Allianz Stadium could have been fixed for as little as $18 million, a secret report for the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust has revealed.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the stadium, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, could have been ugraded to meet all safety standards and address “current non-compliance” for $18,153,800.
That’s in stark contrast to the Berejiklian Government’s claim that it would have cost $700 million to fix the safety issues.
Mr Daley told The Sydney Morning Herald the report “exposes once and for all their entire case for the stadium splurge to be nothing more than a sham”.
“Instead they wanted a gold plated stadium. What a disgrace,” he said.
The government’s plan to knock down and rebuild a football stadium in Sydney has become one of the most contentious issues in the NSW election campaign.
Labor leader Michael Daley has vowed to cancel the demolition and rebuilding of Allianz Stadium at Moore Park and to instead refurbish the facility so that it complies with fire safety and evacuation standards.
But Premier Gladys Berejiklian had accused her opponent of being deliberately misleading in the debate and ignoring common economic sense.
Ms Berejiklian said project modelling had indicated it would cost $340 million to install “the basic safety requirements” at Allianz Stadium that independent certifiers had deemed a risk.
But Mr Daley has hit back, saying the premier is being misleading by not clarifying the financial impact to taxpayers.
“Her plan is $730 million all paid for by the taxpayer. My plan, the refurbishment, we’ll work out what the cost is once we have a chance to see what shape the place is in, but the premier has said it’s $348 million,” Mr Daley told news.com.au.
“The treasurer has said you can refurbish it for $348 million. The difference is, I’ll make the Trust take out a loan for the cost of the refurbishment. The cost to taxpayers – zero. Their plan – $730 million to the taxpayer. My plan – zero.”
Mr Daley said he will make the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust take out a loan for the cost of the refurbishment.
“The existing Allianz Stadium did not have a sprinkler system removed under the cover of darkness,” Mr Blackett said in an email. “There was never a sprinkler system installed.”
Mr Daley later backtracked and said he was talking about the field’s grass sprinkler system.
The stadium’s safety features were so lacking that fire trucks and firefighters regularly had to be present on site at games and other events in case an incident occurred.
“These ongoing management strategies, including resource strain on (Fire and Rescue personnel) and equipment to be present … during events was a temporary measure and was not sustainable,” Mr Blackett said.
“With all facts and matters considered, I support the decision to demolish the current Allianz Stadium.”
In January, Mr Daley demanded the government halt the project until after the election.
Labor describes the continued demolition works at Allianz Stadium as an attempt by the government to “deny the people of NSW a say on the $2.2 billion Liberals and Nationals stadiums splurge”.
The only problem is, the Allianz project is about $730 million while the other major component, the large-scale refurbishment of ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park, is another $810 million, for a total of $1.54 billion.
Mr Daley told news.com.au that demolition works current under way would not make the stadium salvagable should Labor win government.
“Big buildings like that take a long time to demolish. They’ve only really started in earnest last Friday,” he said.
“We’ve had people look at the stadium, including a former deputy government architect, and he said what the others have said – the damage at the moment is only superficial.”
“It’ll still be standing and it means everyone’s vote is important.”
Mr Daley said a refurbishment would make Allianz Stadium “shine like a pin” without wasting money on an unnecessary redevelopment.
“There’s a better way to do it. You can do it by making the Trust take out a loan so the taxpayer doesn’t have to pay, and we’ll have $730 million to play with,” he said.
A petition started by journalist and TV personality Peter FitzSimons saying the money being spent on stadiums is a waste has more than 220,000 signatures.
Last week FitzSimons said it was “economic madness” to “destroy a valuable public asset nine days before the election”.
NSW heads to the polls on Saturday, March 23.
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