Plans to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta continue to divide community opinion.
Arts Minister Don Harwin hopes a world-class museum on the cutting edge of science and innovation will be designed with input from western Sydney. He has urged the community to give feedback.
While the new museum will be the flagship, Mr Harwin hasn’t ruled out keeping a Powerhouse presence at the current site in Ultimo.
Opposition leader Luke Foley described it as a “stab in the back” to western Sydney.
“During the last election, Mike Baird promised to move the Powerhouse Museum entirely to Parramatta because western Sydney deserved ‘one of our great cultural institutions’. Now that he’s gone, Gladys Berejiklian and Mr Harwin are prepared to trash that promise.”
Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger is disappointed a commitment to relocate the entire museum may not happen. “The details of the Parramatta Powerhouse are still sketchy but we realise this can be a great opportunity to start from scratch and build something the entire community can be proud of,” Mr Borger said.
Parramatta MP Geoff Lee wouldn’t enter the debate.
“All I’m concerned about is getting a world class institution, which will definitely happen,” he told the Sun. “What it looks like, who knows. But whatever we get will be of international standard.”
He said negotiations between the state government and the council regarding the Riverbank site for the museum were “almost there”.
North Parramatta Residents Action Group president Suzette Meade welcomed the opportunity for Parramatta's cultural future to be discussed by the community, not just politicians and the council.
“We will be presenting to the Arts Minister and the Premier our alternative vision for this once in a lifetime opportunity to create a world class arts and cultural precinct at the Fleet Street heritage precinct in North Parramatta,” she said. “This is our chance to recognise that Parramatta is a highly unique and important piece of our state’s and country’s cultural heritage. Imagine the premier state not having a Museum of NSW.”
- Details: create.nsw.gov.au.