Dear all,

This is an invitation from the Powerhouse Museum Alliance working group to make a submission to the Upper House Inquiry into support for museums and galleries in NSW.

We value the wide experience you bring from so many different points of view and hope you will be able to contribute a submission based on that knowledge.

(Note: we will be sending this to our own mailing lists, so there may be some overlap: our apologies in advance.)


NSW Upper House Inquiry:  guidelines for making a submission

As you know, extensive public lobbying prompted by the NSW Government’s proposal to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta and sell its site for development, has resulted in the welcome announcement that there will be an Upper House Inquiry into support for museums and galleries.  Its broad purpose is to  ‘… inquire into and report on the performance or effectiveness of the NSW Government agencies responsible for the organisation, structure and funding of museums and galleries in New South Wales.’ (See Terms of Reference, below.)


Within the Terms of Reference, the Inquiry also gives us the specific opportunity to question the relocation decision and argue to leave the Powerhouse in Ultimo, while considering other more appropriate gallery and museum options for Parramatta, in the broader context of a need for an equitable museums and galleries policy for NSW.

It also gives the opportunity to question the lack of transparency and depth in the consultation and decision-making processes, and to point out the clear lack of understanding of the costs involved in moving the museum, ignorance of audience interests and expectations in different population centres and continuing lack of respect for cultural history.

You can read papers giving background on some of these issues and other options on the Powerhouse Museum Alliance website; and also on the Save the Powerhouse community campaign site: .


The process: Standing Committee 4: Inquiry into Museums and Galleries, due date August 14

This Inquiry will be carried out by members across parties in the Legislative Council, in General Standing Committee 4:  (top of list) 


Open to Committee main page (with tags for Terms of reference, submissions, contacts …):


Within Committee page above is: Terms of Reference, which also lists members of the committee:


Making a submission on-line:

Also on the Committee page is a tag labelled Submissions.

When you open it there is a small box saying ‘new submissions’, and that opens to:

Lodge a submission:

On-line above is best, but if necessary the email address is:  and phone contact, 02-92303307


Specific advice on presentation: due date 14 August 2016

We have been advised that the committee recommends:

-          A submission should include a single front page summary written in clear, non-technical prose. Where appropriate,supporting documentation may follow the summary, preferably with headings and an index. It may contain pictures, graphs and tables. One to four pages is ideal.

-          The submission must address one or some of the Terms of Reference, but not necessarily all.

-          A submission could present facts, observations and statements based on your experience, and ask relevant questions to be addressed.

-          It is acceptable to make more than one submission.

-          If the author wishes to be a witness at a later hearing they must state this on the document.


Postal address:

The Director, Standing Committee 4: Inquiry into Museums and Galleries

Parliament House,  Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000


Copy to Powerhouse Museum Alliance working group?

If you wish, we would appreciate it if you could let us know if you have made a submission, and especially if you could send us a copy to make sure we are fully informed of arguments being made. These will be archived carefully and will not be circulated or published beyond our small group. You can send your copy to



With many thanks,


Grace Cochrane,

for the PMA working group




Grace Cochrane AM

25 Morris Street, Summer Hill,

Sydney, NSW 2130, Australia

+61-(0)2 97986821  +61-(0)425215244

Curator, writer, consultant

PhD UTas; D.Litt UNSW