The Powerhouse Museum - confirmation of the move

Two weeks ago, Museums Galleries Australia issued a public statement responding to the continuing debate about the NSW Government’s plan to move the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo in inner Sydney to Parramatta in Western Sydney.  We referred to our submission to the NSW Parliament’s 2016 Inquiry into museums and galleries, which was focused on both the Powerhouse move and the broader landscape of how museums and galleries were faring across NSW. You can find the submission on our website at

We stated that we stood by our recommendations in the submission, were concerned for the safety and accessibility of the museum collections, and would support more recent proposals for enlarging the cultural infrastructure of the state rather than relocating it.

The NSW Government has now announced a plan that confirms the relocation, aiming to create a new arts and cultural precinct in Parramatta with the Powerhouse as a central drawcard. The plan includes demolition of parts of the Ultimo site, with other parts hosting a new design and fashion museum (presumably from the Powerhouse collection). Significant commercial development is also planned for both sites. An expanded conservation facility will also be built at Castle Hill, in the north-western suburbs of the city. Some key points in our submission have been picked up.

We support exciting new, accessible cultural infrastructure in the West and we look forward to a museum that will stand proudly alongside the other major institutions in Australia, is developed to meet the needs of the community, ensures the safety and integrity of the collections, and has sufficient ongoing financial support to operate effectively into the future. The staff of the MAAS deserve the best support possible as they go through this change.

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