Bulletin 40 28 February 2019 report of Inquiry

In case you have not heard

The all-party Legislative Council into Museums and Galleries has released its final report.

See

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/lcdocs/inquiries/2403/Report%20No.%2040%20-%20Museums%20and%20galleries%20in%20NSW.pdf

There is one finding and six recommendations

Finding 1  That the Final Business Case for the Powerhouse Museum in Western Sydney Project did not comply with NSW Treasury's Guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis.

The recommendations are everything that one could wish for:

Recommendation 1  That the NSW Government not proceed with the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta.

Recommendation 2 That the NSW Government restore the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo, by providing a significant injection of funding for refurbishment and expansion.

Recommendation 3  That the NSW Government, instead of relocating the Powerhouse Museum, establish a world class cultural institution in Parramatta that reflects its own extraordinary history.

Recommendation 4 That the NSW Government consider establishing a Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences satellite site in Western Sydney.

Recommendation 5  That the NSW Government exempt state-owned museums from the annual efficiency dividend.

Recommendation 6 That the Legislative Council, in the 57th Parliament, establish a Select Committee to inquire into and report on the governance of the arts and culture sector in New South Wales, with particular reference to the governance and management of the Powerhouse Museum relocation project.

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Unfortunately this does not bind the Government to appropriate action, but having in mind the weight of evidence and the fact that Government members were part of the Inquiry, it would seem that to continue with the disastrous ‘move’ project would be extremely foolish.

I do hope that when the Government yields to the inevitable and cancels the ‘move’ that people can avoid the use of the term ‘backflip’. The idea of the Government, to improve the cultural facilities of the area, was good, and at last they will have seen that there are far better ways of achieving this outcome.

This little email group has had some part in the outcome, and I would like to thank you all for your support and especially for the emails of information and ideas. It has been easy to put them together. I particularly appreciate the input of volunteers and MAAS employees, who have been under strain because of pressures to publicly support the ‘move’.

But the lion’s share of the credit goes to the wonderful Save the Powerhouse facebook page and the Powerhouse Museum Alliance whose website is a blow-by-blow history of this campaign which puts Government communication efforts to shame.

So now let us see if the Government takes the appropriate action, preferably immediately.

Tom Lockley

0403 615 134....