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Contact: tomlockley@gmail.com  0403 615 134

This private website collects FACTS (remember those?) about the proposed 'move' of the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo, Central Sydney, to Parramatta. On July 4, 29At this stage this messy website is being pulled together to provide a connected summary of the 'move' project at the time of the second Inquiry into Museums. As usual, if there are errors, they will be corrected publicly as soon as possible.

Summary for second round of Inquiry 2020

The Government’s attitude is puzzling, to say the least. It is based on the decision made in November 2014 to move the Powerhouse headquarters to Parramatta, regardless of the lack of merit of the idea.

To support its decision the Government has subverted the normal Treasury process of assessing such projects. The base case, the foundation of the whole process, is not examination of ways of improving the cultural facilities of Western Sydney, but the announced, seemingly inflexible decision to make the basic move. Thus, the Government has avoided basic scrutiny.

This initial decision was fatally flawed

·        Alternatives were not researched, and remain unresearched

·        There was no prior consultation with stakeholders eg Director, Trustees,  Parramatta Council,  Infrastructure NSW,  and all subsequent consultation has been predicated on the ‘move’ as a fait accompli:

This lack of process led to consequent problems

·        It is far more costly than was originally proposed

·        It trashes great heritage: At Ultimo: the original idea of complete destruction has been gradually watered down until the decision of July 4 2020 which preserves the basic museum, but many details have yet to be divulged; at Parramatta, despite huge protest, the heritage buildings on the site chosen by the Government are currently scheduled for demolition

·        It is Implacably opposed by museum experts museum community throughout the world and

·        It is ot a preferred option in the wider Parramatta community

·        There is evidence of acute and continuing staffing problems

·        Decisions are being made at the whim of the Government with no proper prior investigation. Case studies: Planetarium, Lyric Theatre

Because of this the Government has had to

·        Have excessive secrecy, demonstrated by abuse of ‘Cabinet in Confidence’ etc, decisions that are made hastily, in secret, by a very small Government group,  Constraining staff, junior and senior, to support the Government policies and extreme reluctance to provide basic information to the public

·        Organise the required statutory consultations so as they appear to support  Government’s desired outcome

·        Override democratic processes: Case study: the land purchase

·        Avoid involving museum experts at any significant level

·        Ignore, and even discourage, the input of voluntary workers, the traditional ‘affiliated societies’, museum donors, life fellows

·        Entirely populate important bodies with people with no experience or qualifications in museums: the Trustees, The judging panel for the museum design

·        Apparently use a network of Government bodies to support its intentions

·        Ignore the outcomes of the massive Inquiry into Museums and Galleries (June 2016-July 2019 and provide an inaccurate response

·        Ignore the other massive amounts of informed opposition from a wide range of organisations and individuals