Objection to the Parramatta Powerhouse

The National Trust (NSW) has lodged its submission opposing the proposed Parramatta Powerhouse with the NSW Government’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

While the National Trust welcomes news that the Powerhouse Museum will remain at Ultimo, objections were raised to the department in light of the documents on exhibition for the proposed Parramatta Powerhouse development.

The key objections raised by the National Trust include:

  • The irrevocable destruction of two heritage-listed places highly valued by the community: Willow Grove and St. Georges Terrace.
  • Our view that the site will not accommodate a world class cultural institution for the display of objects illustrating the industrial advance of civilisation and the development of inventions and manufacture.
  • That the site is not – literally or metaphorically – a power house.
  • The site being put forward as a State Significant Development is not intended to be employed as a museum.

The last point in the National Trust’s list of objections is a crucial one when reviewing the development proposed for the site at Parramatta and the omission of any mention of ‘a museum’. The development will include:

  • Front and back-of-house spaces − seven major public presentation spaces.
  • Studio, co-working and collaboration spaces comprising the ‘Powerlab’, supported by residences (serviced apartments) for artists, students, researchers and scientists, and dormitory beds for school students.
  • Education and community spaces for staff, researchers and the Powerlab Residents, the community, and education and commercial hirers.
  • A commercial kitchen comprising the ‘Powerlab Kitchen’ used for research and product development, and as a destination, education and event space.
  • A film, photography, and postproduction studio that will connect communities with industry and content that will interpret the Powerhouse Collection.
  • A public facing research library and archive for community, industry, students and researchers to access materials; and a mix of retail spaces including food and drink tenancies.

The National Trust has outlined in its statement why the proposal should be reconsidered, including:

  • The heritage values of the site.
  • That facts included in the Statement of Heritage Impact are incorrect.
  • The impact of relocation of items in the Powerhouse Museum collection.
  • The context of the proposed development design.

Read the complete submission from the National Trust here.

Director, Conservation, Graham Quint and Conservation Manager, Andreana Kennedy are available for comment.


Lyndal Stuart, Director, Marketing and Communications
(M) 0400017330
(E) lstuart@nationaltrust.com.au