Bulletin 25.

Upper House sitting.

The next sitting of the Legislative Council Inquiry into Museums and Galleries will occur on Monday 28 May 2018. Please try to attend. Mr Baird will give evidence: see below. We need to fill the room and an overflow crowd outside would really underline our case. The sessions are webcast live, so put your I-pad or Tablet computer in your bag in case this happens.

The agenda is

10.00 am Mr Greg Dyer Former Chief Executive Officer and Mr Craig Becroft Former Chief Financial Officer, Parramatta City Council:

Mr Dyer was CEO for the four years up to 18 January this year, so would have served the elected council and the Admisnitrator Ms Chadwick (12 May 2016 to 25 September 2017); He would have been aware that the previous elected council had on four occasions (Resolution 16308, 14 December 2015; Resolution 16353, 14 January 2016; and Resolution 16646, 9 May 2016) indicated that they wanted the site chosen by the Government to be used for open space. This was emphasised in the last meeting of the elected council, as almost the last item of business on 9 May. The government negotiated the purchase of the land with the elected, supposedly ‘caretaker’ admisistrator only days before the installation of the new elected council, which, to date, has not even discussed the matter, much less ratified this autocratic decision.

Mr Craig Becroft has been a strong supporter of the Powerhouse ‘move’ during his three years at Parramatta Council ignoring the weight of evidence against it. He is now, since March, the Executive Director Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer at Urban Growth NSW Development Corporation. Draw your own conclusions.

11.15 am to 1 15 pm: Mr Mike Baird Former Premier. The goal of improving the cultural facilities of the state, and particularly of Western Sydney, is entirely praiseworthy and is supported by all. However, in achieving this goal, there is overwhelming evidence that no investigation was ever made into possible alternatives to ‘moving’ the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. This is confirmed in the so-called Business Case Summary released on 28 April this year when it says ‘the Business Case takes as its starting point the government’s decision to locate the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta.

This state of affairs must logically be attributed to Mr Baird: The ‘move’ was proposed for consideration by Infrastructure NSW in a document issued on 3 November 2015 and announced as government policy by Mr Baird on 26 November. Since then the government has refused to answer any questions on the viability of the project and has locked itself into blindly following this disastrous policy. Constant inquiries to Infrastructure have not extracted any information about research they conducted into alternatives and no outside researcher has been found that has been involved in this task.

Document release:

On 28 April this year the government released a media statement. Western Sydney Becomes a Cultural Powerhouse ‘the culmination of three years of planning’ to carry out an idea that was clearly just a thought bubble and which has never been properly assessed; a so-called fact sheet New Powerhouse museum in Parramatta which tells us not one fact about such things as costing, the degradation of Ultimo heritage and the lack of support from Parramatta council and arts community, particularly in regard to the government’s choice of site; and not the long-awaited Business Cases with all supporting information, but something entitled Final Business Case Summary: Powerhouse Museum in Western Sydney. I could take you through a comparison between what was issued and the requirements for a business case set out in the Treasury Document tpp 08-5 Guidelines for Capital Business Cases, but if you do not want to take my word for it that the issued document is a travesty of what is required, make the comparison yourself.

New consultation!

There has been a beginning to a new consultative process, so on Friday 4 May Mr Limkin, the Executive Director of CIPMO, the Cultural Infrastructure Program Office, the supremo of the process, received a new round of questions based on the comments made in your emails to me. A senior PHM officer assured me that this time there would be responses, but as nothing has happened since the July 31 consultative meetings, I do not believe that the government will make any move towards suppling the information that we need. Nevertheless a new booklet of questions was prepared and given to Mr Limkin. Open government does not exist in this matter, but we are going to persist in trying to obtain this democratic right.

Thanks for reading this email and for your support and input

Tom Lockley 
(tomlockley@gmail.com , 0403 615 134, PO Box 301 Pyrmont 2009
tomlockley@gmail.com is the best method of communication)

Australia’s major museum of arts and sciences in Sydney’s most evocative heritage building. For more information
https://powerhousemuseumalliance.com/  See also: https://www.facebook.com/savepowerhousemuseum/  https://www.facebook.com/savethepowerhouse/ http://lockoweb.com/phm/