20 Apr 2017

Powerhouse plan will show it’s best to invest in the west

City of Parramatta Council welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement that the new Powerhouse Museum will be established in the heart of Western Sydney.

Council is confident that a business case with a proper methodology will show that from a population, financial and logistical perspective, Parramatta provides the ideal place for the relocation of the Museum from its current Ultimo site.

City of Parramatta General Manager, Greg Dyer said the Government’s commitment is an acknowledgement of the importance of arts and culture in the life of a city.

“What better way to further demonstrate that than by committing to a world-class Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Parramatta.

“Parramatta is Sydney’s economic powerhouse, our jobs powerhouse and our growth powerhouse, and what would be truly transformational for our region is the Powerhouse Museum.

“The Powerhouse is what it needs both culturally and economically, and from an equity perspective, what it deserves.

“We are confident that any business case will show that from a geographical, population and financial perspective, moving the whole Powerhouse to the west is the best option.

“Parramatta is Sydney’s Central City, yet there has not been any significant investment in cultural infrastructure – state or federal – here since the 1988 bicentenary,” Mr Dyer said.

The Powerhouse Museum, to be known as the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, will be the centrepiece of the City’s recently released Cultural Plan, acting as a catalyst for significant cultural and artistic investment and development in a region that is home to one in 10 Australians.

A Business Impact Study prepared by HillPDA recently revealed the relocation to Parramatta will generate 2,320 jobs during construction and contribute $803 million to the local economy, and forecasts show that the number of people who attend it would almost double to 1 million.

David Borger, the Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, said that the Powerhouse move would deliver a boon for the west.

“The fact is that Western Sydney represents one in 10 Australians yet attracts only one per cent of Commonwealth arts program funding, and 5.5 per cent of the State’s cultural arts, heritage and events funding. Western Sydney is a powerhouse, and we need the Powerhouse,” Mr Borger said.

Earlier this month, former Coalition Arts Minister and State Liberal Leader Peter Collins urged the Government to resist calls for the Museum to be split up.

“This promise, when delivered, will be one of the most significant policy decisions ever made for people living outside the inner ring of Sydney’s suburbia.  And it is not before time for an area that has been ignored for too long by governments of both colours,” Mr Collins said.

The City of Parramatta will soon launch a social media campaign, entitled We Want The Powerhouse Museum, to highlight the strong community support in Western Sydney for the relocation.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Phil McCall 0438 619 987