accessible and invaluable as a resource to students at Ultimo TAFE, UTS, Sydney TAFE, COFA, Sydney University, SCA and NAS. Placing it at Parramatta means 3-4 hours travel time by public transport, time that students can ill afford to take out from a demanding study schedule.
    The current plan by the Baird Government seems to go against rational financial management. Sell off a piece of land with a much loved cultural institution for a third of the price of replacing it elsewhere, leaving taxpayers to foot the future bill for the other two thirds. The question is – who benefits from this proposed move? The only answer seems to be – developers. The next question is – why is the Baird Government so intent on selling off as much property as possible to developers? As is common knowledge, the Liberal Party of NSW is deeply in debt. Could gratitude from developers benefitting from these sales take the form of large monetary contributions to the coffers of a debt-ridden NSW Liberal Party?

  43. Ivan Pelizzari says:

    I think that moving the powerhouse museum is not a good idea. Our community will loose on of the biggest and interesting museum in Sydney. Kids are loving the museum and is well intregate into the Sydney urban environment, easy to be visited from international as local people.
    It will be wrong just move it for sell the area and create new residential that Ultimo and Syndey don’t need.

  44. beverley trivett says:

    The Powerhouse is a unique destination in Sydney city which attracts residents and visitors alike who would not make the journey to Parramatta. Furthermore, Parramatta deservee its own unique museum.

  45. Bob Pauling says:

    It’s hard not to see the proposal to move MAAS to Parramatta, as anything but freeing up the Ultimo site for sale to developers. By all means give us a new museum at Parramatta but not by moving one we already have. Some of the people at UWS would have good ideas about the Parramatta museum.

  46. Roslyn Jehne says:

    As a school student in the 1960s, my first visit to the Museum of Applied Art & Science in Harris Street was filled with awe.
    I still remember the magnificent silverware & porcelain on display. This collection was later on display, I think in the 1980s at the Mint. This facility was also taken from the Powerhouse Museum.
    As many people have suggested the Powerhouse Collection is large enough to warrant two Museums. It is an iconic Museum & validates the maturity of Sydney as a cultural city. Please don’t destroy Sydney’s heritage.
    Roslyn Jehne.
    Social History Curator

  47. Monica M. Jackson says:


    The Powerhouse museum should remain in its present location. It is a museum with extensive international connections. It has staged important exhibitions such as the ‘Greek Treasures’ exhibition from the renouned Benaki Museum in Athens in 2005. This museum deserves its own designated Light Rail or Metro station.

  48. Dr Matti Keentok MIE Aust says:

    The Power House Museum buildings must be preserved for future generations, for educational purposes and for continuing research. I run Heritage Tours of the buildings and these illustrate social history as well as technological and architectural history – all of these are crucial to our national history and culture, particularly in the urban setting. It would be desirable in the interests of research to digitally scan these buildings.

  49. Greta Bjornsson says:

    no other countries would remove cultural instalments from the CBD, it’s disgusting! Like in Castle Hill have a another branch, if want to have one in Parramatta.

  50. Penny Auburn says:

    Parramatta needs its own museum which reflects its diverse community. This is a land grab pure and simple, as is demonstrated by the secrecy surrounding over 27 papers on the development of the new museum. It’s rubbish to say that they are confidential and can’t be tabled in Cabinet. This is just an excuse to cover up the sale of our cultural assets to developers.

    All we will end up with will be a confused mess of a museum with a smaller collection on display.

    Shame, Mr Baird shame!

  51. Kathy and David Mist says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is in a great position and does not need to be moved. All the major cities of the world have their locations close to the CBD. The only reason to make this move is to make money for the government. Why not stay with the original plan to build a exhibition centre in Parramatta where all the Sydney museums can participate from time to time.

  52. parramattafemalefactoryassociation says:

    The Powerhouse Museum Site at Ultimo is an extraordinary part of Sydney and Australia’s cultural, creative and scientific identity. It belongs to all of us and as such its future should be determined by the people, not the administrators. It makes economic and cultural sense to have this site preserved and have an associated site in Parramatta. GAY HENDRIKSEN

  53. Suzanne Thomas says:

    The Power House Museum is currently in an entirely appropriate position – a place of history as well as being convenient to tourists, country visitors, families and anyone from the Sydney area.

    To move to Parramatta would be extremely difficult for visitation by the general public, school groups and an entirely retrograde move. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

  54. Norelle Feehan says:

    It is the most ill-conceived idea to move a museum from its central location in an inconic building …plus we all know there is enough in the Powerhouse collection to fill another museum in a suitable suburban location in Sydney …

  55. Duncan Bourne says:

    A MAAS (Powerhouse) Museum belongs in Ultimo and should be supported by all who want tourism to flourish in Sydney.
    Parrammatta deserves museum/arts facilities(like nearby Castle Hill) but it also deserves preservation and interpretation of areas important to our indigenous community, and historical buildings and areas from the colonial peroid. All should be considered publicly before deciding.
    A substantial state inquiry into natural history, science, arts and historical preservation and interpretation would help understand the needs of the state generally and the best places to address those.
    It is time to be transparent and try to reduce the politics in these decisions.

  56. Ray Norman says:

    Public musingplaces hold in their collections the cultural knowledge, and the cultural assets, of a diverse community of ownership and interest most of whom have many layers of interests and ownership. Sometimes they are called stakeholders, and even audiences, but their ‘ownerships’ are much more deeply held than any of these descriptors might suggest.

    Indeed, it would not be unusual for some of those ownerships and interests to be in conflict with each other. Nevertheless, they are deeply felt and should be vigorously defended. In the end it’s a matter of ‘lore’ rather than ‘law’ and for each and every individual its a matter of identity … and undeniably that ‘matters’.

  57. elizabeth shaw says:

    The emphasis a country places on culture speaks loudly to visitors and the residents alike. Significant cultural infrastructure within a city emphasises the value the country places on it. Ultimately too it gives more value to society than a one of sale of valuable land.

  58. Barbara Douglas says:

    Powerhouse museum is well positioned in its heritage building, conveniently within the cultural and tourist opportunities Sydney city offers. A new visionary museum would be a major enhancement to visit Western Sydney but should not be based on a sacrificial shift of the Powerhouse.

  59. Sharyn Lantry says:

    Sharyn Lantry
    The Powerhouse museum in its current position is a wonderful institution and easily accessible for both Sydneysiders, regional and international visitors. The building itself has both historical and architectural value. I see no reason for the move other than that of a government wanting the revenue from the sale of the land. It would be criminal to allow a government/group of politicians to deny Sydney its history

  60. Trisha Aguado says:

    Why move such a precious resource, which is situated within a stone’s throw of Sydney’s other iconic cultural resources, providing equitable access to complementary collections for millions of visitors each year? The Powerhouse Museum should remain in Ultimo, where it is available to the majority, while another museum should be established for the City of Parramatta.

  61. Vanessa Kowalski says:

    Such a move would be a shame for on-going public access to the Museum from people visiting Sydney. Such a move can also present an unnecessary risk to valuable objects in the Museum collection.

  62. Janice Lally says:

    The Powerhouse Museum as a significant place for public education and enjoyment and the home of extraordinary cultural history that is embedded in its valuable collections and their interpretation and presentation by skilful and talented curators and their professional partners is contingent upon the facility being located in this historic repurposed building, which is itself a cultural artefact, and freely accessible. The Western suburbs rightly deserve their own rich cultural facilities – but not at the cost of the loss of the Powerhouse Museum as part of the central city fabric and an iconic destination in Sydney for all Australians and international visitors. Berlin is renown as a city of Museums and continues to develop more as a strategy in sustaining its identity as a city of value and an international destination. Sydney does not gain by destroying its own iconic museums.

  63. Marion Marshall says:

    As a Victorian crafts person of 40 working years I am envious of the Powerhouse and all it stands for.
    NSW craftspeople have a gem at their doorstep and I know it’s National and International significance is an important part of my ongoing practice.

  64. Belinda Nemec says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is a fantastic museum and should not be relocated to western Sydney. For a start, I am sure that the cost of moving the collection and creating a new museum will exceed the profits made from selling the land (I have worked in museums for nearly thirty years and am familiar with the logistics of relocating collections, designing and building new stores and exhibits, and other costs). Secondly, a central location is accessible to all Sydneysiders, as well as tourists. A Parramatta site would be less accessible to all except those living nearby. A Powerhouse outreach or second site in western Sydney, created particularly for school groups, might be worth looking at (what about the Castle Hill site?). But inner-city land such as that at Ultimo is almost impossible to come by these days. Please don’t privatise this wonderful public asset for the sake of property developers.

  65. Robyn Gordon says:

    It was heartening news to learn that the Upper House of the NSW Parliament will hold an enquiry into the proposal to relocate the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo. I am sure there are many people like me who have visited this institution at its original venue, the Technological Museum, then as the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and then as Powerhouse Museum – these three edifices all in the same area of Ultimo.
    As children, my sister and I were taken to them for regular visits, then as a secondary school art teacher I took many students there on excursion visits. Indeed, as a long time designer/maker craftsperson, I have had the honour of a number of my pieces of jewellery purchased for the Powerhouse Museum Collection.
    The Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs have been losing far too many of their iconic and historically important buildings. It is to be hoped that the Legislative Assembly will revisit this subject, come to their senses, and acknowledge the huge importance to the city of Sydney of leaving this great museum just where it is, as a wonderful cultural marker for both residents and visitors to Sydney.
    Parramatta too, deserves a new museum. This should be a specifically relevant, purpose built museum which serves the area of Western Sydney, and highlights the particular history and significance of its people and place.

  66. Marilyn Raw says:

    I live in Tasmania and travel regularly to various place in Australia. My first visit is always to a gallery. Sadly, Sydney is one of the more DIFFICULT cities for visiting galleries unless you have your own transport & can afford parking fees, OR can afford taxis, OR can negotiate Sydney’s complicated public transport system OR are fit enough to walk everywhere.
    The Powerhouse Museum is unique in Australia. It has a seriously good and unparalleled collection of historical and contemporary craft, with much of it on view at any one time. So it’s the FIRST place I visit when I come to Sydney. Would I find it easy to make the journey to Parramatta? NO! Would I make the effort? ?????
    Darling Harbour, from the visitor’s point of view is characterless, dull and boring. (I stayed there one week-end. Never again — so soulless). Taking away one of the FEW cultural attractions from this place will make it even more dull and boring.
    THINK AGAIN about what brings cities alive. CULTURE!!!

  67. Dr Evelyn Juers says:

    Evelyn Juers

    Let’s keep the Powerhouse where it is, a precious collection at a precious site. And let’s also improve its function and surround it with other magnificent museums! The area could become a Museum precinct, places to visit and learn, which we need much more than high-rise flats and offices.

  68. ede horton says:

    The Powerhouse- in the heart of Sydney – a globally recognized institution – the name is the message – impressing collection – creative curatorial stuff – there is the power to generate perspectives onto contemporary to future questions. We need this museum for generations to come and recognise the rich history within Australia.

  69. John Dermer says:

    The consideration to relocate the Powerhouse museum is based on shortsighted greed. What is sad is the inability of those involved in this decision, to accept and consider that they are only here for a fleeting moment in the timeline of our history and culture. But isn’t that always the way with greed.

  70. Myfanwy Eaves says:

    Politicians who decide to create one establishment don’t realise it will not meet the needs of either community. Typical. Create two establishments that meet the long term needs of the people, not the short term needs of an electoral budge round.

  71. Henry Brodaty AO says:

    We can and should do both: enhance facilities in western Sydney and maintain the historic Power House Museum at its present location. IF Sydney truly wishes to be a world city It is important that the current exhibition spaces be maintained.

  72. Rita Nash says:

    To lose such an iconic museum would sell Sydney short in terms of global recognition. This is not to deny Parramatta’s importance and cultural needs – but not at the expense of central Sydney.

  73. Dr Roderick Ewins says:

    It would be a tragedy to.see this inspirational museum lost to central Sydney. The addition of Frank Gehry’s wonderful UTS b u ilding tp the area has added to the sense of this as anothet cultural precinct to enrich the life of the city.

    The city of Parramatta, on the other hand, deserves a different type of museum that showcases its history back to the foundation of the Colony of NSW, and the particular character of that region and its culture and industries. What it does NOT need is to be the recipient of a transplant that may not thrive there, while having a serious impact on Sydney’s current mutually complementary museums and galleries.

    If they are unmoved by the cultural arguments, the authorities should consider the economic value of the Powerhouse in its present location. This is measurable not only in direct terms, but in the synergy it has with the other museums and galleries. Speaking as a lifelong traveller, I know that the totality is far more attractive to visitors. I am confident that a careful analysis would show that the long term contribution to the people of Sydney will far exceed that of any commercial development.

  74. ianwere says:

    The Powerhouse Museum should remain at its present location, to complement Sydney’s other major cultural institutions and to be accessible to all visitors – local, interstate and international. The reasons given for moving it make no real sense, apart from being a self-serving opportunity for politicians and developers.

    Western Sydney deserves its own bespoke museum.

    Ian Were, Arts writer and editor based in Brisbane

  75. Sally Gray says:

    Dr Sally Gray, I endorse the sentiments in the letter. Faltering government support for arts and culture is more than disappointing. It shows that political leaders and elected reps have no idea about the intrinsic public value ( as opposed to market value) of a rich and democratically accessible cultural life. It’s a time for brave, bold thinking – Parramatta AND the CBD – not cramped, narrow, mean profit-focused thinking. The elites aren’t the supporters of arts and culture, they’re the commercial and financial beneficiaries if NSWs rampant privatisation agenda.

  76. Ann Toy says:

    The Powerhouse Museum must remain in its present important location, to complement Sydney’s other major cultural institutions such as the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Museum, The State Library of NSW, The Museum of Contemporary Art and Sydney’s Living Museums and to be accessible to all visitors- local, interstate and international.

    Western Sydney deserves its own bespoke museum.

    The Government’s proposal is ill- conceived and does not serve the interests of the people of New South Wales.

  77. Antonia Syme says:

    Why not apply some 21st century thinking and create a new cultural precinct in Parramatta that draws on the rich and diverse collections of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Museum, the State Library of NSW and the NSW Archives.

  78. Judith Carroll says:

    The Powerhouse Museum, like the majority of similar museums worldwide, is located in the centre of a large city visited by millions of local and international tourists each year. For this reason its present location is ideal and optimises access for everyone to the museum collection, including all Sydney-siders for whom public transport access is adjacent.

  79. gail luthy says:

    The Powerhouse Museum should remain in it’s current position. It’s a museum for all, not just the people in western suburbs. The museum belongs to the people, of N.S.W, and not the premier. Keep it in it’s central position, so that we all can enjoy it.

  80. Ruth Griffiths says:

    The Powerhouse Museum should remain where it is in an appropriate building for its collection. Selling it and moving it would simply privatise another public resource and increase inner city population with fewer and fewer facilities to enjoy. By all means create a new museum reflecting early Sydney and its development to a multicultural city in Parramatta. It would be a win/win for Sydney City and Parramatta. I recently visited the Powerhouse and thoroughly enjoyed the enclave of museum, new university buildings, quirky spaces for recreation. This move would destroy all of that.

  81. David Leippe says:

    If you move the Power House Museum from Sydney that will be one less reason for me to return to Sydney. The train to Parramatta is not that scenic. It would wipe out a whole day’s visit to Sydney. The Power House Museum is an important link of attractions that surround Darling Harbour.
    Sounds like Canberra is cooking up a real estate scheme.

  82. Francine de Valence says:

    The Powerhouse Museum and its adjacent administrative offices in Ultimo both admirably reflect the industrial heritage that is contained in the Powerhouse collection. Use the modern construction proposed for Parramatta for a museum that the people of the west really want. Just as we who live in Ultimo have not been consulted about this move, neither have the people of Parramatta been consulted about the type of museum they would want in their area. Listen to the people for once, Mr Baird and leave the Powerhouse where it is. You have already overdeveloped Darling Harbour. The mind boggles at yet more high rise apartment or office buildings so close to the Darling Square site.

  83. Bernadette Sands says:

    Bernadette sands
    Keep the powerhouse at Ultimo as a lot of people enjoy it especially children. Parramatta would benefit from a powerhouse as well. Sport is valued too highly,we must also value other forms of culture . Innovation is the way of the future.

  84. Margaret Cunningham says:

    Please Please keep the Powerhouse Meseum for all to enjoy I take my grandchildren every time they come to visit and they love it.

  85. jan westlake says:

    Sydney needs to keep Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo.
    For all the people of greater Sydney, NSW, Australia & the hoards of international visitors to Darling Harbour & its surrounds. Cultural value, historical value, intellectual value, social value, artistic value… our city needs as much as it can muster – especially with the RAPIDLY expanding population of the Ultimo neighbourhood.

  86. Paul Hannah says:

    It makes no sense to cram more residents into the city of Sydney and at the same time reduce the availability of world-class cultural institutions for those new – and existing – residents to visit and enjoy.

  87. euantovey says:

    Would New York move its Cooper Hewitt Design Museum from Manhattan to Long Island? No! And what did MoMA do when it ran out of space in Manhattan; it opened a second branch in Queens. So should Sydney move its Powerhouse to Parramatta? D’uh, you cannot shrink your way to greatness. These places are unique cultural assets in the hub of the tourist area. We should be proud of them and foster them. Build an extension of the Powerhouse in Parramatta by all means but don’t shut up the mother ship.
    Euan Tovey

  88. Daniela Shield says:

    The Powerhouse Museum has become and grown into a important landmark it shouldn’t be sold off and turned into more residential high-rise… typical short sighted development of an already over develped area.

  89. Melissa Cooper-Findlay says:

    Stop selling off our public institutions. The Powerhouse represents the documentation of modern history. It is such an important cultural and educational institution and needs to remain in the heart of the city! Parramatta have a right to a museum specific to that area, representing their heritage. Keep the Powerhouse Museum alive and in Ultimo!!!

  90. Sandra says:

    I live in the south of Sydney and go to exhibitions at the Powerhouse on a regular basis often taking overseas visitors. Travel by train is easy and efficient. I would be far less inclined to have to drive to another site.

  91. George Lawrence says:

    Please stop the sale of this iconic building. I have nothing against Parramatta but thi sale simply seems to be a boon for developers. Thisnk about how ugly the site will look when a high rise is put there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  92. Jolyon Warwick James says:

    The Powerhouse Museum collection is a superb (by international standards) fusion of art and Science and housed in a uniquely appropriate building the likes of which are not available to most cities or countries in terms of both architecture and location.. Keep it there. Don’t break a happy marriage.

  93. Ray Norman says:

    If you have something wonderful why junk it for money alone. Sure locate a branch of the museum in Western Sydney but as well as NOT instead of!! I do have a special and professional interest in this institution!

  94. Adelina Carmichael-Parissi says:

    The Powerhouse is a truly amazing facility and tool for the community and the future. It is integral to the culture of Australia and the preservation of history. I is wonderfully located centrally and accessibly for people coming from outside of the city while being convenient for those lucky enough to live nearby. Another resource like it would be invaluable but it is irreplaceable as it is!

  95. Stefanie Flaubert says:

    The powerhouse inspires with its collections and exhibitions. It cultivates the scientists and engineers and designers of the future. This is important work. Let it get on with it. Let it stay.

  96. Kylie Johnston says:

    Sydney needs more cultural institutions located around the CBD not less. This is common in world class cities that attract tourists and their tourist dollars. I can’t imagine going to Paris and not being able to explore on foot the vast array of museums and galleries on offer. I fully support a new cultural institution in Parramatta. This would be an added incentive for visitors and Sydneysiders to visit the area. Sydney needs more cultural institutions not less.The costs associated with moving the Powerhouse collection seem at odds with what could be achieved with that scale of money, and the reach it could have to artists and creatives, and their audience.

  97. Jane Reynolds says:

    I have just visited New York and walked the city visiting just a small selection of the their multiple and wonderful museums. Help to make Sydney a city with international appeal by ensuring we too have a range if significant museums and galleries within the city precinct.

  98. Sue Hewitt says:

    The joy of visiting European cities is the wealth of historic buildings to explore within the city precinct. Let that be the same for Sydney. Perhaps develop a plan for a satellite museum at Parramatta.

  99. Diane Sullivan says:

    i’ve often been to the powerhouse museum: with my children, now with my grandchildren. I’ve also taken lots of Japanese student and adult visitors there through my Japanese connections.
    I’m very upset regarding the proposed move to Paramatta as will never be able to visit the museum there. I cannot drive there, and i can’t manage the time and transport to get there. There must be so many other people in this position. Please re-think!

  100. Peter May says:

    The Power House Museum (both the building and the collections) is ideally located for the many reasons already identified. The location is, in itself, part of the history of Sydney. To move it would be an act of incredible short sightedness; to destroy it an act of vandalism.

    A new museum for Parramatta? Certainly! But lets not destroy what we already have.

    The present site in Sydney is well served by Public Transport, is close to the convention centre and city hotels and part of a local historic precinct (including the Maritime Museum). Towering apartment complexes surround the area and an ever increasing local population, together with visitors from around the country and internationally, ensure the growth of patronage.

    Why can’t we appreciate the value this unique public asset and cherish it rather than destroy it in return for an unknown purpose with benefits to accrue to unknown persons.

  101. William Hawke says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is a heritage building, not just architecturally or historically, but socially and culturally. This building and its exhibits are a part of of the living heart of Sydney, and a major part of its identity. I will never forget the time I spent in awe of the exhibits there. The prospect of losing that for myself, and for the future generations of Sydney is sad enough, but to lose it all for a quick buck is horrifying. Privately selling public property of any kind is careless and selfish, but selling something this rich in non-monetary value for petty cash is truly heartless and reflects a total lack of care for Sydney as a city and the opinion of it’s people. Shame on you once again, Mike Baird.

    Don’t sell our Powerhouse Museum.

  102. Matthew Lloyd says:

    Should have a museum in Sydney. I think the Powerhouse Museum will loose its idenity. They look like changing its name. Calling it MAAS is a start.

  103. Stephen Pearson says:

    This should not be portrayed as an ‘City’ versus ‘West’ issue as the Murdoch press are pushing. The Powerhouse could and should have a west location in addition to the city location. The collection is big enough for both. Here we go again destroying our history. It is just a shame and this decision will be bitterly regretted. We live on the central coast and would not find getting to Parramatta easy.

  104. Kent Gration says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is widely acknowledged as one of Sydney’s, if not Australia’s most important arts, science and design hubs.

    As a young Australian designer embarking on a furniture and lighting design career, I vividly remember visiting a retrospective of Marc Newson’s work in 2001, which was one of my earliest influences and experiences of world class Australian design. This experience greatly influenced my practice regarding how to observe, appreciate and undertake furniture and lighting design through a designer maker approach. The Museum’s accessibility, reputation and facilities enabled and enhanced this experience, which I believe would not have been possible, if the Museum was located in a less central area without such a history of place.

    After this experience and in the years following my visit, I created the Wambamboo range of environmentally-aware furniture and lighting using bamboo. The range has been exhibited in Milan, London, Shanghai, New York and nationally, and has been recognised at a national and international level with numerous awards, publication and peer acknowledgement.

    Coming full circle, I’ve been fortunate enough to give back to the Powerhouse Museum by providing presentations to the public and school students on environmentally-aware design, whilst exhibiting my work at this prestigious venue. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have the Museum acquire one of my pieces as part of their permanent collection, included alongside many other notable Australian and international designers pieces including Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge – one of the most iconic pieces of 21st century design.

    The Powerhouse Museum has over the years, been pivotal in supporting and inspiring the career of designers, whether students, early career or established practice. This move will erase the accessibility of this facility, as well as history of place, which has provided an influential platform, not just in my career or the life of Sydney-siders, but the experience of Australian and international audiences, including the global design community.

    Yours Sincerely
    Kent Gration

  105. Kaye Cossar Stokes. Auckland says:

    Do not let this happen. Museums such as the Powehouse have to be in the central city for tourism. For visitors from around the world and interstate to visit as they stroll around the city and walk the new rail walkway. I have visited several times and never tire of the content revealing our history.

  106. TJ says:

    My daughter is 8 and the Powerhouse has been her favourite museum since she was a toddler. We live in the Blue Mountains and have no concerns making the trip as we often do. We would not like at all to see this beautiful museum changed in anyway. Please leave it alone! Once destroyed it is gone forever and no replacement is ever the same.

  107. Jeremy Arnott says:

    The idea, now a decision, sadly, seems to put aside the actual needs of the collection.
    I believe consideration should be given to using the White Bay Powerstation Site for housing the the balance of the (or the whole!) collection. Furthermore, provision still exists for rail access for steam and other heritage trains, also the Sydney Heritage Fleet – which is looking for a home. On the land site, there is plenty of room for purpose built conservation and educational facilities as well as the existing museum pieces power generation equipment. The idea of shoehorning the PWM to a site on the Parramatta River is simply to put an end to the debate, which the govt knows on a logic basis it can’t win.

  108. Anne-Marie Kelly says:

    Please leave the Powerhouse museum in the city. As a city, Sydney is a relatively young one, so many of our beautiful buildings have been torn down to make way for ugly towering edifices. You just need to flip through the Demolition books held by Sydney archives to gasp at the architecture we have destroyed, to help create what’s surely becoming a city without a soul.

  109. Tom Lockley says:

    In the debate I do not think that the heritage values of the buildings have been sufficiently emphasised and with help from a lot of knowlegeable people I have put together a small booklet outlining this. It is getting good reviews. See and if you would like a copy email . Free, no strings attached, but if you agree with what it says please let your feelings be known.

  110. Simon J.R. Rainsford says:

    From some articles viewed, It is unjust to single out the eastern Sydney ‘well to-do” residents for wishing the PHM to maintain it’s central tourist hub association with Darling Harbour and nearby attractions. Other Sydney-siders from the North, West & South benefit from its’ CBD location and express a desire for the existing site to remain & develop as the PHM.
    As a student, excursions to the ‘big city’ and visiting Sydney’s Central Galleries and Museums remain memorable educational rights of passage and experience. I could equally reflect on visits to Canberra, Katoomba, Reptile Parks, Zoo & Old Sydney Town as being wonderful learning experiences nurtured by the teachers and curatorial support of the sites administrators.
    Demographically Parramatta may be central however, it clearly struggles to draw & activate core interest as a major hub for visitors noting several historic sites remain sadly unpatronised.
    In more recent times I have paid several visits to the PHM Castle Hill, Discovery Centre open days (which is approximately 15-25min drive from Parramatta) however, it is clear from its’ open day weekend schedules that, while popular, the West is not indicating a readiness or willingness to support such a major facility on a full time basis. It is relevant timing that the Discovery Centre is undergoing significant capital expansion to improve its’ facilities.
    It would seem equally prudent to gauge the success of an alternative outer suburb PHM before committing to a judgement to relocate the main CBD Museum.
    Furthermore, the relocation of the PHM presents a huge infrastructure risk and cost to the public purse.
    The loss of prime public city venues to sell-off development commercialisation is highly sensitive particularly for a site with a role and significant position & heritage as this.
    Can Sydney residents expect those who endorse the move be upfront and made publicly accountable for the outcome of such decisions?
    What does seem clear is the decision makers are being overly hasty to shortcut a process where examples, indicators and the public are already giving clear signals that the decision to move is quite simply inappropriate.

  111. Christine and David Hartgill says:

    Christine and David Hartgill 27 February 2016
    The Powerhouse is part of a galaxy of educational colleges, museums and galleries in Sydney. It should stay where it is – it was purpose built/ refurbished and houses the Collection perfectly. This suggestion to “move” it to Parramatta is nothing but a political ploy on the part of the Baird Government to tear it down and put up more soulless apartment blocks. Baird knows only how to raze, cut down and overdevelop. Of course the people of Western Sydney need a fine Museum but in the technological age there are many better and more pertinent “themes” to consider.

  112. Ros Bilbe says:

    The wonderful Power House Museum is part of Sydney and needs to stay where it is. Build a similar museum at Parramatta, by all means. The Sydney Power House has many fascinating and valuable items in storage for rotation purposes, these objects could be sent to the future Western Sydney museum.

  113. Susan Binney says:

    In a city short on museums, the long-running neglect and proposed closure of the centrally-located Powerhouse Museum is reprehensible. The Powerhouse has the potential to be a world-class science and technology museum, showcasing technological developments from the industrial revolution to the present day. However, every visit with my son over the past 10 years has led to disappointment over the broken “interactive” displays, irrelevant temporary exhibitions (Abba, etc.) and stagnant content. I believe the decline in visitor numbers cited by the current government as one of the reasons to close the Ultimo site and grab the land for revenue is due to its failure to support the Powerhouse to fulfil its intended purpose. To now propose to the move this museum to Parramatta is disgusting. The Powerhouse in situated perfectly for families to visit using a variety of transport types from all areas of Sydney. It is right next to Darling Habour, the Maritime Museum, the Chinese Garden and Chinatown; all regular venues for a weekend day out for our family and many others. Mike Baird and his colleagues seem not to understand the transparency of their actions to the NSW public in championing lucrative but socially-destructive developments such as the second (Packer) casino and the degradation or destruction of those elements of our city that support a healthy, well-educated and inspired society, such as cycleways, trees and now the Powerhouse museum.

  114. Mary Green says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is in a perfect location and attracts a lot of international visitors who would not necessarily want to travel out to Parramatta. A lot of interstate and country people also visit the museum as it is easy for them to access it being in the city, some while filling in their day before going to the airport. This they would not be able to do if the powerhouse was relocated to parramatta.

  115. Matthew Lloyd says:

    The trip to Parramatta would take a while. 50 minutes . This would all eat into interstate, out of towners and International visitors time where they are very time poor and need the time to do things . The goverment would not get the money it needs for a museum. Probably 200 million for the current place and need another 300 million to set it up. This is a waste of the tax payers money and this 300 million would be better with fixing roads and hospitals and making railway stations like Unanderra more user friendly by adding a lift. Many students use the Powerhouse Museum and it is convinient to them. They can do Imax at Darling Harbour and then the Museum which many schools do or a stone throw from the ABC and can do both of them in the one day. This would not happen and would probably have to do it twice when they can now cover both in a day. The state goverment clearly has thought with their hip pocket and said this will give votes out west and some money. Why can’t we not have a museum where they can borrow from the Powerhouse, Australian Museum and others and set up a museum that could come under the MAAS umbrella at Parramatta and have four branches instead of three like now.. Would they acknowledge if we went to Parramatta that the museum was ever in ULtimo and Sydney or would this be forgotten. Keep the Museum where it is. Don’t move to Parramatta.

  116. Patricia Johnson says:

    As the organisers of the Save the Powerhouse campaign, launched in March 2015, we represent many thousands of community members across Sydney and NSW who
    – oppose the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney
    – advocate the creation of a new, world-class museum in Parramatta, in consultation with local residents, that reflects the area’s unique cultural heritage.
    Our dedicated supporters worked hard over the past months to collect the 10,000 petition signatures that qualify for a Parliamentary debate.
    This will led by MLAs Jamie Parker (Balmain) and Alex Greenwich (Sydney) on February 25 at 4.00 pm and members of the public are warmly encouraged to attend in the Public Gallery.
    The Save the Powerhouse campaign is also actively responding to the Baird Government’s clumsy attempt to divide the Inner Sydney and Parramatta communities by ” taking the Powerhouse away from those who want to keep it and giving it to those who didn’t ask for it “, by actively forging links with leading community groups in Parramatta. We aim to organise joint activities in order to present a united community front to oppose the Government’s plans.
    For more information please visit the SavethePowerhouse Facebook page
    Patricia Johnson
    Jean-Pierre Alexandre

  117. Des Griffin says:

    The criticisms of the call for the Powerhouse to be not moved to Parramatta completely miss a number of critical points. The proposal is opposed because it is not properly thought through, will deprive Sydney of an important cultural element and likely will deliver a very inferior outcome to western Sydney, or more likely, none at all.

    To assert the opposition to the move is no more than a selfish campaign by elites from the Eastern suburbs of Sydney fails to acknowledge that the signatories include prominent experts on heritage, former museum trustees and directors and others from many areas of Sydney.

    The Powerhouse now inadequately deals with the arts and almost not at all with science and technology.

    Successive NSW governments have grossly underfunded cultural attractions in the city AND the suburbs for the last several decades. Every major museum (including the Art Gallery) has been forced every year to curtail spending through the infamous efficiency dividend. They are shadows of themselves 30 years ago. Staff have been cut and programs cancelled.

    The objections to the Powerhouse move recognise that suburbs have experienced grossly inadequate cultural expenditure also! How does this compare with Victoria and Queensland? The Museum of Victoria with its three campuses continues to be well supported relatively, having maintained its government funding and benefiting from sound leadership. The National Gallery of Victoria likewise. And so on. In Brisbane, the Gallery of Modern Art has been added to the Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Museum continues to gain good funding resulting in a relatively stable staff.

    The NSW Government’s approach to museum development has ignored many important developments, continually sought in suburbs and rural areas by expecting Sydney institutions to provide the funds from their own budgets. When museums contributed funds to national programs in conservation and documentation, their contribution was ignored.

    It is time the NSW government stepped up to the mark and the media did a better job of reporting the situation instead of depicting the debate as some kind of class warfare!

    If the full cost of the construction of a new museum in the western suburbs is recognised and the inadequacy of the funds from sale of the Ultimo site is acknowledged it is likely that at best a very small facility will be constructed, or more likely none at all. Minister Grant’s assertions that the State Government pays only for fitting out buildings and that construction should properly be funded by local government must be noted and understood.

  118. John Kreicbergs says:

    What perfect way to recycle an old historic building. Most European cities were destroyed during the war. They rebuilt them as they were, and we travel there to admire them. They could have built a concrete jungle like we are doing. Barangaroo is a good example of what happens when money takes over our city.

  119. Christina Kennedy says:

    The Powerhouse was purpose built for the big machines, vehicles etc. Why duplicate this when it works so well? Purpose build another to display more of the archived and stored heritage and put it at Parramatta, then we can all share both facilities.

  120. Joy Storie says:

    I used to belong to the Museum Education Officers Association and our Sydney institutions including those under the umbrella of the Arts Ministry used to cooperate and learn from each other’s experiences, sometimes linking our activities together. it was a valuable connection for us all. The Powerhouse Museum needs to remain where it is.

  121. Matthew Lloyd says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is a Sydney Institution and needs to stay put. It is easy to get to and not far from the station. We can still have a museum at Parramatta. I agree with all the above statements. We have had the museum in the Ultimo area since 1893 and the Powerhouse is one of the few Powerhouses of it kind and needs to be kept . Sydney has a lot of high rise buildings and does not need any more. It has build a reputation in this area that has taken years to achieve and all that hard work would be ruined if moved top Paramatta.It is not the elites of Sydney who don’t want the move to occur but many ordinary citizens from the area and outside the are who don’t want this to happen. There are many who don’t want this move to occur. The Telegraph story is not true as many concerned citizens do’nt want it. I think if you took a survey you would find many who oppose this move .

  122. Tricia Brooks says:

    LEAVE OUR AUSTRALIAN HISTORY ALONE!! Tourists aren’t going to trot out to Parramatta! I am a long time member and enjoy visiting the Powerhouse Museum while I am in the CBD of Sydney. The Powerhouse belongs to the people NOT DEVELOPERS. The building is unique and needs to be left as it is!!!!!

  123. Paul Brunton OAM FAHA says:

    A naked land grab and the destruction of a great museum. Developers will be the only beneficiaries. Give Parramatta its own unique museum reflecting its rich and vibrant history.

  124. Helen Caley says:

    It is part of Sydney’s heritage – what is wrong with the government that they want to destroy all the beautiful older buildings that make Sydney an interesting city? It matches the Goods Line so well. Parramatta deserves something new – not hand-me-downs!

  125. Harvey Cooper AM and Wendy Cooper says:

    It is wrong of the Government to argue that the Power House shall exist EITHER at Parramatta OR at ultimo. It can and should exist in both centres. The closing of the Ultimo site to free the land for sale to developers is an abuse of Governmental powers.

  126. Mr. and Mrs. A. Colley, Sefton. says:

    A crazy idea. Western Sydney could have a satellite Powerhouse and History Centre.
    With all the wonderful work going on in Darling Harbour (The Goods Line walkway etc) it will never have been more accessible. Keep it in Ultimo.

  127. Cherie Hingee says:

    I am not an elite just an ordinary person who has appreciated the PHM FOR YEARS…not rich .
    I encourage another museum of more interest to P’matta elite to be built with PHM material lent to it .but dont move our history .
    Hm visitors will go out to P,matta from oseas ?

  128. Karen L. Wilson, AM says:

    I support leaving the Powerhouse where it is and opening a new museum in or near Parramatta. The declining visitor numbers can be addressed in Ultimo by reviewing the kinds of exhibitions presented and improving staff numbers for producing exhibitions and teaching students.

  129. Ernie Mollenhauer says:

    There is no justification for shutting Ultimo in order to open elsewhere. There are THOUSANDS of exhibits in store at Castle Hill and at Ultimo that most people never get to see. If just half the stuff in storage was to be displayed in Parramatta there would be a MAGNIFICENT display, without ever moving anything out of the Ultimo display area. Sydney CITY needs the PHM IN THE CITY!!!

  130. Carol and David Bailey says:

    Western Sydney and the Central Coast need their own science museums, but the Powerhouse belongs exactly where it is.

  131. fran strasser says:

    dont give in to the bloody developers! we need cultural institutions not more units. boston, san fran, ny ..all the major cities have tech without the powerhouse would never be the same and diminish the great city of sydney

  132. Matthew Ritchard says:

    I am opposed to relocating the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Western Sydney. This is a blatant cash grab by the Baird Government made with complete disregard for the operation of the Museum or its many priceless exhibits which simply cannot be relocated.

  133. Cheryl ison says:

    I am a granny. I now share the museum with grandchildren.
    I spent wondrous hours in the Sydney Museum of Technilogy every school holiday…Strasbourg clock/Chinese carved ivory/aeroplanes from the ceiling/that amazing planetarium/the Chinese shoes and fascination plaster cast of the foot/and the list is infinite and it sparked my fascination for the rest of my life.
    Although it now is different it is a MUST to stay in Harris Street. Don’t lose it to Parramatta.
    Another museum in Parramatta would be fabulous but not at the expense of losing The Powerhouse Museum from Harris Street. Please keep it where it is.

  134. Phil Clarke says:

    The Power House Museum was part of a set of promises to create a new city centre offering museums and entertainment in the area around Darling Harbour it was aimed at helping to raise the status of both Sydney and Australia in the eyes of visitors as well as providing a vital facility for the general population. It was a historical Capital Works project and should already be a heritage item

    Taking it away eats into a whole concept of Sydney as an advanced and cultural centre. Moving it is madness that puts short term profit ahead of long term facility and atmosphere. Sydney is becoming unliveable enough as it is. The museum belongs near the technical university and Sydney University. It is ideally sited – Keep the filthy developers hands off it!

  135. Mr H. Mollema says:

    I am writing as concerned individual but declare to be a long term volunteer in the Power House museum. Government declares that innovation and technology are the fields that will provide the economic growth for the future. Yet the NSW government is proposing to regionalise the very institution that celebrates the Science and Technology they want to rely on and inspire the next generation.

    Parramatta should have a museum, but one of its own. I have suggested to the minister that a far better solution is to build an Arts and Sciences museum as a joint venture of the Power House Museum, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian Museum. Each have far more objects in their collection than they can ever display. Each of the museums can have their own area in such museum to mount exhibitions.

    Some of the poor attendances at the Power House Museum are due to poor exhibition management direction. Recent years has seen more and more arty exhibitions that are better catered for by the Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum deserves at last a director that understands how to bring the sciences and technologies to the visitor in an engaging way.

    Some of the attendance reduction is also due to the government starving the museum of funds. Even with a new museum in Parramatta this will be a recurring theme over time. Moving the museum solves none of these issues and probably make it worse.

  136. Paula says:

    Moving the Powehouse will mean losing its identity! A beautiful museum like this shouldn’t have to relocate itself when its perfect where it is!

  137. Ann says:

    The proposal to sacrifice this museum for the sake of development is astonishing and very sad, and “offsetting” this loss by building establishing a new museum in Parramatta is not a solution. We need to increase education opportunities in this city. The Ultimo Powerhouse museum should stay, AND the proposed Parramatta Powerhouse should also go ahead.

  138. Robert & Jeanette Helstroom says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is already ideally located it its highly accessible Ultimo setting. Leave it there to continue to evolve as a Darling Harbour institution.

    There is a multitude of alternative public attractions that could well be established in Parramatta. For example, a “Powerhouse Annexe” that focusses on contemporary science & technology education – similar to the role of The Californian Academy of Sciences Museum in San Francisco – would bring many visitors from all over Sydney to Parramatta for 100% hands-on learning. This would leave the Ultimo Museum to focus on the acquisition, research, preservation and exhibition of important antiquities.

  139. Andre Tammes says:

    Removing the Powerhouse Museum from its current location would be tantamount to its destruction in its present form. I urge the Government to take the long term view and not be, once again, seduced by the attraction of short term monetary gain.

  140. Josephine Grieve says:

    What a ridiculous idea! The Powerhouse Museum has a place and it’s in the hub of the City of Sydney. And Parramatta with its mangrove-lined river and historic precinct deserves an exciting new museum. Bring on world class architects, visionary town-planners and cultural professionals. And promote the ferry service for transport between Sydney and Parramatta.

    I have forensic questions which should concern the people of NSW:
    Who came up with the idea to move the Powerhouse to Western Sydney?
    Was it Infrastructure NSW or another entity?
    Were those decision-makers qualified town-planners, architects, museum professionals and cultural strategists? Or accountants and lawyers?
    How much was spent on this ridiculous proposal?

  141. Allan McVay says:

    The existing powerhouse structure is as important as the Museum. The fit of each to the other is perfect. After selling the poles and wires the State finances should not require the sale of the family jewels to keep the house.

  142. mikebowern says:

    Elizabeth Farrelly’s essay in the SMH today (18 Feb 2016) does not mention the Powerhouse Museum, but her arguments are relevant to this matter. The only ‘value’ our politicians have is money and the acquisition of it. They do not appreciate the values of art, culture and history. I’m happy to have the opportunity to sign this open letter.
    Dr Mike Bowern FACS
    Moss Vale

  143. Mary morris says:

    I think to close the Power House Museum in Ultimo would be a sacrilege to our beautiful city. We are proud of our city and thousands of tourists a year frequent our shores, and what better to see than our Museum smack bang in proximity to all the docks, would these people travel to Parramatta, I don’t think so. I live on the Central Coast, I get off the train at Central and walk down to the Museum, as with all the Museums centrally located in in our city, please keep it where it is.

  144. Stephen Thompson says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is an internationally recognised centre of excellence and vital part of Australia’s cultural heritage and memory. The Powerhouse museum is not an ‘asset’ to be sold off for the exclusive benefit of a developer or a government of the day. The museum was built by many generations of Australians and belongs to all Australians, past, present and future. Hands off.

  145. Geoff Thomas says:

    I strenuously oppose the move of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. It is a much loved Sydney icon and must stay where it is.
    The Harris Streel location is close to heavy rail, light rail and bus transport. I fondly recall travelling to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (as it then was) by tram! This was before an earlier generation of political vandals ripped up that public infrastructure.
    The Harris Street site is also an easy walk from China Town and the Darling Harbour precinct that the present State government is so committed to redeveloping. Indeed a cynic might ask if the Harris Street site is so inaccessible why is the equally accessible / inaccessible Darling Harbour site being redeveloped.
    There lies the answer. With Darling Harbour redeveloped the New South Wales white shoe brigade will be salivating at the prospect of another publically owned site coming up for sale at a bargain basement price.
    This must be opposed, as must the selloff of the Blackwater bay / White Bay harbour front.

  146. Shoong Ho says:

    To relocate the museum to Parramatta or anywhere else from its current location is nothing but motivated by pure greed. This is a blatant land grab for the developers and the so called urban renewal lobbyists. It has nothing to do with looking after the cultural interests of Western Sydney as some members of our parliament would like us to believe. If they are true to their intentions, they should use the money earmarked for the relocation to build entirely new facilities in the West instead.
    Powerhouse Museum should stay where it is now, in the City of Sydney where it has been nurtured and developed for nearly 30 years.

  147. Adrian Newstead OAM says:

    I am so glad to see the level of arts industry support for this initiative. I am delighted to add my name to the list of supporters fighting to keep this vital collection at its current home.

    Adrian Newstead OAM

  148. Greg & Marg Frewer says:

    Its current location is the most accessible for local, interstate and international visitors, it being in close proximity to other museums and gallery attractions in the Sydney CBD. In particular, it contributes to the Darling Harbour precinct by being within walking distance of the National Maritime Museum, the Aquarium, Wildlife Park, Madame Tussauds and China Town.

  149. Ruth Barwick says:

    As a child I was taken to the fascinating old Technological Museum in Harris St. As a teacher I have taken many groups of schoolchildren to the wonderful Powerhouse Museum which replaced it. Governments come and go. To sell off a public asset which is also a historic building to private interests is short-sighted and immoral. It makes the State Government no better than the developer-driven local councils which have been so much in the news lately. Too much of our history has been lost forever in previous generations. Please don’t let ours be the one to squander the Powerhouse.

  150. Ian Douglas says:

    Moving the Powerhouse Museum from its home simply contributes to the effective “desertification” of the Darling Harbour region. It risks further conversion of public space into private, closed to the public, housing and offices. Barangaroo is already encroaching on the public recreation possibilities of the area which otherwise could, and should, be a cultural lung for the city. The museum, with its clear connection to the Powerhouse that gave its title is an important exhibition and demonstration of industry in a section of Sydney that was host to that industry. By all means provide a museum for Parramatta, even include items from the Powerhouse that, as is claimed, cannot currently be displayed. Just don’t junk a real asset.

  151. Julia Carras says:

    I strongly support the calls to keep the Powerhouse Museum in Harris Street Ultimo. We should not destroy past investments for short term profits.

  152. Suzan Aslin says:

    I am from Lake Macquarie and I find it easy to get to the Powerhouse by train and bus, to get to Parramatta would be difficult particularly if the museum is put in the park. Parramatta deserves its own museum not a collection that has been designed for the Powerhouse.

  153. Cheryl Woodley says:

    I strongly believe the Powerhouse Museum must remain where it is. In the city. I support a museum for the western suburbs but to ‘move’ the current museum will be disastrous for Sydney and the location.

  154. Cecilia Jackson says:

    The Powerhouse has been a unique and ever changing institution for the collaboration of art and science through design, technology and a treasure trove of other wonders. with certain displays such as trains extremely difficult to move, relocating the Powerhouse could be potentially damaging to the large scale artefacts in the collection as well as annihilate a large part of the cultural heartland in Ultimo. With the State government already cutting funding to art education in TAFE the area has suffered enough removal of visual culture. The local community doesn’t need more residential property – it needs public spaces to enhance the life and energy of the inner city region.

    With this statement I Add my name to the Open Letter to the NSW State Government. Don’t diminish cultural institutions – build on them.

    Cecilia Jackson
    BFA (Hons), National Art School
    M. Art Curating, University of Sydney

  155. Peter Edwivk says:

    A real retrograde step to loose the beautiful power house. It will be lost to generations to come. Especially if Libs sold to developers. There is some good initiatives from present state government. This definitely is Not one. I have my suspicions with Libs in selling off public assets. Sydney needs galleries and museums. Tourists would not travel to Parramatta to view powerhouse. Conceive a new type of museum for western Sydney, be creative. I won’t forgive you Mr Baird in the next election. Consult the public and listen to them more, otherwise you will cease to exist as government, don’t be complacent.

  156. Sue Smith says:

    I am totally against the selling of the Powerhouse site to developer friends of the government. The museum is an important part of our city, much like the Victoria and Albert Museum is in London.

  157. Yvonne Molloy says:

    The Powerhouse Museum shouldn’t be moved to western Sydney but remain on site in Ultimo. This iconic museum is part of the fabric of the inner city and could not be replicated if moved. By all means create a new and exciting museum in western Sydney which reflects the culture and heritage of that area. HANDS OFF THE POWERHOUSE!

  158. Peter Hughes says:

    I can remember visiting the old Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in the Sydney Tech building further down Harris Street when I was a kid. Today’s MAAS is a fantastic venue, and the creation of a second site at Parramatta in the demographic heart of Sydney would be a logical development to take advantage of all the material currently locked away in storage,

  159. e.morony says:

    Our family has benefited from the Powerhouse for years. The children especially when they were young and myself with a couple of study groups. The location is easy access from all of Sydney and the building has character and history, that’s priceless. It belongs to the people and should remain as such.
    Short term financial gain is so so narrow and shortsighted.
    It shouldn’t take much to make it the most popular museum in the country.

  160. Tiina Hendrikson says:

    Since the late 19th century the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has been in Ultimo! It would be suicidal to move it!

  161. Prudence Webb says:

    The powerhouse is a Sydney icon, leave it alone. The building perfectly displays all the very large and historic items housed there. Furthermore too much has been lost in the name of development in Sydney as it is.

  162. Susan Rodwell says:

    Sydney must keep the Power House Museum in the city- we are an international city people love to visit not just for its beauty, but for a cultural experience. We can never replace such a building once it has gone.
    Certainly build a satellite museum in Parramatta for Western Sydney, but tourists won’t be going there if they are stretched for time. As we all know when travelling to cities around the world we visit as many galleries, museums, cathedrals etc in close proximity as we can.

  163. Tony Shorter and family says:

    Would they move the Guggenheim from 5th Ave. to the Bronx?
    Save our Powerhouse.
    Can we find the name of the developer that will profit from the destruction of the iconic structure so we can publicly shame him along with his benefactor, Babyface Baird.

  164. Leonie Davis says:

    I am incensed at the plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum. Why does the developer dollar affect every decision made by this government? There is no long term planning by this government. What will be left to sell or move in the future? What kind of city will our grandchildren live in?

  165. tony bayley says:

    i support the retention of the museum.yesterday i went there after many impressive it is particularl.y in the reuse of old obsolete buildings to move it out west is an absurd proposal..

  166. Malcolm Dale says:

    The marvels of engineering and science held in the old powerhouse building should not be traded as commodities or for political favours. They belong to all the people of NSW and beyond and should stay a central part of our cultural heritage in the heart of our city, not the political heartland envisaged by Mr Baird.

  167. Judith Carroll says:

    I urge the NSW Government to reconsider its plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum from central Sydney. The present location, in the heart of a cultural, creative and intellectual “hub” reflects the rationale of the institution – replicated in similar museums world-wide.

  168. Emeritus Professor Neil Brown says:

    The significance of the Powerhouse Museum to Sydney’s Industrial and cultural history is found in its indivisible match of heritage buildings, priceless collections and unique location.

  169. Paul Ogilvie says:

    Such a cultural landmark needs to remain for the enjoyment and education of all. There is no reason a similair institution cant be built in parramatta

  170. Matthew Stevens says:

    The building itself belongs in a museum. If the NSW Government sells it off, the building is lost forever to the public which paid for its transformation, and the contents lose their context. By all means create a museum in Parramatta, but the closure of the Powerhouse is cultural vandalism.

  171. Barbara Butt says:

    There is no diispute about the need for Western Sydney to have its own cultural institutions but not at the expense of the the City of Sydney’s own cultural heritage. The fact that the land on which The Powerhouse Museum stands is to be sold to developers , is both opportunistic and very short sighted. Sydney’s cultural life will be very threadbare if this approach to our city’s ‘future continues . If we had to choose between an enormous casino at Barangaroo and the Powerhouse Museum it would be interesting to see which one the people of Sydney would prefer.

  172. Janet Denne says:

    The Powerhouse must not be moved. As a descendant of James Watt I regularly brought my children and grandchildren to see his engine, as well as the many other items on display.
    There are sufficient excellent items in store for a suitable museum to be built in Western Sydney to display them without disturbing those in the Powerhouse.

  173. Anne Dunn Snape says:

    An iconic site in the centre of Sydney for access to all people in keeping with the philosophy worldwide of providing significant cultural museums and galleries, to be handed over to developers in the guise of providing Western Sydney with a Powerhouse Museum (location and building as yet unknown), is the worst kind of political and cultural vandalism.

  174. Rosemary Towers says:

    The Powerhouse Museum is an important part of the arts infrastructure of Sydney. It makes no sense to sideline it by moving it to Paramatta. In its present position it is easily accessible to both locals and tourists and is an integral part of Sydney’s history. The building itself has both historical and architectural value. I have seen no reason for the move other than that of a government wanting the revenue from the sale of the land. It would be criminal to allow a government/group of politicians in for the short term to deny Sydney its history.I add my voice to all those who want this projected move stopped.

  175. Maree Vandermolen says:

    The powerhouse is for Australians not just those of NSW ?Its richness is not simply for now but into our future. I can’t imagine the French dismantling the Paris museums to sell the land for apartments. We should not be so shortsighted.

  176. Linda Sefton says:

    The Powerhouse museum in its current position is a wonderful institution and easily accessible for sydneysiders and regional/ international visitors. I totally support a satellite museum at Parramatta- but don’t destroy the icon that is the current Powerhouse!

  177. Steve Bright says:

    The Powerhouse is a remarkable place for children to visit, and adults to delight in. Set up a branch in Parramatta to expand the concept. Don’t replace it with another modern concrete nonentity of a building to enrich developers.

  178. Kathryn Sieber says:

    My family business history is stored and displayed at the Powerhouse. We were an inner city business and supplied most of Sydney with bread for each of the ethnic groups living here. To move this history to Parramatta would be a travesty of the greatest proportions.

  179. Bruce McFadyen says:

    Selling the Powerhouse Museum for developers to build apartments is akin to demolishing the Queen Victoria Building to build a car park, a previous government “progressive initiative”. If the Baird government commits this crime, its name will indeed “live in infamy” as a philistine administration whose only concern was the bottom dollar.

  180. Liz Wessels says:

    Please don’t move the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. It will be ruined being moved. Part of the joy of it is the building it is in and the history involved. Liz Wessels.

  181. Karen Kennedy says:

    Paris,London,Parramatta? Every visitor and resident of Sydney should have access to this iconic and educational museum. My family from throughout Australia have attended the Powerhouse Museum. Leave the soul of the City in peace so there is some history to share with our children.

  182. Peter Mitchell says:

    The Powerhouse is a beautiful building and should be kept in public hands. If you want to build a similar facility in Western Sydney, it should not mean the sell off of the Powerhouse.
    Sydney is massive and growing exponentially, with city centres in its various areas. Plan for the next century. School kids in Glenfield need somewhere local to look at a museum, as do children in the city and East. It is about building communities, respecting history and investing in the education and engagement of young people.
    I also attended a Hoodoo Guru’s concert at the Powerhouse and it was a fabulous example of multi-use of the area. More could be done with that.
    More sell-offs of public land to fund road building is a short-sighted approach and will further ruin the precious areas around Darling Harbour, that survive the current over development there.

Leave a Reply