There has been little or no research into alternatives:

The Business Cases are supposed to have been prepared according to Treasury Paper tpp 08-5, Guidelines for the Construction of Business Cases. This requires the Government first to assess alternatives for achieving their aim, namely to improve Parramatta’s cultural facilities: there is no evidence that this was ever done. The Government has tried to say that Infrastructure NSW researched this, but Infrastructure NSW only suggested investigation of the ‘move’ idea,[13] and the then Premier almost immediately announced the move on 26 November. Further, in the so-called Business Case Summary, Infrastructure NSW states The Business Case takes as its starting point the Government’s decision to locate the Powerhouse Museum, making it clear that they did no research into alternatives. The only alternatives researched were for the details of the autocratic ‘move’ decision.

When asked about these matters the Government employees, even Powerhouse Museum Director Ms Merrillees, and the then Arts NSW CEO Ms Torres clearly state that the ‘move’ idea was a Government decision in which they had no part[14]. The Government has been challenged on numerous occasions to produce evidence of research into alternatives for Parramatta, and no response has been received. The assertion that this has never been done is very soundly based.

The impressive Transport Hall owes much of its visual appeal to the cavernous turbine hall in which the exhibits are displayed.


Back to booklet home page        Next section


[13] paper of November 3 2015

[14] Evidence that that the ‘move’ decision is made by the government alone: Time sequence of the decision. The ‘move’ suggestion was first made by Infrastructure NSW on 24 October 2014, and they stressed the need for consultation and further examination. It has been taken over as definite policy with by the government with almost no consultation, not even with Parramatta Council. Research into the move has been dominated by the assumption that the ‘move’ will proceed. See 1) Inquiry evidence Ms MERRILLEES Friday, 17 February 2017 ‘I think that that [the pros and cons of the move] is a question for Government and I am not here to answer questions on Government policy’. 2) Inquiry evidence Monday, 5 September 2016: SAMANTHA TORRES The relocation of the MAAS is a clear direction from the Government (5 September): ‘It is uncontested that government accepted a recommendation from Infrastructure NSW to relocate the museum from the current site in Ultimo to a site in Parramatta’.3) Inquiry evidence Mr Harwin, 6 July 2017. ‘The MAAS headquarters moving to Parramatta as is the museum as a whole………. Actually, this was part of the State Infrastructure Strategy considerations from the first point that the State Infrastructure Strategy was released in 2012’. Statements that the ‘move’ instruction came from infrastructure NSW are demonstrably not true. Inquiry evidence 29 September 2016 Ms Torres was unable to produce modelling done by Infrastructure NSW. She took this task as a ‘question on notice’. The document in response to this question that was produced on 14 November from Infrastructure Australia recommended nothing more than the urgent consideration of the move.