The new Parramatta Civic Centre and our CCCC – was the Mayor comparing apples with apples?

Yesterday on an interview with Moffey on TripleM breakfast Mayor Denise Knight favourably compared the estimated $76.5m ($100m with extra civil works) proposed Cultural Centre/Council Chambers (CCCC) in Gordon Street with the $145-$150m Parramatta Community Centre.

The Mayor also promised that the CCCC would not be subject to cost blow-outs. See;

Leaving aside that issue and the fact, as highlighted by Coffs Coast Outlook contributor Graeme Sheehan, that Parramatta is an LGA of approximately 250,000 people, or with four times the number of ratepayers as Coffs harbour, has a much larger commercial base while also having a higher socio-economic status with 27% of households with weekly incomes in excess of $2500 we thought you might also like to see what Parramatta ratepayers are actually getting for their money.

An artists view of the new Parramatta Cultural Civic Centre – the contract to build it has just been awarded

“New plans have been unveiled for an “iconic” $130 million civic and community centre in Parramatta — the last piece of a $3.2 billion CBD transformation in Sydney’s west.

Parramatta’s new civic, cultural and community centre, dubbed by the Mayor as the “beating heart of Parramatta”, will be the final addition to the new city centre.

The $130 million multipurpose six-storey building is expected to open in April 2022 and will coincide with the completion of the remaining Parramatta Square precinct, a 3-hectare mixed-use area aimed at revitalising Parramatta city centre with premium-grade office space and retail.

The new building was designed by French firm Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and Australian firms DesignInc and Lacoste + Stevenson following an international design competition.

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An artists impression of the foyer entry to the new building in Parramatta

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said the city’s Town Hall, constructed in 1885, will be integrated and accessible from the new 5 Parramatta Square development.

“I’m delighted to see Council’s long-term vision for one of Australia’s largest urban regeneration projects progressing and I look forward to watching 5 Parramatta Square go from concept to reality,” Wilson said.

The multipurpose building will be a dedicated community space and will include a state-of-the-art library, cafe, amphitheatre, council chambers, community meeting rooms and a “digital spire” at the top.

The masterplan project for Sydney’s second CBD also includes the University of Western Sydney campus, commercial buildings, 6,000sq m of public domain, located next to Parramatta train station and the future light rail stop on Macquarie Street.” (Sourced from The Urban Developer August 15, 2019.)

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Another artists view from a different angle of the new Parramatta building.

“Architecturally, the new Parramatta Centre divides into bands of stacked crystalline blocks, angled irregularly to become vertical at the northeast, producing a futuristic form of civic spire – a transparent glass fin for digital media projections.

The abstract form follows the sun’s trajectory. Inside will include a state-of-the-art library, council chambers, meeting rooms for community groups, a roof garden and visitor experience centre, with each level publicly accessible.

Innovations in glass technology will bring the complex façade to life. Each horizontal band of crystalline glass blocks represents one building level, with the lower zone shaped by the public arena, welcoming pedestrians with a sheltering cantilever above the entrances.

A mix of indoor and outdoor spaces will be created by deleting glass blocks from the overall volume, and integrating garden terraces. Protecting interiors from the sun will be a series of external screens, allowing outlooks while diffusing a beautiful light inside.

The heritage of Parramatta’s sandstone Town Hall, built in 1881 in the Victorian Free Classical Style, will be preserved, while the new Centre embraces technology and transparency in local government.

It will communicate to the public with event notices, local cultural achievements and art displays broadcast via large-scale integrated LED screens.(Our emphasis added. Source;


So ask yourself this question; Was the Mayor really ‘comparing apples with apples?’

9 thoughts on “The new Parramatta Civic Centre and our CCCC – was the Mayor comparing apples with apples?

  1. OMG imagine using the state government as an example of infrastructure building.Yes they do big projects but at what cost?.

    The light rail four years to completion, local business go broke and five times original cost, the Spanish company just loved it.

    Demolish a sport stadium, award the tender ,then re-tender and award the new tender for a $100 million more than original tender.

    Build a primary school in North Parramatta,original tender $100 million, final cost $325 million and no library.

    These people treat ratepayers money like monopoly money. Do you think it will be different with CCCC?

    Editors note: Well form is usually a good guide JC. 😉


    1. Brigit, we’re still waiting to know your arguments in favour of Knight’s plan, and your explanation for, and justification of, her patently undemocratic behaviour, which several posters gave you concrete evidential links to so as to support their positions.

      Until such time as you tell us what you think about the issues discussed here, how can we move the debate away from random, sniping, personal comments and into a reasonable dialogue?

    2. Sorry Brigit yet another furphy on your part, more and more people are travelling by train and other forms of public transport please keep up to date. It assists opinion.

  3. Oh Dear. Stay with me here Brigit;

    (1) Kate was being ‘tongue in cheek’. Trust me. And,

    (2) An all caps lock reply is very bad internet etiquette. It is considered to be rude, ill mannered shouting.

    I’m sure you didn’t meant to shout. Right?

  4. The only commonality I find is the use of “Heart” to name the project and it appears that was copied.
    Nothing surprises me with this train wreck anymore.

  5. I like the photo of what they are building in Parramatta with all that space for grass, trees and children’s playground. Definitely no space for something like this in Coffs Harbour where our new building is supposed to be placed!

  6. The Sydney Morning Herald 22/2/2020 Big Ticket Projects “Dont reveal costs too early”.

    The article covered the state government troubles with public projects,especially the metro tunnel.The cost has blown out with an extra $3 billion to complete.The cost had substantially blown out.

    Mr Constance blamed an overheated market and a real challenge. Do you think are council are up for it with the CCCC?

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