Vote to table business case: 12 April 2018

Read here for further debates and comments about the provision of a ‘Business Case Summary’.

13 April, 2018
Legislative Council Hansard – 12 April 2018 – Proof

POWERHOUSE MUSEUM RELOCATION
Production of Documents: Order
https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardFull.aspx#/DateDisplay/HANSARD-1820781676-75903/HANSARD-1820781676-75916

 Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE ( 10:58 ): I move:
That, under Standing Order 52, there be laid upon the table of the House within seven days of the date of passing of this resolution the following documents in the possession, custody or control of the Premier, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Minister for the Arts, Create NSW, the Department of Planning and Environment or Infrastructure NSW:
(a) the preliminary and final or current versions of the business case for the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta; and
(b) any legal or other advice regarding the scope or validity of this order of the House created as a result of this order of the House.
I believe this is the kind of work this House needs to do. Without the Government mucking around—
The PRESIDENT: Order! If honourable members wish to have discussions, they should do so outside the Chamber. I can hardly hear Mr David Shoebridge.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: The Government, following a thought bubble, announced that it was going to blow up the Powerhouse Museum and move it to Parramatta, without consulting either the people of Ultimo or the people of Parramatta. Again we see the Government coming up with a decision that witnesses before the committee inquiry into this issue say could be a $1.5 billion decision. This Government has come up with yet another multibillion-dollar decision and we are yet to see a business case. Time after time the committee, chaired by the Hon. Robert Borsak, has been demanding a business case from the Minister and the Government, and each time it has been denied.
I believe the people of New South Wales are sick of this Government’s thought bubbles and its multibillion-dollar projects. It then strings us along and comes up with a business case afterwards—often a business case that has been cooked in order to meet the political demands of the Government rather than the true costs that the taxpayers of New South Wales will have to face. With the $1.5 billion Powerhouse Museum project, this Government needs to cough up the business case now. That is what this motion will do—within seven days the Government will have to produce the business case under order of compulsion from this House. That is what a House of review needs to do.
For the Government to say, as it has in media reports, that the people of New South Wales do not need to see the business case before $1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money is allocated because it will give them a summary 90 days later, shows nothing but contempt for the people of New South Wales. I hope a majority of members of this Chamber support the motion because I know a majority of people in New South Wales support the idea of the Government putting its cards on the table and producing the business case for the Powerhouse Museum, for the stadiums, or for its next thought bubble. If the Government is going to spend billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money it should do it properly; it should produce the business case and then the rest of New South Wales can see the way this Government repeatedly throws billions of dollars away for political reasons without caring about the ultimate cost to taxpayers or the best interests of New South Wales. I commend the motion.

The Hon. WALT SECORD ( 11:01 ): Sadly, poor implementation is fast becoming the curse of the New South Wales Government, whether it be the CBD Light Rail project, the botched Fire and Emergency Services Levy, forced council amalgamations, the arbitrary banning of the greyhound industry, the Return and Earn recycling fiasco or the $2.5 billion stadium imbroglio. Those are not my words, but that is why we support the call for papers relating to the business case put forward by The Greens member of the Legislative Council Mr David Shoebridge. The community has a right to know the motivation and the plans of the Berejiklian Government for the Powerhouse Museum site at Ultimo or what is going to happen at Parramatta. Unfortunately, the information that is leaking about the project is scant, and what we hear bears very little resemblance to the original promise made by the then Premier Mike Baird on 26 February 2015.
It is clear that the Berejiklian Government is dismembering the Powerhouse Museum and is scattering it about—not moving it in its entirety as the Government originally promised. In its 26 February 2015 announcement, the State Government said that the Powerhouse Museum “will be entirely located in Western Sydney”, and pledged $10 million to move the institution. We are a little north of that $10 million. In addition, the evidence before the parliamentary inquiry chaired by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party member of the Legislative Council Robert Borsak has revealed that there will be massive cost blowouts of between $1 billion and $2 billion or more. We have also heard that staff in the Powerhouse Museum have been told that there are going to be massive job losses.
Furthermore, the Berejiklian Government is refusing to release the business case, or even a summary of the business case. The Government said it will release a summary 90 days after it has made its final decision. But the Minister for the Arts has told the media that he received the business case last December. So the Minister has had the business case since December and he is going to release a summary of it 90 days after he has made his decision. There are many unanswered questions. What will happen at the Ultimo site? What will happen to the airspace at the Ultimo site? What pieces will be retained at the Ultimo site? What is going to the Castle Hill sites? What is going to Parramatta? How will the Riverside Theatre developments interplay with the Parramatta site?
Everyone is saying that the Berejiklian Government’s handling of this plan for the Powerhouse Museum has lurched from crisis to crisis, that it has been “half-baked” and that it does not deliver a full cultural institution to Western Sydney. This is the worst of all worlds—it smashes up the Powerhouse Museum and scatters it about Sydney. The community is deeply divided and support for this project is rapidly evaporating. I have had many representations about this, including a heartfelt plea from Mrs Jill Wran—widow of beloved Labor Premier Neville Wran—who loves the Powerhouse Museum. I have heard her arguments and I acknowledge them.
The Berejiklian Government has the wrong priorities. We must see this business case. We are a House of review; we are here to be a check on the excesses of Executive Government. This Government is addicted to a culture of cover-up and refuses to tell the community the plans it is undertaking. I will leave my remarks at that. I commend the motion to the House as I know that the overwhelming will of the House is for the release of these documents.

The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) (11:05 ): We have had a pretty thin case laid out by Mr David Shoebridge and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Walt Secord, for this call for papers. There has also been a series of misrepresentations that I feel, upfront, I should immediately correct. First, there was a claim that this project is a thought bubble. Nothing could be further from the truth. The need for more investment in Western Sydney arts and culture and the desire to have one of our State’s cultural institutions have a flagship campus in Western Sydney has been strongly supported not just by practitioners of Western Sydney arts but also by the Western Sydney arts community for a long time. That is why, back in 2014, there was a recommendation in an update to the State Infrastructure Strategy that the State Government study the possibility of moving a cultural institution to Parramatta.
As the Hon. Walt Secord helpfully pointed out to the House, on 26 February 2015 that is exactly what then Premier Mike Baird said he would do when he announced the expenditure of $10 million on a business case to look at the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. That is the second item that I will address in a minute. By no means is this a thought bubble; this is something that people have been calling for. It is something that Infrastructure NSW analysed back in 2014 and said was a good idea, and it is something that Premier Mike Baird announced would receive an allocation of $10 million for a business case to be done in February 2015. That is the first cat I will bell. This is by no means a thought bubble. It has been a long-stated policy objective of the State Government to do this—a government that has shown its commitment to Western Sydney arts, as I outlined at some length in question time yesterday.
Secondly, over the past week both the Hon. Walt Secord and the Leader of the Opposition in another place have said that $10 million was what Mike Baird said would be the cost of relocating the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta and they claimed that there have been some blowouts. That is nonsense. The $10 million figure was always the cost of the business case.
They should stop misleading the people of New South Wales about that figure because it was simply the cost, as announced at the time, of the business case. A statement was also made that I have said that the summary of the business case would not be released until after 90 days. That is incorrect. I think I saw a media report to that effect as well. That was not a correct statement of my position. The reality is that under the rules for the release of summary business cases they must be done within 90 days, not after 90 days, so I quickly correct the record on that. This is a well thought out proposal. I make no apologies for the fact that there has been a preliminary business case studying the proposal. Since it was received towards the end of 2016, a decision was made about the location and a decision was made to proceed with the next stage, the extended final business case—an extended final business case that also looks at the possibility of retaining cultural space at Ultimo. I think this will be a game changer for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, a game changer for arts and culture in Western Sydney and a game changer for the city of Parramatta.
I am so proud of this project that I cannot wait for it to be finished. As I outlined yesterday and on previous occasions, extended final business cases are always prepared by consultants in association with a project team of the relevant stakeholders within government. Work done on business cases always is subject to peer review after it is received. It is true that an extended final business case for the proposal was received in December. I have never attempted to say anything else. I have in fact said that in the House on several occasions. It is an acknowledged part of the process that after an extended final business case is received there is an opportunity for the central agencies to go through it, to question the assumptions, to test the methodologies and to make sure that it is a wise investment decision for the State. That is a good process. It is not something that I am in any way embarrassed about. I support it because I know that at the end of that process we will achieve an excellent outcome. As I outlined also to the House yesterday, the State is in great shape. That is because the Government is prudent, manages its finances well and is careful about making decisions on the way it funds infrastructure. The fact the Government has a record infrastructure program shows the fruit of the processes put in place.
As to the extended final business case for the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum, we are getting close to the end of those review processes by the central agencies, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury and Infrastructure NSW. We are getting close to the finalisation of a summary of the extended final business case, which will be released after a decision to proceed to invest is or is not made as part of the Cabinet process. Let us be quite clear on what we are talking about: It is part of a Cabinet process. The decision to proceed with major infrastructure is a decision of Cabinet and Cabinet committees, such as the infrastructure committee for some projects and is always for consideration by the expenditure review committee of Cabinet.
All the documents prepared in relation to Cabinet decisions are tracked Cabinet in confidence. That has always been the case in New South Wales. It was the case when Labor was on the government benches seven years ago and it has been the case not just in recent history but for a very long time because Cabinet requires a degree of confidentiality about its processes in order to work. As to a business case and the expenditure of a significant amount of money that can flow from an investment decision, it is important that the State always has at the front of its mind getting the best value it possibly can get for taxpayers. Therefore, there is information in the business case necessarily that is commercial in confidence which will put the State at a disadvantage if it is in the public arena.
I outlined that at some length in question time yesterday. I made it clear why it is not in the State’s interests to put full business cases in the public arena. With any infrastructure project there are significant construction costs and necessarily they will be the subject of a tender for those construction costs. In order to protect taxpayers’ interests it is better not to put in the public domain what the Government expects it to cost. It is better that these amounts remain confidential otherwise tenderers will bid to the Government’s expected cost and we will not drive value. I would have thought it was such a self-evident proposition that it did not need to be explained in such simple terms to the House. Whether or not business cases should be in the public arena is becoming a matter of great interest and controversy so I reassert it in simple terms that I hope all members understand.
It is the Government’s position that this motion should be opposed and the Government will oppose it. It is a fundamental issue for us. If the Government were not able to maintain the confidentiality of Cabinet documents, including business cases, it would make governance a much more challenging process and, in my view, undermine this Government’s strong financial management record. The Government opposes the motion. In the time remaining I will make a few concluding remarks about the motion.
There are a few other things that the Hon. Walt Secord said. He said he has concerns based on an expectation that a full cultural institution would not be delivered to Western Sydney. The member has no basis for making that claim. In every public comment I have made and in every public comment the Premier has made it has been made abundantly clear that the Government’s commitment—unlike the Opposition and the majority of members on the committee inquiring into museums and galleries in New South Wales—is to relocating the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. Its mission as a Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences is to focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.
The extended final business case is directed towards ensuring that the greatest science and innovation museum is built in Western Sydney, the geographical heart of Sydney—at Parramatta. It will be a museum that will make us all incredibly proud of our city. This Government will build a facility that will be enjoyed by generations of New South Wales residents. I am tremendously excited about this project. Once the process is completed, the extended final business case will demonstrate why this is such a great proposal. [Time expired.]

[Business interrupted.]
—————–

[Businessresumed.]

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardFull.aspx#/DateDisplay/HANSARD-1820781676-75903/HANSARD-1820781676-75918

 The Hon. BEN FRANK LIN ( 11:21 ): In the interest of full disclosure I inform the House that I am a member of the committee inquiring into museums and galleries in New South Wales.
The Hon. Walt Secord: A diligent member.
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN: I acknowledge that interjection. The committee is led by my friend the Hon. Robert Borsak. I do not think I go too far when I say that.
The Hon. Robert Borsak: We are great mates.
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN: We are; I acknowledge that interjection. This inquiry has been valuable in many areas. People do not appreciate the importance of museums and galleries to this State. It was appropriate for an inquiry to be established to examine this issue and to reinforce the importance of these cultural institutions. Excellent recommendations have been made in the interim report. On a personal level I am excited about the committee’s regional focus. Hopefully the committee will make further recommendations. I will move on to the specifics of the motion in a moment. In the broad context of museums and galleries I want to talk briefly about the importance of regional cultural institutions.
Mr David Shoebridge: Point of order: I appreciate the member’s passion for regional galleries but that is not the subject matter of the motion and it is not even generally relevant to the motion. I ask that the member be brought back to the leave of the motion.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): There is no point of order. I encourage the Hon. Ben Franklin to be generally relevant. I am a little concerned as to where the member is going. At the point in time that he is no longer relevant I may stand on his throat!
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN: The inquiry focused on the importance of regional cultural institutions and also the Powerhouse Museum, which is the subject of today’s debate.
The Hon. Robert Brown: Nice segue.
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN: I thank the Hon. Robert Brown. The first matter to which I wish to refer is the importance of having a great cultural institution in Parramatta. Geographically, Sydney covers a large area which includes the entire Sydney Basin. It is important for those who live in the city to have access to world-class cultural institutions. That is what the Minister is doing in moving the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. The committee has heard a great deal of evidence about Parramatta and the importance of locating a great cultural institution there—an issue on which all members agree. This Government can support, promote and build a cultural institution because of its strong economic and financial position, and it is proud to do so. As an aside, Government members can walk and chew gum at the same time.
Because of its strong economic management this Government can focus on a range of policy outcomes and provide services in a number of areas. Sometimes the commentariat would have us believe that if we are supporting a particular policy proposal or piece of infrastructure we cannot support any others, which is fallacious and absurd. I refer to the cost of the business case. The Minister spoke of $10 million. The Minister is correct. It is patently absurd for the Opposition and for others to suggest that this project, which was originally considered in 2014, could be constructed for $10 million. That was always the cost of the business case and that is a perfectly reasonable proposition. Once a business case is received by government it is subject to peer review.
Obviously we want Treasury, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Infrastructure NSW to go through the business case to ensure it reflects appropriate procedures and processes and that the money is spent wisely and effectively. Those assumptions need to be tested and the conclusions need to be challenged. To release a business case before that has happened would be utterly irresponsible of any government. One day those sitting opposite will be in government again.
The Hon. Adam Searle: One day soon.
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN: One day soon if 2030 is soon for the Leader of the Opposition. I look forward to that.
The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: In galactic time terms.
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN: I acknowledge that interjection. That is an appropriate process. This Government was elected by the people of New South Wales to make decisions about the direction of the State and those decisions are made in Cabinet. When a business case is presented to the Government it is examined by all the agencies and it is considered by Cabinet. Cabinet will then make a decision about whether or not to proceed.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I remind Mr David Shoebridge that interjections are disorderly at all times. The debate has been going well until this point.
The Hon. BEN FRANKLIN: That is utterly appropriate because that is how government works. I pick up on the Minister’s point about the potential impact on costs. If a business case like this becomes de rigeur and an accepted form of behaviour, it sends a message to stakeholders in the marketplace that whatever quotes are submitted can be at the level that the Government wants and it will take out competition. It will potentially force the Government to accept quotes that will be significantly higher. That is not good government. The current process is appropriate and that is what the Minister has argued today. Recommendation No. 4 states: That the NSW Government release the full business case for the Powerhouse Museum and all assessed proposals to the committee and the community …The committee’s report was released in December. The Government has six months to respond to the report and those recommendations. Moving this motion today undermines the process of the inquiry because the Government has six months to respond to this issue that we are debating today. Is that how this House will deal with inquiry reports from now on? Will the Government not be given the opportunity to respond? If so, we are not letting the Government govern. Members of the Legislative Council will decide that we do not care. A more appropriate way to deal with this issue is to see if the Government’s response is acceptable and appropriate to the committee and this House. If it is not, then members can take this sort of action. The process we are debating today concerns me.
First, we need a cultural institution in Parramatta, which is the geographical heart of Sydney, which is what the Government is seeking to do. Secondly, the process of keeping a business case confidential at this point is appropriate. It is appropriate in respect of cost and it is the fundamental basis of Cabinet-in-confidence. Thirdly, the Government should be given the appropriate time to respond to the recommendations made by the committee and then action can be considered at that time. Fourthly, regional cultural organisations are extremely valuable and we must ensure that we continue to focus on them. I am proud to acknowledge the leadership of the Hon. Robert Borsak, who, like me, is focusing on that issue. I oppose the motion.
The Hon. SCOTT FARLOW ( 11:33 ): I stand with the Leader of the Government, the Hon. Don Harwin, and the Hon. Ben Franklin to oppose this motion before the House. I too sat on the inquiry into museums and galleries with the Hon. Ben Franklin, the Hon. Shayne Mallard and Mr David Shoebridge and have watched this episode unfold for some time. It is the inquiry that never seems to end. The committee considered museums and galleries across New South Wales but mostly the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum. Government members have been supportive of ensuring that Parramatta, the heart of Western Sydney, has a world‑class cultural institution such as the Powerhouse Museum embedded on the Parramatta River. That has been the consistent position of members on this side of the House. Unlike those opposite, who dabble. Initially they were keen to point out that their position was to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta but, like a weather vane, their position has changed.
Earlier this week the Hon. Don Harwin outlined that Opposition members were wedded to Parramatta, then they were sceptical about Parramatta, and now they are running away from it. The people of Parramatta and Western Sydney are right to question members opposite as to where they stand on the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. I am opposed to this motion because it would completely undermine the process of government in this State, it would undermine the Cabinet process and it would give an unfair advantage to people who are bidding on this project, as the Leader of the Government and the Hon. Ben Franklin outlined. A business case allows the Government to assess its position, which is why it has a longstanding convention to publish only a summary and not a full business case. To publish a business case in full would give an unfair advantage to stakeholders in the marketplace who would see what the Government is prepared to pay for such a project. It would undermine the tendering process, which is objectionable. We know that business cases are relatively fluid. They need review and sometimes require further information.
Asking for the preliminary, final or current versions of the business case—as this motion does—would undermine that process and may lead to a perverse outcome. I am sure that is not the outcome that members opposite expect, but it could be an unintended consequence. This motion is a fishing expedition to undermine the Government’s decision to relocate the Powerhouse Museum. I commend the Leader of the Government, and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Don Harwin, for his stewardship of this project. He has ensured a balance—ensuring a cultural environment is retained at the Ultimo site while investing in a new world-class facility at Parramatta. It is exciting visiting Parramatta, the cultural heart of Western Sydney, and seeing Riverside Theatres on the riverbanks and what will be the Powerhouse Museum in the future.
I do not speak on this motion as someone who has a passing interest in the Powerhouse Museum. I am a member and regular attendee of the Powerhouse Museum and my children love it and its exhibitions. I take this matter seriously. The Powerhouse Museum has a wonderful collection, including the Boulton and Watt steam engine, the Catalina, the No. 1 steam engine—
The Hon. Greg Donnelly: Dick Smith’s helicopter.
The Hon. SCOTT FARLOW: Yes, the helicopter, and the solar car. One of the objectives of the Government relocating the Powerhouse Museum is its ability to display more of those pieces, which is currently hampered by the current configuration of the museum. The inquiry has heard from the museum’s curators and director that there are difficulties managing the collection in that space. A purpose-built facility can take those wonderful treasures into consideration and better accommodate them. I do not like to look south too often, but I was inspired by Victoria and what can be done with a purpose-built facility and modern technology. The inquiry into museums and galleries heard that modern technology is changing the nature of museums and our experience when visiting them.
I recently visited the Sydney Jewish Museum and saw its renovations. Some of the works that have been done are quite astounding. The museum is using modern technology to increase experiences and improve understanding and learning. While it is not a State Government cultural institution, is one we can learn from. Recently I was at the Australian Museum and saw its new long gallery and media walls. A brave new world of museums is coming and no doubt the site at Parramatta, and the new Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta, will deliver some of these great innovations. The Government is intent on making sure that Western Sydney and its cultural heart, Parramatta on the river banks, has a world-class cultural institution—and that is the Powerhouse Museum.
This process has gone on for some time. The Government rightly wants to do its homework in relation to this issue. The businesses cases have been prepared to ensure that the Government is informed of all of the challenges and opportunities that exist. Business case documents are very live and are not set in stone. They include certain things to inform Cabinet so that it comes to the right decision in relation to projects as important as the Powerhouse Museum and as important as its collections. This project is looking at balancing the old with the new. I think all members of this Chamber would say that the current car park at Parramatta—the old David Jones car park—is not necessarily optimal for that site and to imagine the brave new world with a Powerhouse Museum there is very encouraging.
The Powerhouse Museum was chosen for relocation to Western Sydney because after analysis it was decided it was the most suitable of our cultural institution in this State to be relocated. It is a cultural institution that is well frequented by those who live in the geographic heart of Sydney, Western Sydney and Parramatta, and school groups and the like. This cultural institution is skewed to a younger audience and families, and there is no better place for it than in the heart of Western Sydney in Parramatta to revitalise that precinct. The precinct is already well served by Eat Street, which runs along Church Street in Parramatta, by the Riverside Theatres across the river banks and Parramatta Park, that wonderful lung for Western Sydney and Parramatta. Of course, just down the road is a new Parramatta stadium as well.
A lot is happening in Parramatta and this Government is very focused on it. This area will also have light rail. The new Western Sydney Metro, with stops at Parramatta and Westmead, has been announced. A lot is happening in Parramatta and the Powerhouse Museum will be the pièce de résistance when it comes to the cultural heart of Western Sydney. It is a fantastic cultural institution.
Mr Scot MacDonald: Labor don’t like Western Sydney.
The Hon. SCOTT FARLOW: I note that interjection from Mr Scot MacDonald, who commented on the views of Opposition members when it comes to Western Sydney. So much is happening in Parramatta, which is represented by the fantastic member for Parramatta, Dr Geoff Lee—
The Hon. Walt Secord: Point of order: My point of order goes to relevance. We have been very tolerant during this filibustering. The Hon. Scott Farlow is now talking about Parramatta, the member for Parramatta and not about the business case or the motion before the House. Talking about the member for Parramatta bears no relevance to the debate.
The Hon. Shayne Mallard: To the point of order: The member for Parramatta is a strong advocate for this issue. It is relevant to hear the views of the member for Parramatta on the relocation of the museum.
The Hon. Walt Secord: To the point of order: The Hon. Scott Farlow was talking about the so-called attributes of the member for Parramatta, which bear no relation to the matter before the House.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I was speaking to the Government Whip about another matter and I was not concentrating on the debate. The Hon. Scott Farlow should try to be generally relevant. I am sympathetic to the observations of the Hon. Walt Secord, to be frank.
The Hon. SCOTT FARLOW: I understand that the member for Parramatta, and all of his wonderful attributes, may not necessarily be relevant to this motion. I will return to the business case. I am sure the member for Parramatta, Dr Geoff Lee, would concur that this is a vital project and one that needs to be considered appropriately by government. However, having the business case thrown to the upper House would not be advantageous to get the best value for taxpayers in New South Wales. The Hon. Ben Franklin referred to a recommendation of the committee to be able to produce the business cases. The Government has six months to respond. We, of course, noted that during that process several business cases—the preliminary and the final—were prepared by different organisations. I think KPMG, or one of the big fours, was involved in providing it. I always get KPMG and Ernst and Young mixed up. I think that both sides of the Chamber might use the big four consultancy firms when it comes to preparing businesses cases for government.
The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: For them its the CFMEU, AWU, TWU—
The Hon. SCOTT FARLOW: I note that interjection. We would not want to do anything to undermine what will be an absolute fantastic cultural institution for the people of Western Sydney in Parramatta. I move:
That the motion be amended by omitting the words “and final or current versions of the” in paragraph (a).
Paragraph (a) wold read:
(a)the preliminary business case for the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta, and
The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS ( 11:46 ): The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences is a wonderful institution. Some of my earliest memories as a boy are those of going down to the old red brick building at Ultimo and seeing the working model of the stump jump plough, a perspective of a streetscape and how lights affected the play of view with respect to light and dark colours, oncoming traffic and pedestrians. My favourite, though most futile exercise, was playing noughts and crosses against, of all things, a computer in the 1970s. Let me tell you, it was very exciting for a young lad to be able to play against a computer. These days the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences incorporates a range of things. It is not only the Powerhouse Museum, but it is also Sydney Observatory. The core of it is the original Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
The original idea goes back to the 1870s, stemming essentially out of the great exhibition that was held in Sydney and the way that various imperial industries had come to Australia, brought their products with them, and rather than return them had left them here. The Board of Trustees of the Australian Museum decided to create a technical and industrial museum, something that could showcase the great modern mechanical sanitary inventions which might be able to inform the colony, as it then was, of New South Wales. Hence, it became known as the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum of New South Wales.
As I said, it was originally designed for the Garden Palace. I am sure all members are cognisant of the regrettable thing that happened to that magnificent institution, including the loss of numerous colonial records relating to convicts, musters and returns for the colony. That has been a tragedy for New South Wales genealogists ever since. It has occasionally been suggested that some of the more senior members of the colony wished to wilfully hide their convict antecedents. Nevertheless, the museum was moved around until it was eventually given a home in Ultimo thanks to Joseph Carruthers, whose name I mention for the benefit of the Leader of the Opposition. He was a prime mover behind the museum being set up in Ultimo.
As Minister for Public Instruction, Joseph Carruthers had big plans for the creation of Ultimo Technical College, of which the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences as it later became known was a constituent part. It is interesting to note its location: halfway between the central business district and the University of Sydney on greenfield land that would be used to create a new technical college. It is now called Sydney TAFE and has been producing great students for almost a century and a half.
People have asked why we are thinking of moving the museum to Western Sydney. I will refer to some of the earliest documentation we have on technological museums and instruction. Professor Liversidge travelled through Europe and conducted a survey not of historical museums but of various modern museums of technology and science. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald as early as 29 September 1880, his chief recommendation was that the museum in Sydney should be a central one—by which he meant it should be not merely intellectually centred but also geographically centred. He went on to say:
The central museum should, as occasion offered, extend its influence to the country districts by the loan of exhibits, either to local museums, or any local exhibitions started by Mechanics’ Schools of Arts and other institutions of the kind.
That is a nice bit of serendipity. I give a shout-out to the visitors from the Mechanics’ Schools of Arts who were here earlier today. They were included in the original vision for a science and technology museum. Professor Liversidge makes the clear point that the museum has to be a central one. These days centre of Sydney is not Ultimo. It might be the intellectual centre of The Greens, but it is no longer the geographic and population centre of Sydney. On 22 October the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the opinion of the Australian Museum board of directors about the creation of a new museum. The article reads:
This new museum should, they think, be a grand central one for a whole colony, and others should be established in country districts as its branches, which should have the use of specimens from the head institute, when any were necessary for illustrating lectures.
There we have it. From its earliest conception and through all its iterations it was said that the museum should be centrally located. That central location is not Ultimo. If we are serious about what it means to have a centrally located museum we will be required to move it, unsurprisingly, to somewhere that is more centrally located. We are debating this motion today because The Greens are engaged in their own internal petty fights. But why are Labor members supporting The Greens, given that their predisposition has been to accept that moving the museum to Western Sydney will be positive and advantageous? They are willing to have this debate today because Michael Daley has been exposed taking $13,000 in illegal donations and they want to hide it.
The Hon. Walt Secord: Point of order—
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I will call Government members to order if they interject again. The Hon. Walt Secord will not shout at me. What is his point of order?
The Hon. Walt Secord: My point of order is relevance. Political donations are not mentioned in the motion before the House. If the Hon. Dr Peter Phelps wishes to launch an attack on another member he should do so by way of substantive motion.
The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: To the point of order: The motivation for a particular course of action on the part of any political party should be open to question, especially when it contradicts previously given assurances and policy directions. One has to question why this change has taken place.
The Hon. Walt Secord: To the point of order: The matter before the House is clear. This is about obtaining the business case. The Government has bungled the move and lurched from crisis to crisis. It is a dripping roast.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I call the Hon. Walt Secord to order for the first time. He has been repeatedly warned not to use points of order to make debating points.
The Hon. Courtney Houssos: To the point of order: Speakers are given wide latitude in debates. However, a member simply reflecting on something he has read in the newspaper this morning is not directly relevant to the Powerhouse Museum, which is what we are discussing. I ask you to ask him to return to the leave of the motion.
The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane: To the point of order: The former Government Whip knows full well that attacks on the credibility of members should be done by way of substantive motion. He is not only attacking a member’s credibility but also making allegations about corruption. I ask him to withdraw that comment.
The Hon. Scott Farlow: To the point of order: The member was not attacking a member in the other place. Rather, he was talking about the motivation of members in this Chamber for allowing this motion to be brought on for debate today in the fashion in which it was. That is relevant to the motion and the debate.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps is going beyond the leave of the motion. He will direct his attention generally to the matters before the House.
The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: I will correct the Opposition Whip. He referred to me as the former Government Whip. I prefer to be known as the Artist Formerly Known As Whip. It strikes me as passing strange that something that was considered insignificant at midday yesterday has by 9.00 a.m. this morning achieved—
Mr David Shoebridge: Point of order: The Artist Formerly Known As Symbol is flouting your ruling and has returned straight to where he was.
The Hon. Courtney Houssos: To the point of order: The member is discussing the reasons for the motion being debated today. The appropriate time to do that was this morning when we were debating the order of business. The House has voted to debate the motion, and that is what the member’s comments should be restricted to.
The Hon. Dr PETER PHELPS: I absolutely concur. I will restrict myself. There is no need for these papers to be presented at the moment for the reasons that have been clearly outlined by the Minister. Indeed, he has made quite clear the proper procedures undertaken in the creation of business cases and how they fit within the structure of Cabinet considerations of such matters. He has spoken about the probity undertaken in all of these instances. He has spoken also about the peer review that takes place in all of these instances. This is a fishing expedition designed to try to draw attention away from other events of the day, which may or may not have an impact upon the credibility of members opposite and their colleagues in another place This is a stunt. It is a smokescreen. It is smoke and mirrors. It should be opposed.
The Hon. NATALIE WARD ( 12:00 ): I do not support the motion. The need to get the best possible value from spending public money will always remain a constant for those entrusted with spending decisions. Responsible spending has always been the mantra and practice of a Liberal-Nationals Government. The financial mismanagement of 16 years of Labor has sharpened this requirement. The continuing downward pressure on the availability of public sector finance, together with the ever growing upward pressures on demand for public services, will continue to further increase the need to make better use of the resources available. The challenge has never been greater and this Liberal-Nationals Government takes that responsibility very seriously. It does not use it as a political football like some others in this place. In this context it is vital that capital spending decisions are taken on the basis of highly competent, professionally developed spending proposals. That is what we do. We make evidence-based decisions; not reward our mates or entrenched union hack political prospects.
The practice of developing a business case has been refined and tested over many years. It provides a clear framework for thinking about spending proposals and a structured process for appraising, developing and planning to deliver best public value. All of this is captured through a well-prepared process and a commercial business case that supports evidence-based decisions. Policies, strategies, programs and projects will only achieve their spending objectives and deliver benefits if they have been scoped robustly, planned realistically and the associated risks taken into account. The business case, both as a product and a process, provides decision-makers and stakeholders with a management tool for evidence-based and transparent decision-making, and a framework for the delivery, management and performance monitoring of the resultant scheme.
The business case in support of a new policy, new strategy, new program or new project must evince the following: that the intervention is supported by a compelling case for change that provides holistic fit with other parts of the organisation and public sector, otherwise known as the strategic case; that the intervention represents best public value, otherwise known as the economic case; that the proposed deal is attractive to the market place, can be procured and is commercially viable, otherwise known as the commercial case; that the proposed spend is affordable, otherwise known as the financial case—something not very well known to others in this place; and that what is required from all parties is achievable, otherwise known as the management case. For these component parts to produce the best possible outcome, it is imperative that they be subject to commercial-in-confidence arrangements.
A confidentiality agreement is the starting point of almost any sensitive commercial negotiation and assessment. It assists and facilitates the sharing of information with others. It allows the parties to scope and test in a collaborative commercial way. Much like parties to litigation can make use of settlement negotiation rules that allow for them to put and receive or reject offers on a without-prejudice basis—that is, in a confidential and protected environment where it will not be held against them at a later stage—in order to facilitate an opportunity to scope out potential opportunities between parties. Confidentiality agreements and commercial-in-confidence is used in a variety of situations, including during negotiations for the sale of a business. This usually occurs when the vendor lets the prospective buyer conduct due diligence on the business and investigate its financial accounts and other sensitive business data. The prospective buyer does this to decide whether or not to buy the business. It can be done during a partnership or joint venture. The parties considering entering into some sort of alliance, affiliation, partnership, venture or sponsorship relationship will usually reveal certain details about each other’s business as a way of establishing the financial viability of joining forces.
It might also be that the businesses have already become partners and wish to continue to share confidential information with one another, with the security afforded by a confidentiality or commercial-in-confidence agreement. It can be done in the subject area of a concept or idea. It is a common commercial arrangement that sometimes those with a new business idea will approach someone for technical assistance, financial backing, partnership opportunity or some other commercial relationship that requires certain information be disclosed. The party sharing the idea or concept may wish to have the other party assure them of confidentiality in order to ensure their idea is not stolen. It can also be done in employment agreements. Sometimes the employer will wish to protect the confidential information that its employees will come into contact with, both during employment and after the employment has come to an end. There is nothing suspicious or difficult about this; it is accepted common commercial practice. This Government is all about delivering for the people of New South Wales and that is what is being done in this proposal to move the Powerhouse Museum. I do not support the motion.
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) ( 12:06 ): Mr Deputy President, on the amendment of the Hon. Scott Farlow—
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): The Minister is seeking the call to speak to the amendment. He is entitled to do so as long as he restricts his remarks to the amendment. It is within the two hours that is allowed for debate.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: I am not planning to be very extensive in my comments. The Hon. Scott Farlow has moved an amendment to paragraph (a) of the motion in relation to the scope of the order for the production of versions—
Mr David Shoebridge: Point of order: I do not in any way question the Chair’s ruling that a member can speak twice, but in Standing Order 187 (1) (b) there is an absolute time limit of 10 minutes. The Minister has already consumed his 10 minutes.
The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: That only relates to bills.
Mr David Shoebridge: Further to the point of order: I note the observation of the Hon. Dr Peter Phelps. The appropriate rule is Standing Order 186 (2) (b), which refers to a time limit of 20 minutes. I think the Minister spoke for 20 minutes.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: I did not. I spoke for 15 minutes.
The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane: You spoke for the full allocation.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: I spoke for the full allocation, but not for 20 minutes.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I have taken advi c e from the Clerk. I am advised that where a member is speaking to the amendment that rule does not apply. The Minister has the call.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: As I was saying in relation to Mr Shoebridge’s motion, paragraph (a) concerning the scope of the order talks about “the preliminary and final or current versions of the business case”. Mr Farlow’s amendment seeks to take out the words “and final or current versions”. I support this amendment because I have a particular concern that the wording of the motion is particularly vague and uncertain and will cause quite a bit of difficulty for the agencies that are named in the motion to determine what it means.
The Hon. Natalie Ward: What are they supposed to produce?
The Hon. DON HARWIN: It is unclear. I am also concerned, therefore, that seven days is not nearly long enough to be able to comply with the order because I suspect that legal advice will be required so that we can work out exactly what the scope is. Personally, I find “and final or current versions” troubling. It was not addressed by Mr David Shoebridge in his remarks earlier. Perhaps it will be adequately responded to in his right of reply, in which case the House will form its own judgement on the amendment. I believe that the amendment moved by the Hon. Scott Farlow is appropriate because if we are going to have seven days as the term of the order we should have something that is clear. We know that the preliminary business case for the relocation is a document that can be produced, but what “final or current” means is not clear to me. Therefore, I believe it is appropriate to pass the amendment.
The Hon. WES FANG ( 12:11 ): I make a contribution to debate on this motion. The documents requested have been prepared specifically at the request of the Government for the purpose of assisting and informing Cabinet’s consideration and decision. The confidentiality of Cabinet material is a fundamental principle of the Westminster system. Undermining that Cabinet confidentiality—
[Interruption]
The Hon. Don Harwin: Point of order: The honourable member is now facing a barrage of interjections from a member who has literally just walked into the Chamber and has not done any of us the courtesy—
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: I can turn on the tele, you know.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: —of listening to all the other contributions.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I call the Hon. Penny Sharpe to order for the first time. Interjections when a point of order is being taken have clearly been highlighted as being most unsatisfactory. I agree with the Minister. Opposition members are not to engage in barracking whilst the member is speaking.
The Hon. WES FANG: The confidentiality of Cabinet material is a fundamental principle of the Westminster system. Undermining that confidentiality by seeking the production of documents prepared for the purpose of assisting the Cabinet in decision-making undermines democracy and it undermines the Westminster system—the very system under which this Chamber was formed.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I call Mr David Shoebridge to order for the first time.
The Hon. WES FANG: For those fundamental reasons of supporting the Westminster system and of supporting the Cabinet system of government that this Government operates, and operates well, we oppose this motion today. We had bipartisan support for the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum, but suddenly that support seems to have evaporated on the other side of the House. We had bipartisan support because of our great support of Western Sydney. Western Sydney is now the geographic centre of Sydney.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I call the Hon. Daniel Mookhey to order for the first time. I am sure all members want to vote on this motion. It would seem to me to be highly foolish for members to put themselves in a position where their side of the House may lose numbers. I encourage members to either leave the Chamber or to remain and have the courtesy of allowing the member to speak.
The Hon. WES FANG: There was support for Western Sydney, and that support has not evaporated on this side of the House. We support Western Sydney, we support New South Wales, we support rural and regional New South Wales, and we support the arts.
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: Point of order: I have listened carefully to the honourable member’s contribution to this debate. He is straying well outside relevance when it comes to speaking about an order for papers in relation to the Powerhouse Museum. I ask you to call him back to discussing the motion before the House.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I uphold the point of order.
The Hon. WES FANG: The call for the business case to be released can only lead to a number of things, particularly—
The Hon. Don Harwin: Point of order: There have been a string of interjections from Mr David Shoebridge. He is the mover of this motion but he is not giving honourable members the courtesy of making a contribution. It is unacceptable.
The Hon. Walt Secord: To the point of order: That is absolutely untrue. There were no interjections and a review of the tape will show there were no interjections. The Minister does himself no service picking up phantom interjections.
The Hon. Don Harwin: Further to the point of order: I would be very happy for the Hon. Walt Secord to review the tape because there absolutely was an interjection.
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: To the point of order: As someone who interjects frequently and gets in trouble for it in this place I am pretty good at knowing what an interjection is and knowing whether there has been one. There was some noise coming from us but it was not an interjection.
Mr David Shoebridge: To the point of order: I accept that I quietly said the word “transparency”, but I did not intend that to be an interjection.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I accept that Mr David Shoebridge is being of assistance with his last observation. We are all alive to where we are in this debate. I will not do anything more about the matter at this stage.
The Hon. WES FANG: As previous speakers in this debate have already highlighted, if this business case is released it has the potential to damage the value for money that we could get in any tendering process. It will drive the price of tenders to what is reflected in the business case. The Government wants to ensure that it gets value for money in all projects that support the arts and culture and it is vitally important that the taxpayers of New South Wales see that reflected in this place.
I was very fortunate to attend one of the cultural infrastructure workshops in Wagga Wagga at the start of the year.
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: Point of order: My point of order is relevance.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I uphold the point of order.
The Hon. WES FANG: What was discussed at that cultural infrastructure workshop is relevant.
The Hon. Courtney Houssos: Point of order: Mr Deputy President, you clearly made a ruling stating that reference to Wagga Wagga was out of order. The Hon. Wes Fang then returned immediately to the same subject matter. I ask that you call him to order or he returns to the subject matter.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I am not going to give him a choice. I will not call the Hon. Wes Fang to order but I direct the member to be relevant. If he does it again I will then call him to order. I welcome to the public gallery students from high schools across New South Wales who are attending the Student Leadership Program conducted by the Parliamentary Education Office. We are in the midst of a debate over whether the Government should produce some documents to the House relating to the Powerhouse Museum, which is currently at Ultimo and may move to Parramatta, not Wagga Wagga. I am sure the Hon. Wes Fang will note that as he proceeds to make his contribution.
The Hon. WES FANG: The business case, if released, will no doubt affect the value for money this Government can achieve with the project. That is of great concern to me and should be of great concern to members opposite but does not seem to be. Opposition members seem to have withdrawn their support for Western Sydney, the arts and value for money for the New South Wales taxpayer and that is of great concern. They would see us pay well above what may be able to be achieved through a competitive tender process because of political pointscoring. That is appalling. It demonstrates their lack of financial skills and knowledge of good governance. Indeed, it shows they are not ready to govern. Government members want to ensure that New South Wales taxpayers receive good value for money, and that means having a competitive tender process that enables companies to bid in a way that delivers value for money. Releasing the business case prematurely will damage that process. The Liberal-Nationals Government will always ensure value for money for the taxpayer. We support Western Sydney, we support the arts—
The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane: And Wagga Wagga.
The Hon. WES FANG: And Wagga Wagga, but I return to the motion. I expand on points raised by the Minister in response to an amendment. I move: That the motion be amended by omitting “7 days” and inserting instead “21 days”.
The Hon. NATASHA MACLAREN-JONES ( 12:23 ): I move:
According to sessional order:
(a)That the time for debate on this motion be extended for one hour.
(b)That the member speaking prior to the interruption of debate be permitted to complete his or her contribution in his or her time remaining.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I make the observation that the question on the extension of time is to be decided without debate so I put the motion now. The motion is that according to sessional order (a) that the time for debate on the motion be extended for one hour and (b) that the member speaking prior to the interruption of debate be permitted to complete his or her contribution in his or her time remaining.
Ayes19
Noes18
Majority1

AYES
Amato, Mr L
Blair, Mr N
Clarke, Mr D
Colless, Mr R
Cusack, Ms C
Fang, Mr W
Farlow, Mr S
Franklin, Mr B (teller)
Green, Mr P
Harwin, Mr D
MacDonald, Mr S
Maclaren-Jones, Ms N (teller)
Martin, Mr T
Mason-Cox, Mr M
Mitchell, Ms S
Nile, Reverend F
Phelps, Dr P
Taylor, Ms B
Ward, Ms P

NOES
Borsak, Mr R
Brown, Mr R
Buckingham, Mr J
Donnelly, Mr G (teller)
Faruqi, Dr M
Field, Mr J
Graham, Mr J
Houssos, Ms C
Mookhey, Mr D
Moselmane, Mr S (teller)
Pearson, Mr M
Primrose, Mr P
Searle, Mr A
Secord, Mr W
Shoebridge, Mr D
Walker, Ms D
Wong, Mr E

PAIRS
Khan, Mr T
Veitch, Mr M
Mallard, Mr S
Voltz, Ms L

Motion agreed to.

The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD ( 12:33 ): I thank the House for agreeing to the extension of time so I may contribute to this debate. As a member of the upper House inquiry into the Powerhouse Museum relocation I am keen to make a contribution. I oppose this motion. Other members have outlined the arguments around the confidentiality of Cabinet processes and its importance for functioning democratic Westminster-style government. Cabinet must operate with the knowledge that its processes are confidential and that any of its dealings with the commercial sector will not be undermined by the premature or inappropriate release of business case documents. I am disappointed that there is a need to debate this issue today; I was looking forward to debating the incinerator proposal.
The Hon. Don Harwin: Point of order: The Hon. Shayne Mallard is struggling to continue because of interjections by the Hon. Penny Sharpe. I ask that the member be called to order. It is not the first time the member has interjected while members were speaking.
The PRESIDENT: I am well aware of the situation. I indicate to the Hon. Penny Sharpe, and all other members, that I will start calling members to order if further interjections occur.
The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: It is disappointing to be standing here debating this motion.
The Hon. Daniel Mookhey: Point of order: The honourable member is reflecting on a decision of the House to proceed with this debate.
The Hon. Don Harwin: To the point of order: There has been no decision on this motion; there is a debate. It is not possible to uphold the point of order.
The Hon. Daniel Mookhey: Further to the point of order: The decision upon which the member is reflecting is the procedural decision the House made to prioritise this debate ahead of the Western Sydney incinerator debate which, in my recollection we had a division on, which was recorded and could count as a decision of the House.
The Hon. Don Harwin: I withdraw my point of order.
The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: To the point of order: I have been speaking for just over one minute. If I am allowed to continue, the context of my speech will become clear.
The PRESIDENT: It is early stages of his contribution, but I remind the honourable member that the debate is on the substantive matter of the motion. I ask the member to proceed accordingly.
The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: It is a disgrace that The Greens and the Labor Party are using this process to call for papers regarding the Powerhouse Museum to play politics with the Powerhouse Museum, the arts community and Western Sydney. This motion undermines a sound Cabinet process that is underway to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney. I strongly support its relocation and did so before I was elected to this Chamber.
The case for the relocation is irrefutable. It is not a thought bubble by former Premier Mike Baird prior to the 2015 election, as suggested by a previous speaker. I was an adviser to the mayor of Liverpool for two years prior to my election to this place, and I was involved with representing council in the Deloitte-commissioned report into building Western Sydney’s cultural arts economy. That report was released around the same time as the cultural infrastructure study. The Deloitte study has been tabled in the upper House inquiry, and I commend it to members. The report was financed by Liverpool, Penrith and Parramatta councils, and they endorsed its recommendations. It has been said that there was no consultation with Western Sydney, but I believe those three councils represent a large part of Western Sydney. I will mention a few matters from the report. David Borger is well known to those opposite.
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: Point of order: There has been a lot of discussion about what motion is before the House. This is a call for papers in relation to the Powerhouse Museum. It is not an opportunity for members to wax lyrical as they try to filibuster in this debate. My point of order is relevance: Members must confine their comments to the leave of the motion.
The Hon. Don Harwin: To the point of order: Comments such as “thought bubble” and “cooked up” have been made by members of the Opposition right through this debate. Members of the Government are entitled to reply to debating points made by people advancing arguments for the motion, and that is exactly what the Hon. Shayne Mallard is doing. The honourable member is making remarks demonstrating that this was not, as the Hon. Walt Secord tried to say, a mere thought bubble.
Mr David Shoebridge: To the point of order: A member saying they are responding to earlier contributions does not make a matter generally relevant. There is an overriding obligation to be generally relevant, and whether or not it is a response is irrelevant to that.
The PRESIDENT: As members are aware, a wide latitude is allowed in debates of this nature. At the same time when one side of an argument presents certain matters it is generally relevant for the other side to respond to those matters as to whether they agree or disagree with them and the reason for it. However, I am well aware of what the Hon. Penny Sharpe has said. I indicate to the Hon. Shayne Mallard that wide latitude is permitted but there should be a nexus to the motion that is before the House.
The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: The nexus is the argument that in some way the Government’s decision to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney is irresponsible, invalid or not substantiated by solid facts, which is factually wrong. I outlined my involvement with the Deloitte Economics report. I will cite some of Deloitte’s findings to demonstrate that the Government is acting upon a very solid foundation regarding the relocation. Mr David Borger, the Director of the Western Sydney Business Chamber, gave evidence to the upper House inquiry. He is also a former Minister in a Labor Government, and both sides of the Chamber would agree that he is a great ambassador for Western Sydney. In the introduction of the report Mr Borger states:
It’s time the two million residents and 150,000 businesses of Western Sydney were given the opportunity to develop their talents and experience cultural assets closer to home.
Our report shows investing in Western Sydney’s cultural arts economy is a good long term business and social investment, to ensure Western Sydney is a place where people can live, work and socialise.
The report makes an observation about government funding in Western Sydney today. Ten per cent of Australia’s population and 30 per cent of the New South Wales population live in Western Sydney. It is the third largest economy in Australia, but it does not have a major arts institution. There are worthy regional art institutions at Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith, but Western Sydney does not have a State significant arts institution. Western Sydney gets 1 per cent of Commonwealth Government arts funding.[Debate interrupted.]

—————————

 POWERHOUSE MUSEUM RELOCATION
Production of Documents: Order
https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardFull.aspx#/DateDisplay/HANSARD-1820781676-75903/HANSARD-1820781676-75920

The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD ( 12:43 ): Welcome; I am currently reading the biography of General Monash. Only 5.5 per cent of the New South Wales Government’s cultural arts funding since 2013-14 goes to Western Sydney, which is a disgrace. I am from Western Sydney—I was born at Nepean Hospital—and I think it is disgrace that more resources are not going into Western Sydney. Why are those opposite undermining the Government’s investment in Western Sydney and the arts? The Deloitte report, endorsed by the three councils representing probably 250,000, 300,000 or more people, has several recommendations. It is important that we observe recommendation 3, which is to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney. That report was issued long before former Premier Mike Baird announced it as an election policy. The report says:
That the relocation involves the full sale proceeds of the existing Powerhouse site in Eastern Sydney being quarantined to establish the new Museum in Western Sydney—with any surpluses used to fund future Powerhouse Museum programs in Western Sydney.
We also recommend that the new Powerhouse Museum include establishing formal links with the University of Western Sydney, the local Cultural Arts industry and existing cultural venues.
That report’s recommendation to relocate the Powerhouse Museum predates anything the Government announced in the election. In fact, that announcement was probably plagiarised! I was a student of public education in Western Sydney, which is one of the reasons I became involved in the inquiry—the Deloitte inquiry, not the upper House inquiry, although it is a probably follow-on. A student in Western Sydney at one of the 22 public schools in the Liverpool local government area, for example, is lucky to get one trip into the city to a cultural institution in their whole school career. I recall two trips to the city in my school life, the first to the museum, which is next to Sydney Grammar School, and the second to the zoo. A trip to a State cultural institution can be a life-changing experience for a student. It can open their eyes to some great opportunities. I congratulate Western Sydney on filling the gap. In my time at Liverpool City Council I was very impressed by the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre—
The Hon. Daniel Mookhey: Point of order..
The PRESIDENT: I ask the Hon. Daniel Mookhey to go to the lectern. I cannot hear him because of the continued interjections from Government members.
The Hon. Daniel Mookhey: My point of order is relevance. The motion before the House is a call for papers. Whilst aspects of the contribution of the Hon. Shayne Mallard have been generally relevant—with an emphasis on “general” not “relevant”—referring to the Casula Powerhouse is straying well beyond the terms of the debate.
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Shayne Mallard has set up a sufficient foundation, but I ask him to direct his comments to the substantive part of the motion.
The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: There has been a lot of talk about consultation with Western Sydney and the committee visiting Western Sydney on the museum relocation matter. I note that the committee inquiry never met at Parramatta Leagues Club and took evidence from the community of Penrith or Liverpool. The committee met in the refined atmosphere of Parliament House. We went to Katoomba to investigate regional issues separately. The Powerhouse issue was not dealt with at Parramatta, but here in Parliament House. I am notsure why.
Mr David Shoebridge: You went to the car park.
The Hon. SHAYNE MALLARD: The trip to the car park was not official. I put that on the record.
Mr David Shoebridge: The committee went to Parramatta, you said that, but now you are—
The Hon . SHAYNE MALLARD: No, I am not going to entertain a debate. The election promise of 2015 is based very soundly on community support. We received submissions from various organisations. I have referred to the Deloitte report that was tabled by Mr Borger. I refer to the Western Sydney Arts Cultural Lobby and its submission No. 36 to the inquiry. For the benefit of members, the lobby is a group of artists, art workers and arts workers established in 2014. It met at Fairfield Arts Centre with the purpose of investigating collective thinking across the arts in Western Sydney.
It has an agenda of securing fair and equitable arts funding for those in Western Sydney, ensuring it is at the table and developing a identity for Western Sydney in the representation of the arts. It made a submission to the committee in 2016 regarding the inquiry’s terms of reference. Term of reference 1 (d) states:
access to the collections of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, the Australian Museum and any other state collections held in trust for the people of New South Wales, and programs that promote physical and online access.
Its recommendation was:
Decentralising the New South Wales Cultural Institution collections such as—

[Time expired.]

Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE ( 12:49 ): Other members, and the Hon. Wes Fang in particular, have made a strong case as to the value of the business plan to commercial development companies, which use it to try to work out how they can keep their tenders for the project as low as possible. It is important that this document is confidential, so that the Government will have a fair opportunity to get the lowest price in the quotes from those companies. It is very important that nothing is done to sabotage the future of the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, but I sense an undercurrent of that in this debate. I have had many submissions from people who do not want the Powerhouse Museum moved to Parramatta, and they are doing all they can to lobby members to achieve that.
I am pleased that the Government has held strongly to its plan for the future of the Powerhouse Museum. On 11 April 2016 the Government issued this statement:
The NSW Government has chosen a site on the banks of the Parramatta River as the preferred location for Parramatta’s new Powerhouse Museum.
That statement was made by the then Premier, Mike Baird, and the then Deputy Premier, Troy Grant. Mr Baird said the Powerhouse Museum’s relocation to Parramatta meant that for the first time one of the State’s five major cultural institutions will be in Western Sydney. As someone who grew up in Western Sydney, in Revesby, I know that culturally it is a desert with a lack of facilities. That is why this is so important. As Mr Baird stated:
Locating the Powerhouse at Parramatta will ensure Western Sydney has a new, world-class cultural institution that will be a major drawcard for local and international visitors.
Mr Baird went on to say:
The site on the banks of the Parramatta River is the ideal location for the new Powerhouse Museum, which will serve as an anchor for a new arts and cultural precinct.
That is why we do not want to see anything done, deliberately or accidentally, by members of this House or parties in this House that could damage the whole proposal in the long term. In the foreword of the first report of the committee, the Chair, the Hon. Robert Borsak, said:
The committee has also recommended that the business case consider the establishment of a Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences satellite site in Western Sydney, and that the government consider investing in a cultural precinct proposal for Western Sydney …
Recommendation 6 of the report states:
That the business case prepared by the NSW Government consider establishing a Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences satellite site in Western Sydney.
Recommendation 7 states:
That the NSW Government consider investing in a cultural precinct proposal for Western Sydney, such as a migration museum or cultural centre, to be identified during a community consultation process.
The Christian Democratic Party supports the provision of a high-quality educational museum located in that area, which will be accessible by public transport and to schoolchildren from the western suburbs. We oppose the attempts to undermine the project, and we support the project going ahead as rapidly as possible.
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the A rts) (12:54 ): I speak on the amendment moved by the Hon. Wes Fang. At the end of the honourable member’s speech, he mentioned my contribution on the amendment of the Hon. Scott Farlow. That contribution was about the lack of clarity in the section of the motion that contains the words “and final or current versions”, which will create confusion and make things difficult in the short term. That is why I have suggested it should be removed.
The Hon. Daniel Mookhey: Point of order: The amendment moved by the Hon. Wes Fang was to alter the dates from seven days to 21 days. It had no effect whatsoever on what the Minister is currently describing.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: To the point of order: If the honourable member had waited just one more minute I was about to say why his amendment cures the problem that I raised earlier and was therefore completely relevant.
The PRESIDENT: The Minister has the call. There is no point of order.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: As I was saying, I had identified a problem with the motion which has also been picked up by the Hon. Scott Farlow. I am saying is that the amendment moved by the Hon. Wes Fang perhaps gives another option. If it is not minded to take out the words, as the Hon. Scott Farlow suggested, then we should consider the amendment of the Hon. Wes Fang and look to changing the date from seven days to 21 days. That would be a more appropriate way to go.
I cite Report No. 69 of October 2013 of the Privileges Committee of the Legislative Council entitled “The 2009 Mt Penny return to order.” On page xv, the second recommendation is:
That members of the Legislative Council and the Clerk, in drafting orders for papers, adopt 21 days as the default period for returning documents to an order of the House, while allowing that there will be circumstances in which a much tighter timeframe is appropriate.
I suggest that the flexibility of 21 days is appropriate. Therefore, in concluding my remarks, I suggest that the Hon. Wes Fang’s amendment should be supported if the Hon. Scott Farlow’s amendment is not agreed to. Mr President, I note the time, and I suggest that you do now leave the chair and cause the bells to be rung at 2.30 p.m.
Mr David Shoebridge: Point of order: It is not yet 1:00 p.m., so it is out of order for the Leader of the Government to suggest that you do now leave the Chair.
The Hon. DON HARWIN: To the point of order: There is no requirement that we take lunch at 1:00 p.m. The Leader of the Government may suggest it earlier. I am making the suggestion simply because there are only two minutes till the traditional lunchtime of 1:00 p.m., and that is not enough time for a member to make a full contribution.The Hon. Daniel Mookhey: To the point of order: The Leader of the Government said he did suggest it to the Chair, which means it is at the Chair’s discretion as to whether the suggestion should be followed. It is the convention and practice that the Chair does not take that suggestion until 1:00 p.m.
The PRESIDENT: It is 55 seconds from 1:00 p.m., and I intend to exercise the discretion of the Chair. I will now leave the chair. The House will resume at 2.30 p.m.

———————————

Debate resumed from an earlier hour.

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardFull.aspx#/DateDisplay/HANSARD-1820781676-75903/HANSARD-1820781676-75942

The Hon. MARK PEARSON ( 15:35 ): I move:
That the motion be amended by:
(a)omitting “seven days” and inserting instead “14 days”
(b)omitting “or current versions of the” in paragraph (a)
The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK ( 15:36 ): This motion by The Greens is being supported by people who are opposed to relocating the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney. I will direct my remarks to the motives behind the call for papers that seeks information to smear the Government’s case to relocate Powerhouse Museum from the central business district to Parramatta. I will explain why the people of Western Sydney deserve the opportunity to have a first-class, iconic cultural institution. Last year was the seventy-fifth anniversary of Robert Menzies’ famous Forgotten People speech in which he pledged that the best efforts of the Liberal Party would be in the service of those good citizens who had fallen off the radar. Menzies described them as the “forgotten people” and said:
They are for the most part unorganised and unself-conscious. They are envied by those whose benefits are largely obtained by taxing them. They are not rich enough to have individual power. They are taken for granted by each political party in turn.
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: Point of order: I have taken points of order on relevance several times during this debate. The motion relates to a call for papers. The member is well outside being relevant to the motion.
The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK: To the point of order: I am seeking to characterise the people of Western Sydney as the forgotten people who deserve access to this facility. This call for papers is quite deliberately seeking to undermine that access and will be used to try to somehow sabotage the transfer of the facility. That is why it is important to talk about the people who will benefit from its relocation. Given that efforts to undermine the relocation are driving the motion, it is essential that I be allowed to talk about it.
The Hon. Adam Searle: To the point of order: The motion calls for papers. The honourable member’s explanation about why she is seeking to make these comments only reinforces the Hon. Penny Sharpe’s point of order. The member is not being relevant to the call for papers.
The Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones: To the point of order: I reiterate that earlier today wide latitude was given on some of the contributions to this debate. I suggest that the member is being generally relevant.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I did not hear what the Hon. Catherine Cusack said. The Hon. Walt Secord had approached me to advise of a certain course of action and I was busily looking at the standing orders. In this debate members have been given a fairly wide latitude. That will continue but I remind members that the motion before the House concerns a call for papers.
The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK: In 1942 when Sir Robert Menzies spoke about the “forgotten people”, Parramatta and Western Sydney as we know it today did not exist. Western Sydney has been transformed. It now has a population of two million Australians, it is the third-largest economy in the nation and boasts more than 240,000 local businesses. The people in the area epitomise those referred to by Sir Robert Menzies as the “forgotten people”. For decades the people of Western Sydney, which was once a Labor stronghold, were forgotten—as were the people of Newcastle, the Hunter and the Illawarra. Labor neglects and forgets its heartland. Indeed, it was a breath of fresh air when the Liberal governments elected in 1988 and 2011 stood up for the forgotten people of Western Sydney. We have done more than any other government to try to address the inequity that has been allowed to accumulate over decades not only in cultural institutions but also in health, transport and educational services.
A Labor Government established the Powerhouse Museum and I pay tribute to former Premier Neville Wran for his vision for the arts. But the Powerhouse Museum was established in the Sydney central business district [CBD], not in Western Sydney. This further locked in cultural inequity, and that is also true of health, transport and education inequity. I will give an example of one initiative taken by the Greiner Government in 1988 to relocate infrastructure from the Sydney CBD to Western Sydney and why that was so important. Back then it was particularly hard because we were having the Paul Keating “recession that we had to have”. The Children’s Hospital at Camperdown was relocated to Westmead and the Labor Party kicked, screamed and frothed at the mouth. Labor fought us every step of the way on that project. We not only established Australia’s best state-of-the-art paediatric hospital at Westmead but—
The Hon. Daniel Mookhey: Point of order: My point of order is relevance. The relocation of the Children’s Hospital from Camperdown by the Greiner Government in 1998  may well be stretching the ruling of the Chair of “wide latitude”.
The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK: To the point of order: I am making a direct point about the relocation of infrastructure from the Sydney CBD to Parramatta and why that is so important.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I accept that is within the bounds of wide latitude, but the relocation of the Children’s Hospital at Camperdown in 1988 falls outside the concept of wide latitude. I uphold the point of order.
The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK: This debate is not really about transparency or business cases and, as previous speakers have said, neither I nor my colleagues wish to be lectured by the Labor Party, much less The Greens, on prudent financial management. The Labor Party left our city in an absolute mess and it utterly neglected Western Sydney, particularly in the cultural space.
The Hon. Penny Sharpe: Point of order: The member is flouting the Chair’s ruling—namely, this debate should be about an order for papers and the Powerhouse Museum, not a long diatribe about what Labor may or may not have done in the past.
The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: To the point of order: Part of the Government’s case is that the precipitous and early release of papers that are used in Cabinet considerations could lead in future to other projects not being able to go ahead. Speaking broadly about the ramifications this order for papers today could have on future infrastructure projects in Western Sydney is directly relevant to the issue, which was raised by the Leader of the Government in his original contribution. The issue is the possible consequences for future projects. The Hon. Catherine Cusack was broadly within the terms of the debate by talking about what can happen if a precipitous release of documents were to lead to a situation where, as in the past, Western Sydney infrastructure needs have become neglected.
The Hon. Adam Searle: To the point of order: This is not a second reading debate. The same width of latitude is not to be given in this sort of debate as in second reading debates. The Hon. Catherine Cusack is stretching the bounds further. This debate has been taking place in this House for the whole day and the Government members have amply made the point the Hon. Dr Peter Phelps referred to. There is no stifling of debate here but the Hon. Catherine Cusack is stretching the bounds of relevance. She should be called back to the ambit of the motion before the House.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I do not believe the Hon. Catherine Cusack was flouting my earlier ruling. I was of the view that the relocation of the Children’s Hospital at Camperdown in 1988 was beyond the ambit of debate. I do not believe that the member has returned to that issue. The member has been generally relevant. As to the other point that I should in some way take a narrower view in discussion of this motion than I would in a second reading debate, I am not persuaded that there is that distinction to be drawn. The member has the call.
The Hon . CATHERINE CUSACK: I understand why Labor does not want to hear this but, I repeat, the motivation behind this motion is not about transparency or business cases. This motion is about smearing the Government and the case it is making for transferring this iconic piece of infrastructure to Parramatta for the benefit and wellbeing of the people of Western Sydney, in particular the children. That is what is driving the supporters of this motion—namely, to obtain legal information and detailed documentation so they can trawl through it—
The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane: Point of order: My point of order is relevance. The member is stretching beyond what might be called “wide latitude”. The member is now making assumptions about what the Opposition may or may not think.
The Hon. Don Harwin: To the point of order: It is entirely fair for the Hon. Catherine Cusack to be looking at the reasons why the supporters of the motion are advancing it. In terms of the actual motion and the reasons for bringing a business case, it is entirely appropriate to look at the substance of the proposal.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): I do not uphold the point of order.
The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK: In the short time left to me, I congratulate the Government both on its homework and its vision in biting the bullet. Today is yet another demonstration of how difficult it is to rectify inequity once it has been allowed to arise. The cultural inequity between the Sydney CBD and Western Sydney is absolutely breathtaking. This might be a small thing, but it is the best we can do in beginning to bridge that void.
This project is vital to show respect for the people of Western Sydney, which they deserve, and for the children of Western Sydney. The people who are opposing this project do so at their own peril. They are neglecting the principles and causes that we all ought to be championing, which is for every person in this State to have a share of the prosperity that has been brought about by the policies of this Government. At every opportunity we should be seeking to address inequity, and there is no greater area of inequity than in culture and the arts. I absolutely applaud this project and I applaud the courage and the diligence of the Government in bringing this about. It is a responsible, funded project and it will make a huge difference to arts and culture. I also believe the entire wellbeing and identity of Western Sydney will be enhanced by this important project.
The Hon. MATTHEW MASON-COX ( 15:50 ): I address this important motion. As I foreshadowed in the procedural motion that preceded this motion, I support the Standing Order 52 request for very, very simple reasons. Standing Order 52 requests two documents: one being a business case, be it current or final, that the Government has had in its hands since December, which has been passed through a number of core agencies and which the Government is sitting on waiting to make the announcement; the second one being a preliminary business case that was commissioned a couple of years ago and provided the Government with some information in relation to the ongoing saga of the decision to relocate the Powerhouse Museum.
Members will be aware that I put out in the public arena my views on this matter. I hold very strong views on the allocation of expenditure and the priorities that should be accorded to that. In regard to the Powerhouse Museum, I have made it very clear—which is perhaps contrary to a number of contributions I heard today—that we should have a win in Sydney both for keeping the existing Powerhouse Museum where it is and building a second site, a Powerhouse for Parramatta, at the site that is preferred by the Government beside the Parramatta River. The model I have suggested has been enormously successful in Canberra. Over the past 18 years, 32 million people have either visited the Questacon building in Canberra or have been touched by it through a wonderful program conducted by outreach to regional New South Wales and through science fairs. Questacon is held very dear to the people of Canberra.
Rather than $1.5 billion, or thereabouts, being spent on relocating an iconic museum that sits as part of the ribbon of the central Sydney cultural precincts, I would rather see that money spent in a few different ways. I would like to see that money being spent on a second site for the Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta—a Parramatta Powerhouse which is commissioned in a way that drives children and families to it and celebrates our cultural areas in Parramatta as well as ensures that we have exhibition space there to house the appropriate exhibitions from the Powerhouse collection. It could be a wonderful hands-on Questacon-style celebration of science and engineering.
Those are the things that I think we can do, and with the up to $1 billion that we would save we could do something about one of the most pressing problems in this State, which is the appalling situation of our child protection system. I have raised this issue on a number of occasions with this Government—I have raised it with the Premier, I have raised it with the Minister and I am going to raise it again today because I believe our first priority should be towards vulnerable kids and families. I will put to the House a couple of key statistics. Last financial year the Auditor-General, in an audit report recently tabled, identified 59,000 children in this State who had their cases closed.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Order! I have tried to be fair in this debate in giving wide latitude. But points of order have been taken by both sides in relation to whether speakers in the debate are straying from the motion. I know you feel passionately about this and I do not want to circumscribe your right to speak in the Chamber, but if you are proceeding at length in that regard you are moving beyond the subject of the motion.
The Hon. MATTHEW MASON-COX: I will briefly make a comment and move on. The report identified 59,000 children in this State who had their cases closed. That is up 4,000 from the previous year. We are spending more money, the situation is getting worse and we need to rethink what we are doing. That is the priority issue. In relation to the motion before the House, it is a fundamental question of accountability and the role of this House to keep the executive to account. We have heard a lot of stuff today about business cases and how the world will fall in if a business case is released. Let us just get a grip. What we are talking about is information that should be in the public domain and that people should understand the way decisions are made. Any Cabinet-in-confidence document, any other commercial-in-confidence document or legal professional privilege document that is released by the Government comes to the Clerk of the House. The Clerk of the House holds those documents and members can go to the Clerk to view them.
The Clerk is not allowed to release those documents publicly. The record of this House has been exemplary in that there has never been a leak of documents held by the Clerk, which is to the credit of all members of this House. I have confidence in that process; it has proved itself over time and we should be very cognisant of that. We are not talking about a business case being tabled for the public to hear—that is absolute nonsense. The reality is that if some member wants to see the business case released, that member will go to the Clerk and ask that the legal arbiter be appointed to review whether or not it is a privileged document, and that will be done by an appropriately qualified person—in this case it is normally Keith Mason. That is the process that we have in place. It is robust, it protects the privileged status of any document given to the Clerk, and that is what we are seeking to do.
This is about accountability—there is no other argument. It will be up to the Government to make a decision about how it will work if this motion is successful today. I will support the motion; it is a matter of public conscience for me. I belong to a party that allows its members to follow their conscience on issues that are a matter of conscience. I ask my party for its understanding in the decision I have made. I will be voting to support the motion and I hope that it is successful today. It is in the interests of the people of New South Wales that the information can be provided to the public in an appropriate way by the Government.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE ( 15:58 ): In reply: I thank all members for their contributions to the debate. I will not list them but I will say that I believe that the contribution we just heard largely summarises my position on this motion and why we needed to move it. I note a couple of very small matters. The Minister said that the Government has never said that there was a $10 million plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum. I will read from a press release of 26 February 2015 from the then Premier and the then Deputy Premier in which Premier Baird is quoted as saying, “We want to extend Sydney’s cultural ribbon to Western Sydney so we will invest $10 million to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta”. It is plain and simple.
Everybody supporting this motion wants an amazing first-class cultural institution in Parramatta. The question that is dividing our community unnecessarily is whether one has to blow up the Powerhouse to make that happen and I do not believe that is right. Destroying a cultural icon and dividing one part of Sydney against the other is dead wrong. Let us spend the money, not on blowing up the Powerhouse but on building that amazing cultural institution in Parramatta and then maybe we will have hundreds of millions of dollars left over to do the kind of essential work that keeps our kids safe.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): Mr David Shoebridge has moved Private Member’s Business item No. 2030, relating to an order for papers concerning the Powerhouse Museum, to which the Hon. Wes Fang has moved an amendment omitting “7 days” and inserting “21 days”. The Hon. Scott Farlow then moved an amendment omitting the words “and final or current versions of the” in paragraph (a). The Hon. Mark Pearson then moved an amendment omitting “7 days” and inserting “14 days” and omitting the words “or current versions of the” in paragraph (a). I will put the questions in the order in which the amendments occurred. The question is that the amendment of the Hon. Wes Fang omitting “7 days” and inserting “21 days” be agreed to.
Amendment negatived.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): The question now is that the amendment of the Hon. Mark Pearson omitting “7 days” and inserting “14 days” be agreed to.
Amendment agreed to.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): The question now is that the Hon. Scott Farlow’s amendment omitting the words “and final or current versions of the” be agreed to.
Amendment negatived.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): The question now is that the amendment of the Hon. Mark Pearson omitting the words “or current versions of the” be agreed to.
Amendment agreed to.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( The Hon. Trevor Khan ): The question is that the motion of Mr David Shoebridge, as amended, be agreed to.
Ayes19
Noes18
Majority1

 

AYES
Borsak, Mr R Brown, Mr R Buckingham, Mr J
Donnelly, Mr G (teller) Faruqi, Dr M Field, Mr J
Graham, Mr J Houssos, Ms C Mason-Cox, Mr M
Mookhey, Mr D Moselmane, Mr S (teller) Pearson, Mr M
Primrose, Mr P Searle, Mr A Secord, Mr W
Sharpe, Ms P Shoebridge, Mr D Walker, Ms D
Wong, Mr E

 

NOES
Amato, Mr L Clarke, Mr D Colless, Mr R
Cusack, Ms C Fang, Mr W (teller) Farlow, Mr S
Franklin, Mr B Green, Mr P Harwin, Mr D
Khan, Mr T MacDonald, Mr S Maclaren-Jones, Ms N (teller)
Mallard, Mr S Martin, Mr T Mitchell, Ms S
Nile, Reverend F Taylor, Ms B Ward, Ms P

 

PAIRS
Veitch, Mr M Blair, Mr N
Voltz, Ms L Phelps, Dr P

 

Motion agreed to