NSW planning minister Rob Stokes announced on February 11 that the Powerhouse Museum project in Parramatta would go ahead, despite a parliamentary inquiry not yet having concluded.
Stokes’ announcement sparked anger among defenders of the historic villa Willow Grove, which is slated for destruction to make way for the new Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences.
On February 14, hundreds of people decorated Willow Grove’s front fence with hearts bearing support messages. The next morning, these had all been removed and additional fencing had been erected, signalling that work on the site may soon be starting.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union placed a green ban on the site last April and it is standing strong beside residents vowing to put their bodies in the way of bulldozers.