Bulletin 24 March 14 2018

Everywhere I go, people want to know what is happening regarding the move of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. The gossip is that 'an announcement is imminent'. The facts are that there has been nothing substantive from the government since the announcement that there would be consultative meetings held in July last year. The meetings were held, serious questions were asked, and there has been no response at all.

Dr Lee, MLC for Parramatta, did reiterate the promise to 'move' the museum in the Parramatta Advertiser, 28 February:
  Member for Parramatta Geoff lee has lambasted the inquiry into museums and galleries. labelling the hearing "bullshit". "This is a politically motivated inquiry," Mr Lee said. "All they're trying to do is bash up the whole thing." Mr Lee was adamant that not only will the move of the Powerhouse Museum continue, but it will be the flagship museum for Sydney. This is a commitment that was made and we're not backing down from that."

The long-awaited business case has not been released. It was definitely to be complete by the beginning of last year.

The Legislative Council Inquiry released, on 18 December last year, an interim report. The government had said that it would not wait for the issue of the final report of the committee before releasing its final plans, but there is no excuse now for the government to ignore the findings of the committee. You can download the whole thing, and the summary of recommendations, fromthis page . A key recommendation of this multiparty group is That the NSW Government release the full business case for the Powerhouse Museum and all assessed proposals to the committee and the community for full public consultation before making its final decision.

The Inquiry will reconvene on April 4. It has issued a summons to Mr Baird requiring his attendance. The Premier has refused to attend.

I have taken a bit of unilateral action on my own part. As a (tiny!) shareholder of National Australia Bank, I have written to the CEO asking for an assurance that Mr Baird is not responsible for any major financial decisions, and stating the basic reasons for this. The letter is attached.

Meanwhile, an area of the 1988 building has been adapted for a major auditorium for the University of Technology. It occupies about a quarter of that specialist display area. On principle, it is good to co-operate with the universities, but this appears to have been done in secrecy without explaining why this major step has been undertaken.

Finally, you may have read of the huge ball that was held early March at the Powerhouse. It was planned to be a similar function to the famous New York Met gala, and there have been two adverse comments: it was not a financial masterstroke, and also it is believed that the security union lodged a formal complaint about inappropriate behaviour at the 'after party'. Though I am not good friends with the people who are charged with organising the move, I cannot believe that they would participate in such behaviour. However, they are under huge strain, having to carry out, and justify, the government's stupid policy!

If you are able, please try to attend the Legislative Council Inquiry session on April 4.

Thanks for reading this.

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

SAVE THE POWERHOUSE
Australia’s major museum of arts and sciences in Sydney’s most evocative heritage building. For more information
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