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Parramatta CBD showing the river. Parramatta CBD showing the river. Featured
30 July 2020 Posted by 

OPINION: WHY RIVER SHOULD BE POWERHOUSE HOME

Focus on facts and forget the fluff
CR BILL TYRRELL
AS an elected councillor, I am more than comfortable to support and ensure that Powerhouse Parramatta has the central river location and is delivered now.
The Premier, Minister Harwin and Geoff Lee the Member for Parramatta, and supporters agree that delivering right now the museum for us and future generations is important to Western Sydney and the City of Parramatta, the Central River City.
 
Focus now should be maintained on building a centrally located Arts and Cultural hub, focused on the Powerhouse Museum, rebuilt Riverside Theatres and in my opinion Roxy Theatres. 
 
Roxy Theatres has far more value historically and economically than the other two items, St George’s Terrace and Willow Grove combined; a thousand times over.
 
The River location is perfect as it is centrally located to the CBD, trains, ferries, Parramatta Light Rail, the future Metro West station, shopping, restaurants, accommodation, universities and other tourism.
 
It is also centrally located for workers, tourists, families, students and everyone from Western Sydney.
 
It is connected to the River, being the heart of the Central River City, great for hosting or being the hub for events on the river to highlight our city.
 
It is connected to Riverside Theatres and close to the Roxy Theatre.
 
The central location makes it a drawcard for conferences and business people to work, live and play while in our great city.
 
It will draw millions of people into the centre of the city and adds to the activation of our city.
 
The central River location is the only location that makes the Museum business case stack up and will be an iconic building to walk towards down Civic Link and through to the river.
 
Our growing heart and soul
 
The Museum will form part of the growing heart and soul of our city.
 
The Museum in the next five years will provide thousands of construction jobs and operational jobs as well as associated increase in surrounding employment in locally located tourism businesses which are badly needed, while not having to wait at least 15 years for the employment benefits to flow.
 
The economic benefits of locating, constructing and operating the museum, outweighs the sad and unfortunate loss of the locally heritage listed items. The North Parramatta Precinct is not suitable because:
 
1.The site is currently a Mental Health Facility;
 
2. A new location and purpose-built facility for NSW Health would have to be located, designed, approved and constructed and facilities moved, that’s a minimum of 10 years;
 
3. No available land in that precinct, that is large enough to house a new museum to allow the footprint, size and scale that is required to house the world class museum and exhibits to ensure that Parramatta and Western Sydney gets the world class museum it deserves.
 
4. It does not have any current transport connections, until Parramatta Light Rail is completed, but will only have one transport connection,
 
5. Workers, tourists, families, students and everyone else from Western Sydney will come to Parramatta via train, Metro West and ferry and will not want to make another transport connection and cannot walk to the museum,
 
6. No connection to shopping, restaurants, accommodation and other tourist locations which are located within the heart of the city or easily located,
 
7. No flow-on effects of employment in local tourism businesses, by having a location that is not centrally located to the city,
 
The North Parramatta Precinct location for a museum will mean that the business case fails as it will not have the number of visitor numbers and mean that the economic benefit to spend the money to design, construct and operate the museum does not stack up.
 
The North Parramatta location of being an arts and cultural precinct is only an idea still stuck in its infancy as all the parties up and around that location are not on the same page, which means that the only reason that a few parties are proposing the museum idea up there is that precinct needs a substantial drawcard to even get people interested in moving forward.
 
Unfortunately, if it was to go ahead, the museum in that location would fail and so would the precinct.
 
As far as the heritage buildings, Willow Grove and St George’s Terrace that have to be demolished for the Museum in its river location, they are not, World Heritage or State Heritage listed, nor is it considered that status, they are only locally heritage listed,
 
St Georges Terraces is only a façade and not a complete building, which would require significant resources to restore and maintain, so why is it heritage listed?
 
Councillor Bill Tyrrell was elected to City of Parramatta Council in September 2017. He represents the Epping Ward. The views expressed here are not necessarily representative of the Parramatta Council.


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