$500 Million To Move Powerhouse Exhibits From Ultimo

$500 Million To Move Powerhouse Exhibits From Ultimo

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian

New South Wales Minister for the Arts Don Harwin

Parramatta’s Powerhouse Site Secured

Victor P Taffa

New South Wales (NSW) Government has reached an agreement with Parramatta Council for a massive investment in new cultural infrastructure in Parramatta, securing the first major step in the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Sydney’s west.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the $140 Million agreement laid the foundations for a vibrant arts and cultural precinct in Parramatta and secured the best site for the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta.

“Today is a major step forward in the New South Wales Government’s commitment to relocating the Powerhouse Museum to Western Sydney.” Premier Berejiklian said.

“Relocated Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta will be the anchor for arts and culture for the region, and now the site for the museum are locked in.”

“Powerhouse at Parramatta will include the best exhibits currently at Ultimo, and will build on them. The new Powerhouse in Parramatta will be bigger and better than anything this State has seen and will be a drawcard for domestic and international visitors.”

$140 Million in-principle agreement will see:

  • NSW Government purchasing the riverfront site for the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences).
  • City of Parramatta committing $40 Million to fund and grow arts and culture in the community over the next 20 years.
  • A partnership between the NSW Government and the Council for a $100 Million redevelopment of the Riverside Theatre with the State taking a 50 % interest in the project.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said that the redevelopment of the Riverside Theatre presented an exciting opportunity.

“We are going to build a world class performing arts centre at the Riverside which will attract the very best shows in Australia.” Mr. Harwin said.

“We are working closely with the community and the City of Parramatta to make sure Parramatta has the world class arts facilities and the $40 Million fund will help to unleash Parramatta as a cultural powerhouse in the centre of metropolitan Sydney.”

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said this agreement would support the continued growth of the thriving arts and cultural sector in Parramatta, for the community and across the State.

“Every cent of the $140 Million that the NSW Government is investing will be spent back into arts and culture here in Parramatta so expect more projects and more events.” Dr. Lee said.

NSW Government will retain an arts and cultural presence at the current Ultimo site following the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta.

Consultation is in progress with the community on the development of the new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta.

NSW Government is undertaking a business case to determine the future of the current Ultimo site.

Smithsonian Institution Building









Smithsonian Institution United States

Founded on 10 August 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, consisting of

  • 19 museums and galleries,
  • National Zoological Park,
  • 9 research facilities.

Reserve Powerhouse Museum Facility at Castle Hill that has occasionally been opened to the public should be open on a 24/7 basis with new transport services from Parramatta.

Alternatively, Parramatta Jail that has been closed should be converted into a Powerhouse Museum that would complement the Castle Hill Powerhouse.

There is no Government who has the money to build a Museum with floor space large enough for all the exhibits from both Ultimo and Castle Hill combined and as such should simply leave the Ultimo Powerhouse Museum alone.

Appointment Of A Powerhouse Promotions Director

A Promotions Director for all 3 Powerhouse Museums needs to be made by the State Government.

  • Powerhouse Museum Castle Hill
  • Powerhouse Museum Parramatta
  • Powerhouse Museum Ultimo

Powerhouse Museum is a very strong brand name and must be promoted to maximise tourism in Sydney, Interstate and Overseas.

  • Smithsonian Institution in the United States has 19 Museums and Galleries.
  • Sydney will soon have 3 Powerhouse Museums.

What if Sydney built a 4th Powerhouse Museum after Parramatta is opened?

It would appear that Sydney is not promoting Powerhouse Museums effectively enough in comparison with the Art Gallery of New South Wales or State Library as examples.

One only has to see the numbers of tourist coaches lined up in Harris Street, Ultimo outside the Powerhouse Museum Ultimo to see what I am talking about.

There is nothing to say that Sydney isn’t big enough to have more than 3 Powerhouse Museums that have a coordinated approach to Promotion.

Powerhouse Museum Ultimo was opened at current premises in 1988 as a Bicentennial of Sydney gift.

Powerhouse Ultimo was the Powerhouse for Tramway Electricity Generation. That story alone should not be hidden.

Along George Street, Sydney during Light Rail construction works historic photos of Trams on George Street have been placed on large boards for people to see.

So why hide the history behind the Powerhouse name?

Why are we trying to be politically correct about the Powerhouse name and history?

In order to maximise visitor traffic to all 3 Powerhouse Museums a Director of Promotions should be appointed to oversee Promotions for all 3 Powerhouse Museums.


NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

NSW Minister for Arts Don Harwin









On a 24/7 basis there should also be a Bus and later on a Light Rail service between Powerhouse Museum Parramatta and Powerhouse Museum Castle Hill.

Powerhouse Museum Castle Hill has always been a reserve facility however exhibits should be taken to the new Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta to free up space and place exhibits on Public Show for the first time.

Powerhouse Museum Castle Hill can then be promoted in a more effective means than at present.