The Skepticism Behind The Powerhouse Museum Relocation

The baffling decision to relocate a perfectly perfect Powerhouse Museum from the CBD to Parramatta by the previous premier Mike Baird back in 2015 has been repeatedly supported by today’s Berejiklian Government. The rationale the liberal government has drawn for the movement of one of Sydney’s most beloved museums is yet to be revealed.

The powerhouse museum, Sydney politics, Lockout city
The Powerhouse Museum. Image credit: Junkee

The construction of the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta is due to start next year and it seems like the liberal party has been trying to postpone the release of their plan because they had clearly not done their homework. The accumulation of sly tactics and manipulation by the government came to an end in April, falling down hard after Matthew Mason-Cox, MP of the Liberal Party, crossed the floor and helped the Greens move a motion to oblige the government to release the business plan for the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum. It was at this time that we discovered the government actually had nothing on their hands to show, although earlier in December they claimed to have finalised such plans. Confusion has now settled and that’s because although all the parties know that the Powerhouse’s new building will most definitely be in Parramatta, the opposition is left wondering just how far the current government is willing to go in order to fill their pockets.

Gladys Berejiklian, Australian Politics, NSW Government, Powerhouse museum, Liberal Party
Gladys Berejiklian (left) and Mike Baird (Right). Image credit: The New Daily

Taking a step back to avoid the tangles of politics, let’s have a look at what positive and negative outcomes come with such a “glorious” relocation. The main pro to the whole plan is the fact that Parramatta is meant to become Sydney’s second CBD and the whole area could really use an attraction such as The Powerhouse Museum. Furthermore, the model which the state government released on the 10th of May seemed like it could modernise and create a place of recreation. But we must remember to not judge a book by its cover, and that’s exactly what happened here since the area selected is very prone to floods. This not only means an increase in the price of materials but it also includes regulations and specific structural changes due to the increase in temperatures and the rise of global warming which obliges museums to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.  That is the reason why regulations must be obeyed and infrastructures must be in order for the Powerhouse Museum to be opened in Parramatta, and that will definitely increase the costs of the whole project.

The liberal government is trying to pull out what is called the “Bilbao effect” where the whole city was revitalised with the inauguration of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum (1997). This event went hand in hand with the economic development of the whole area around the Museum and a further development of the whole city, which is exactly what the liberals expect from their inexistent project of the Powerhouse. But honestly, it’s hard to believe this government could pull a move like that at this point due to all the confusion, lies and schemes that lead to the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum. Like all cases of corruption in government, you just need to look at who will profit from this, and ask what they must have slipped under the table to Baird and co.

Should the government do the relocation of the powerhouse Museum? Leave a comment below!