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: https://powerhousemuseumalliance.com/find-out-more
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.
Click here or scroll to the bottom of the page to add your name and comment to our open letter.