The New South Wales government has given indication of the future of Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum for the first time since February, when they announced the facility would be completely re-located. Now, the future is seeming less mobile than initially thought.
The government has hinted that parts of the museum might remain open at the current Ultimo site after all. According to arts minister Don Harwin, at least a partial relocation to Parramatta is a “done deal”, but perhaps not all of the museum, as it was initially announced.
“One of the things I’ve said to the people overseeing the project is, ‘Look, if you can find a way of using the Ultimo site as some sort of cultural space, and if the state can afford it, we’ll listen to it,” Harwin told the ABC earlier today.
A financial business case for the large-scale relocation project is set for release later this year, but already it’s slated to cost up to $1 billion. Parramatta City Council is still working with state government to identify a suitable site.
The relocation of the iconic cultural site has been widely-lauded as a coup for the western suburb of Parramatta. The Baird government’s announcement in February came as part of a plan to make Parramatta “the next great city in the geographic centre of Sydney.” The museum is to form a centrepiece of the suburb’s new ‘arts and cultural’ precinct. At least for now, the scale of this centrepiece is yet to be determined.