Bulletin 8. 13 June 2016: PHM Heritage

Talk to Pyrmont Historical Group: Invitation to you......

Since publishing the booklet on the heritage aspects of the Powerhouse buildings a vigorous flow of general comment and email debate has occurred over the whole nature of the endangered heritage of the Powerhouse Museum. While the preservation of the buildings is essential, much more will be lost if the proposed move goes ahead, especially considering the unrealistic planning that has been thus far announced. I have put these comments together into a presentation that I will be giving.

When: Sunday 19 June from 5pm: The monthly meeting of the Pyrmont Historical Group

Where: The Station (the Jacksons Landing community hall) at 58 Bowman Street Pyrmont.

What: a talk of about 35 minutes followed by discussion and then nibbles and wine. Many members later have dinner at the nearby Point Hotel to which you are also invited.

Please contact me for any further information.

tomlockley@gmail.com , 0403 615134

Sunday 6 June, Parramatta Pool rally

Despite heavy rain, a good crowd took part in a major meeting at Parramatta swimming pool, which is threatened with demolition to make way for an extended Cumberland Oval. It was convened by the North Parramatta Residents Action Group.  It seems clear that this is another project that is not well thought out. There are alternatives that will not be more costly, and there are no plans for producing a substitute pool. Speakers included Jack Mundey, Luke Foley and other local politicians. The PHM lobby was represented by Patricia Johnson and Jean-Pierre from the facebook page, Jamie Parker, and me. Jamie Parker spoke well. Our presence was appreciated by the organisers: any notion of inner city trendies versus westies is a wedge tactic from the supporters of the move, who, incidentally are hard to find outside the politicians. We found good homes for about 30 booklets, about 100 ‘one page summaries', suggestions for what we can do, and a similar number of a small circular that exposes the frightful maths of the project. Incidentally, see also comments from Dr Lindsay Sharp, the Powerhouse Museum’s founding Director, at http://bit.ly/1WARqa7 . I talked to Jack Mundey, who promised support, and also got a booklet into the hands of Luke Foley and told him of our concerns. I dare say that the various letters we have sent have been dealt with only by some junior office person.

The latest 'official' word.

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has put the publicly available material about the move to Parramatta on their website: The FAQs are particularly interesting in conveying the current official position. Just click on the sections that are underlined. Extracts below:

Planning continues for the Museum’s longer term future in Parramatta, following the announcement that the Riverbank site will be the site of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Parramatta. This represents a once in a generation opportunity to develop a twenty first century museum that responds to growth and the changing shape of Sydney, and to contemporary methods of content delivery, learning and collaboration. Embodying the best of Australian ingenuity and innovation, the Museum will profile one of the world’s great collections as well as contribute to the NSW Government’s priority sectors including digital, education, creative industries and health.

For further information refer to The Premier’s announcement of the move issued 26 February 2015, The Deputy Premier’s announcement of shortlisted sites on 15 September 2015, The joint announcement of the preferred site issued on 11 April 2016

FAQS:  https://maas.museum/about/maas-parramatta/faqs/

Some other internet resources

Some places to look at include https://powerhousemuseumalliance.com , Their Open Letter, signed by 178 leading members of arts and business communities, was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 17 February 2016.You can add your name and comment to the Open Letter 

Save the Powerhouse on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/savethepowerhouse/ also https://www.facebook.com/savepowerhousemuseum/

North Parramatta Residents Action Group, advocating for the conservation of the Fleet Street heritage precinct and opportunities for cultural uses; they are well-organised and anyone can join for $5.


This bulletin is going to a number of new people. Welcome!

About us: There is widespread, if rather unorganised, resistance to the proposed move. Our little action group is interested in publicising the heritage values of the buildings and the institution itself, and underlining the financial inconsistencies of the various announcements. We believe that the move is both financially suspect but more importantly it will destroy a cultural icon in a way that will harm our reputation forever. As a start, we produced a booklet, Heritage Aspects of the Powerhouse Museum Precinct, and if you would like a copy email tomlockley@gmail.com and we will mail you one.

If you would like suggestions on how to take action, please look at these pages. We particularly need publicity. If you have found anything of interest email me at tomlockley@gmail.com and I will include it in the website.