20 April 2017
I welcome the announcement that the Ultimo Powerhouse could be retained. The government has opened the door to a Powerhouse Museum win-win that benefits the inner city and Parramatta.
The Powerhouse has 400,000 artefacts, 95 per cent of which are in storage. This huge collection could easily be shared across several sites – there is no need to close the Ultimo museum. The two museums could leverage off each other, with more exhibitions, more on display and more special events.
Supporters of the Ultimo Powerhouse agree that Western Sydney needs its own internationally recognised museum that celebrates Western Sydney and its contribution to modern Australia. This should not come at the expense of a well-supported and established inner city institution that is an important destination for tourists, students, and locals.
With positive leadership last financial year, visitors to the Powerhouse in Ultimo increased by 12 per cent and sponsorship increased by 51 per cent. A Parramatta museum adds profile and capacity to the existing sites at Ultimo, Castle Hill and Observatory Hill.
Attempts to turn the government’s consultation process into an inner-city vs western Sydney battle do not serve any of us well.