The NSW Government’s formal response to the public submissions on the Powerhouse at Parramatta EIS (the Response to Submissions Report) was released and DSMG made further statement on the proposed destruction of Willow Grove and the failure of the process to reflect the partnership relationship agreed to between DSMG and the Museum earlier this year.
We expressed our exasperation that the Response to Submissions Report simply failed to address the fundamental underlying issues that were raised not only in our submission but in other community submissions that the proposed development is deeply conceptually flawed as a development of a cultural institution at this place.
91% of submissions on the EIS raised objections to the destruction of Willow Grove and yet the consultants preparing the response to those submissions failed to make any comment that reflected the fundamental mismatch between the Powerhouse at Parramatta project and the place chosen or the design selected.
Our response pointed out that the consultation and community reference processes have been inconsistent with good practice and seem to have been largely ignored in the Response to Submissions Report. The proposal has now been revised to retain the St Georges Terrace buildings – which demonstrates that reformulation of the design to accommodate existing cultural heritage was always possible. For us, failure to redesign to also retains Willow Grove simply reinforces the poor understanding of the site and its place in Parramatta.
Read our submission on the Response to Submissions Report here.
The NSW Government project website for the Powerhouse at Parramatta contains all the public reports, assessments and submissions and can be accessed here. Infrastructure NSW has a website for the project here.