News Chronology: 2023 on…

Also read News Chronologies  for the eight years: 2014-2019;  2020; and 2023 on…
And PHM being Destroyed not Saved: 2023 Call to action
For Inquiry into Museums and Galleries webpage: Read more
For the Inquiry Committee’s Two Final Reports: Read more  and media release Read more
For informed research, analysis and opinions, see What the Experts Say: Read more
To read about Museum history and issues with a recent Heritage nomination, Read here.
‘Letters to Editors’: for related letters to the editors of newspapers, see the PMA web site, here: Read more

 

24 – 26 January, 2023
Powerhouse Museum Ultimo: Community Consultation
Sydney Morning Herald, 24, 25, 26 January 2023, and Daily Telegraph, January 26.
The Powerhouse Museum published full-page advertisements on these days, saying of the ‘renewal of the Powerhouse’, that ‘the project has moved to its next stage in the planning process’. See advertisement here:  PHM consultation advert. 24-16 Jan 2023
A digital Find Out More link opened up to the Museum’s website, which provided information about proposals and developments in Parramatta and Castle Hill, as well as the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. Open here.
Considerable public concern is now being expressed, as over eight years of lobbying, community consultation has clearly not been taken seriously, and nor have the recommendations in two long-term government inquiries. Despite the decision in 2020 to ‘save’ the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo, while also proceeding with a new museum/entertainment centre in Parramatta, and transferring all the collection (and soon the museum staff) to Castle Hill, there remains NO CLEARLY DEFINED future for the Ultimo site.
So a major question remains: what is the consultation about? There is no public documentation of what was provided to the architects as content and purpose of the museum, and no rationale for destroying the award-winning buildings of 1988. Despite being a museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, it seems to be narrowed down to ‘fashion and design’, with a token technology presence. It is also noted that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is for  ‘the Powerhouse Ultimo Renewal of a Creative Industries Precinct integrated into the operations of the Powerhouse Museum’, not the Powerhouse Museum, ie: ‘The renewal will see Powerhouse Ultimo deliver a programming focus on design and fashion.  One of the objectives is to enable and support development of the NSW creative industries….’
It is also not clear exactly what the very essential working area of the adjacent Harwood Building will contain, and it could also be rationalised that it is likely to be taken over by the neighbouring University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
The website includes two key paragraphs:
STAGE TWO STATE SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION
‘In preparation for the lodgement of the second stage State Significant Development Application (SSDA2) to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE), community consultation on the Powerhouse Ultimo design will commence in February 2023. We invite the public to join us at public information sessions held at Powerhouse Ultimo where project team members will be present to discuss plans and respond to community questions and feedback. Sign up below to receive updates, including links to register for upcoming sessions.’
As well: ‘Foundation University Partner, the University of Technology Sydney, has committed $10 million to Powerhouse Ultimo, a significant investment that will help boldly reimagine the Ultimo precinct, realised through the landmark $480–500 million renewal of Powerhouse Ultimo. The institutions will work together to foster a dynamic creative industry ecology and expand the international profile of Australian design and fashion both nationally and internationally.’

So – is this more public box-ticking? Will they listen to anything we have to say: Go to the website here, for links to ‘more information or feedback content’.

1 January, 2023
PYRMONT / ULTIMO BRANCH LOCAL LABOR BRANCH DEMANDS PHM RENEWAL REVERSAL AFTER MARCH ELECTION
In a widely circulated message, Save the Powerhouse community group; reminds us that:
‘Branch Secretary Brian Yao reports that at its December branch meeting, the Pyrmont/Ultimo branch of the Labor Party voted unanimously for the reversal of the proposed “renewal” of the Powerhouse Museum.
The motion http://tiny.cc/qgr2vz, proposed by Bill d’Anthes, “calls on the Labor Leader of the Opposition, Chris Minns and the Shadow Arts Minister, John Graham to pledge that when elected to Government (in March 2023) to review and reverse the decisions leading to the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo being dismantled…”, that “the Powerhouse at Ultimo must be retained in its current form as a Museum of Technological Sciences and Engineering…” and that the Powerhouse collection currently in storage in Castle Hill should be completely returned.
Wishing all Powerhouse supporters everywhere a happy New Year and renewed determination to continue the battle!’