Grant Goldman editorial Wednesday 9 August 2017

Politicising the Powerhouse and Parramatta

Part 2 (Part 1)

Yesterday, I identified subjective media coverage by the Telegraph newspaper as bearing significant influence for the unexpected knee-jerk Powerhouse about face by the Premier. The resultant complete removal of the iconic Powerhouse museum from Ultimo to Parramatta could cost up to a billion taxpayer dollars plus putting at serious risk the future of an existing historic buildings as well as potential for damage of irreplaceable displays likely incurred during transportation.

At no stage did the newspaper acknowledge the existing rich and underutilised cultural heritage already present in Parramatta, such as old Government House and the nearby historic North Parramatta precinct.

The Parramatta pretence seems nothing but a ploy to encourage the NSW people to be deceived into believing that a political motive is the government’s main driving force rather than the obvious economic windfall available to an as yet publicly unknown select group of privateers’ regardless of the obvious heritage concerns should Ultimo’s powerhouse site be rapidly jettisoned by government to wholesale developer control. No doubt as a similar fate still awaits lucrative Wentworth Park.

Historic Parramatta north is the fortunate custodian of their seemingly uncherished convict era heritage buildings in Fleet Street, some of which are  old Parramatta gaol, the old Kings school, old Cumberland hospital, the historic Orphan school, the infamous girls home and Australia’s most intact colonial female factory where 5,000 convict era women were received from the British isles.

It is widely feared that at least 50% of Fleet Street’s historic buildings, that I just highlighted, could be recklessly demolished by an irresponsible and mercenary NSW government who actively ignore their potential merit and untapped tourist pulling power. Now, these world heritage value edifices unbelievably could be the target for property developers. It appears that Parramatta administrators have poor form when it comes to catering to our early history. NSW should be recycling our politicians instead of allowing them to shamelessly recycle your fast disappearing heritage for private profit at the behest of their political patrons.

In, Sydney’s Morning Herald front page caption for the 1st of August, 2017; it was unmasked that an intended residential apartment development has been earmarked for Ultimo’s Powerhouse: Plan `short changes city’.  North Parramatta and Sydney’s inner-west city heritage will be unprofitably relinquished thanks to an unwise media campaign headlined by a gaggle of wholly unremarkable failed former state politicians. They are contrasted by the heroic efforts in preservation undertaken to date by the community led by Australian living icon Thomas Keneally and popular Sydney actor Shane Withington.

Let’s see if listeners’ can be further informed on this topic by Suzette Meade? She is the president of the North Parramatta Residents’ Action Group.

We’ll chat with her soon.

What he said.

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