Save the Powerhouse

In 2014 Liberal Premier Baird announced the destruction and sale of the internationally acclaimed Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) housed in the historically significant inner-Sydney Powerhouse building and precinct. No convincing explanation has been given as to why a museum and historic precinct is to be sold.

Key points

  • the unique, heritage-listed Powerhouse Museum in inner Sydney;

  • the Paramatta site is dangerously flood-prone and relies on the destruction of heritage -listed Willow Grove and St George’s Terraces’
the project site is too small to fulfil the Premier’s brazen promise of “Australia’s biggest-ever museum, with a display area far larger than the current space in Ultimo”;

  • is rejected by the communities of Paramatta and Pyrmont Ultimo.

Parliamentary Inquiry – Museums and Galleries in NSW, 2018
By 2016, some MPs were so seriously concerned by lack of consultation, poor planning, and escalating costs (from AUD 200 million to AUD $1.7 billion that a two-year independent Parliamentary Inquiry was established, to “inquire into the sale of the Powerhouse Museum site in Ultimo and its proposed move to Parramatta, and whether there are alternative strategies to support museum development".

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The Inquiry’s damning Final Report, released in February 2019 ( ) concluded that (1) “ the decision to relocate the Powerhouse Museum has been based on poor planning and advice, a flawed business case and insufficient community consultation. Nothing so far has demonstrated the necessity or purpose for relocating this world renowned cultural institution”. (see Chair’s Foreword p iv)
The Committee found that (2) the Final Business Case for the Powerhouse Museum in Western Sydney Project did not comply with NSW Treasury's Guide to Cost-Benefit Analysis( see Findings-Finding 1, p viii)
The more people who tell them the REAL “story,” the greater the chances that some at least will judge the NSW Government’s behaviour “unethical” and will demand changes to the proposed “trade off” between the Ultimo Powerhouse and a new “cultural precinct” at Parramatta, when both are essential.


Millers Point, Dawes Point & the Rocks

Save the Heritage & the Community of Millers Point, Dawes Point & the Rocks, Stop the public housing sell-off in Millers Point and the rest of Australia. Read the Sirius history here.

 Millers Point Press conference: Millers Point Tenants with Anthony Albanese MP, March 2015. Photo credit, Capture That Photographics, Natalie Cox (Owner/Director/Head Photographer)  


Campaign Updates

The Official Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Rocks Tenants is
Sign the Petition:
The Brown Couch at
Tenants Union Clearing House Page -

History and Background: Millers Point  A community under the hammer

SMH Interactive Millers Point Community History Site at
Millers Point and the United Nations at and
Barangaroo a plague on all their houses, SMH, August 25, 2013 at


Millers Point, Dawes Point and the Rocks: "Get Out:" Day Anniversary – one year on 19 March 2015

Millers Point sell-off is “too big a risk” for Sydney’s heritage says The National Trust of Australia. Millers Point is the oldest surviving urban area in Australia, with some buildings dating back to the 1820s.

The NSW government decided a year ago to sell 293 government-owned and heritage-listed properties and the Sirius apartment building designed by Tao Gofers in 1978. The MCA is housed in the former Maritime Services Building where maritime tenants paid their weekly rental. Many of the terraces were purposed designed for maritime workers as 'model housing'.

Director of Advocacy at the National Trust of Australia (NSW), Graham Quint, said Millers Point is of national significance and new owners weren’t taking the heritage permission seriously.

The National Trust is not only concerned about the destruction of the physical heritage of the area, but sees Millers Point’s social heritage endangered as well.

The NSW State Election on Saturday 28 March is being fought over the sell-off of state heritage and utilities. Labor and Greens oppose the sale of public housing and utilities. But only a Labor Government will have the power to stop the sell-off in Millers Point and The Rocks.

It wasn’t the Liberals who fought for the Rocks, Woolloomooloo and Glebe … it was communities working with unions. They fought a Liberal government weak on heritage but ideologically driven to sell state heritage as an "engine of growth".


Documents, Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks Public Housing Tenants Group about the sale of public housing in the area.


 Alison Alder, 'Real Estate', 2015.  Alison Alder, 'Goodbye from Sirius', 2015.  
Alison Alder, 'Get Out Quick', 2015.


Residents of Millers Point and The Rocks are engaged in an historic battle with the NSW State Government over the future of the public housing dwellings in Sydney's historic inner-city are called The Rocks and Millers POint.

This attempted destruction of a community is in pursuit of the reckless and short-sighted pursuit of overdevelopment by the adjacent Barangaroo Development Authority and developer Lend Lease.

"A lot of our neighbours have been moved out.. We are an entire suburb of Sydney .. people are vulnerable.. we have been hard working, paid our taxes, paid our rent.. Most of us are fighting to stay here and we have gained a lot of support.."
Barney Gardner, co-convenor Millers Point and the Rocks Tenants Association.
About 200 of the homes at Millers Point are considered historic. The state government has made the false and heartless claim that costs for maintaining the housing are too high and they have then used this false and misleading claim as a justification for evicting over 400 long-term residents so that they can then proceed to with the sale of the properties to the highest bidders. The announced proposal to sell 293 properties in Millers Point has been taken without any consultation with the National Trust.

National Trust Media Statement on Millers Point of 27 March 2014 says:
The National Trust is seeking an immediate halt to Government Property NSW’s call “to register your interest in purchasing a Millers Point Property” which is being promoted on the Family and Community Services Website.

“The announced proposal to sell 293 properties in Millers Point has been taken without any consultation with the National Trust. This is despite the entire area being listed on the National Trust Register in 1978 as an Urban Conservation Area and the Trust having listed 127 individual properties in Millers Point on its Register for forty years,” said Trust Chief Executive Officer, Brian Scarsbrick.

“The sale decision also appears to have been taken without any prior consultation with the NSW Heritage Division despite Millers Point being listed on the State Heritage Register as a Conservation Area in 1999 and as a Precinct with high social significance in 2003. Additionally 109 places in Millers Point are listed on the State Heritage Register and these places include more than 400 individual dwellings,” said Mr Scarsbrick.

The Trust Advocacy Director, Graham Quint stressed that the Government’s own Statements of Significance for Millers Point say that it “is an intact residential and maritime precinct of outstanding State and national significance, containing buildings and civic spaces dating from the 1830s” and that “the whole place remains a living cultural landscape greatly valued by both its local residents and the people of New South Wales.”

Mr Quint also noted that the 2003 State Heritage Register Listing says “Millers Point & Dawes Point Village Precinct is significant through associations with a community in NSW for social, cultural and spiritual reasons. A proportion of the existing population is descended from previous generations of Millers Point locals, and has fostered a strong and loyal sense of community and solidarity.”

“There must be consultation with the local community and evictions currently being proposed must halt until there has been proper consideration and determination of the impacts of this decision on all of the state and national heritage values of Millers Point - Its historical, social, landmark, archaeological and rarity significance,” said Mr Scarsbrick.

 Milers Point First Auction Poster, 26 August 2014.  



The CFMEU is proudly standing shoulder to shoulder with residents in Millers Point who are being forced out of public housing by the Liberal government. Unity Magazine, September 2014, p36. > Download pdf

Media Release - Buyer Beware: Sale Does Not Have Community Support > Download pdf

You shall not covet your neighbour's house, Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - or Download pdf






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