Powerhouse Museum’s Ultimo site increases $220 million in value, according to Auditor-General’s report


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The three websites have been revalued at the least each three years, and have been beforehand valued at $131 million in 2015, a spokesperson for Arts Minister Don Harwin stated.

Nevertheless she admitted the hovering valuation this 12 months was primarily based on the Ultimo website being valued at its “highest and greatest use”.

Arts Minister Don Harwin denied a $220 million value increase related only to the Powerhouse Museum's Ultimo site.

Arts Minister Don Harwin denied a $220 million worth enhance associated solely to the Powerhouse Museum’s Ultimo website. Credit score:James Brickwood

“The NSW authorities has introduced that it’ll set up a artistic industries precinct at Ultimo as soon as the relocation of the Powerhouse is accomplished with a plan for a brand new Broadway-style theatre (1,500-1,600 seat theatre) and a design and style museum,” she stated.

Paperwork launched earlier this 12 months present the state authorities has additionally quietly costed the sell-off of different components of the Ultimo website for residential and business improvement.

A spokesperson stated the Auditor-Normal stood by her report. All three websites had been revalued, however the change within the price of the Citadel Hill and Millers Level websites had been “very minimal”, the spokesperson stated.


The relocation of the museum – often known as the Museum of Utilized Arts and Sciences – was first mooted by then-Premier Mike Baird in late 2014. It has been mired in controversy since.

“Make no mistake, the property builders in Sydney would like to get their arms on this prime website at Ultimo – and the Liberals are actively serving to them to take action,” Labor’s arts spokesman Walt Secord stated.

He was joined in his criticism by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Celebration MP Robert Borsak, who chaired a parliamentary inquiry into museum’s relocation.

“We now actually perceive the motivation behind the federal government wanting to maneuver the museum to Parramatta,” he stated. “It wasn’t pushed by something aside from pure property improvement greed.”

The Auditor-Normal’s report individually famous a revaluation had discovered the price of the State Library’s pictorial assortment had been overstated by $1.1 billion in 2015 attributable to a collection of errors. $283 million had been added to the price of the Australian Museum’s collections.

The report famous that the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum was confirmed by the state authorities in April this 12 months, with the brand new constructing to open in Parramatta in 2023.

“Because of this, Powerhouse decided the present use of the Ultimo website was now not ‘the very best and greatest use’ and an impartial valuation was obtained,” the report stated.

“The revaluation train resulted in a rise of $220 million to the worth of the Ultimo website.”

An annual report for 2017/18, ready by the Powerhouse Museum’s board of trustees, stated the Millers Level and Citadel Hill websites have been revalued in January, and the Ultimo website in Might.

For the Ultimo website, the valuers have been making an allowance for “present zoning and heritage restrictions, however eradicating the present restriction of the location being a museum.”

It famous the federal government had included “business and residential choices” in its future plans for the location.

However the spokesperson for Mr Harwin stated the design and style museum and Broadway-style theatre have been the one confirmed plans for the Ultimo precinct till a enterprise case had been accomplished.

Greens MP David Shoebridge, who sat on the parliamentary inquiry, stated the Auditor-Normal’s report had “laid naked” the federal government’s actual agenda.

“As soon as the location is ‘unencumbered’ by a public use similar to a museum, it is quickly revalued for its most residential property yield delivering a windfall greenback achieve,” Mr Shoebridge stated.

The state authorities didn’t reply to the allegations.

Carrie Fellner is an investigative reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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