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Tourism overtones as stadium demolition hangs in balance

March 6, 2019 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

The New South Wales stadium demolition saga may come to a head this Friday, with a judge deliberating on whether the state government can go ahead and demolish Sydney Football Stadium at Moore Park (the Allianz Stadium) before building a new stadium in its place – a project championed by some tourism interests but electorally unpopular.

Major demolition work at the Allianz Stadium is now on hold, after Justice Nicola Pain in the Land and Environment Court issued a temporary injunction delaying the project.

The Australian Labor Party, NSW Opposition, has already said it will not rebuild either the Allianz Stadium or proceed with a AUD 800 million upgrade to ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.

Instead, Labor has pledged to spend the money on schools and hospitals if it wins government at this month’s state election on 23 March 2019.

The NSW government under Premier Gladys Berejiklian originally planned to knock down both the ANZ and Allianz stadiums, each comparatively new, and rebuild them a cost of about AUD 2.3 billion.

After strong opposition and protests over the eye-watering sum involved, government later amended its plan to demolish the ANZ Stadium (built in western Sydney for the 2000 Olympic Games) and rebuild it from the ground up. A refurbishment is planned instead.

In eastern Sydney meanwhile, major demolition work at the Allianz Stadium has stopped after Judge Pain granted the temporary injunction, restricting hard demolition of the stadium while she considers the arguments. The court’s decision is likely to be made this Friday (8 March 2019).

ANZ Stadium. Got a reprieve from demolition and will now be refurbished

Community group Local Democracy Matters launched the court action in a bid to prevent the NSW government flattening the stadium before the imminent state election.

Local Democracy Matters’ treasurer, Chris Maltby, told News Corp the decision to redevelop the stadium seems to have been made in “a great deal of haste” and was a “terrible waste of public money”.

An online petition against the stadiums demolition policy drew nearly 220,000 signatures and the NSW Labor opposition began campaigning on “schools and hospitals before stadiums”.

According to ABC News, one poll found that 82% of people are opposed to the NSW government’s stadium plans.

The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) threw its early support behind Berejiklian’s proposal.

Sydney Football Ground (Allianz Stadium). Demolition halted by temporary injunction

TTF chief executive Margy Osmond said modern sporting infrastructure was a vital part of any global city.

“We know that great venues attract great events, not just for tourists travelling for a once-off occasion, but also for locals heading along each week to cheer on their favourite footy team,” Osmond said.

“A suite of new world-class stadiums – Western Sydney, the SFS [Allianz] and an upgraded ANZ Stadium – will bring new events to Sydney, as well as getting more people along to existing events.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

The Western Sydney Stadium is one NSW stadium that everyone approves of. The big rectangular field sports facility in Parramatta, to be known commercially as Bankwest Stadium, is set to open in a few months. It replaces the demolished Parramatta Stadium and will seat 30,000 spectators.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    irrespective of ones personal politics it is very very hard to fathom the reasoning behind these 2 decisions – one can always justify spending other peoples money [taxes ] but on sports stadiums that already exist ??

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