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Artist impression of the Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta.. Artist impression of the Powerhouse Museum at Parramatta.. Featured


Regional benefits "too good to miss"
THE $1.1B dollar relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta would be the day-visitor attraction so much needed in Sydney’s second CBD, according to Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer and Chamber of Commerce president Schon Condon.
Cr Dwyer said the Powerhouse, to be built on the foreshore on the old David Jones site, was the first major Government investment in Parramatta since the Riverside Theatre back in 1988.
And, yes, he understands the controversy and laments the loss of historic properties Willow Grove and St George’s Terrace, but emphasises that the relocation of the iconic Powerhouse from Ultimo to Parramatta was an opportunity “too good to miss”.
“The Powerhouse in Parramatta will bring two million people a year to Parramatta. That will have untold financial benefit to the whole of Parramatta,” he told Access.
“I appealed to the Premier to keep this project as the government was considering cutting back on infrastructure (post-Covid).”
Despite reservations about some aspects of the development, particularly the demolition of the heritage properties, Cr Dwyer said Parramatta would be “a laughing stock” if council rejected it now.
He emphasised that the Powerhouse decision and the siting of it was made during council’s administration period and indicated that perhaps another site would have been found if councillors had been involved.
After all, the council had invested heavily in a grand plan for the foreshore while John Chedid was lord mayor, but that had to be scuppered for the Powerhouse.
“But you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” Cr Dwyer said.
"I believe that the majority of residents in our Local Government area (LGA) and Greater Western Sydney want Powerhouse to come to Parramatta.
International Destination
“It is important to recognise the full extent of this once-in a lifetime opportunity. We are developing our city’s and our region’s capacity to attract visitors from international and domestic sources. 
“The Powerhouse Museum will be a destination venue; and this is important in the context of our region’s continued development and the opening of Australia’s newest 24-hour airport at Badgerys Creek.
“And, while I don’t want to see heritage go, and council in its submission wanted a design that would keep Willow Grove, realistically, more people would visit the Powerhouse than Willow Grove.”
Cr Dwyer agreed with heritage protectors, particularly the North Parramatta Resident Action Group that vehemently opposes the Powerhouse’s relocation, that there should be a better co-ordinated heritage tourism plan for Parramatta but said that would need Destination NSW working with council.
Mr Condon echoed the Lord Mayor’s enthusiasm, saying the Powerhouse would join Bankwest Stadium in bringing “growth and development” to Parramatta.
“I’m bitterly disappointed about lost heritage and I hope this will be the end of it, but this investment is critical to our city,” he said.
Mr Condon looks forward to the flow-on benefits from the two million a year Powerhouse visitor to Parramatta retail and hospitality businesses.It was an opportunity too good to miss, he said.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Access News is a print and digital media publisher established over 15 years and based in Western Sydney, Australia. Our newspaper titles include the flagship publication, Western Sydney Express, which is a trusted source of information and for hundreds of thousands of decision makers, businesspeople and residents looking for insights into the people, projects, opportunities and networks that shape Australia's fastest growing region - Greater Western Sydney.