The ATA, a 50,000+ member grassroots public advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today welcomed the Berejiklian government’s decision to drop its plan to demolish and rebuild ANZ Stadium at exorbitant cost to the taxpayer. The NSW government will instead be refurbish the existing venue, in line with similar upgrades to functional international sporting venues worldwide.
“For months, the ATA have heard concerns from taxpayers across the state about the $2.5 billion plan to demolish and rebuild sporting venues that already meet international standards.” Said ATA Director of Policy, Satyajeet Marar. “After months of campaigning, it’s good to see these concerns vindicated by the government, in favour of a more sensible alternative.
“A Herald/ReachTEL poll last week found that nearly 60% of voters opposed the government’s stadiums policy and that more than 53% of voters also felt that NSW was spending too much on major sporting infrastructure.
“We commend the NSW government for delivering a multibillion dollar budget surplus. However, Sydney’s booming population means that services and transport infrastructure should take priority in government spending, rather than sporting venues which primarily benefit wealthy elites who control leagues, teams and franchises as well as their corporate sponsors – rather than the ordinary taxpayers who foot the bill.
“We further recommend that the government pursue the future construction of major sporting and entertainment venues through a fully private or public-private partnership model which ensures that those who stand to gain the most from these venues, also bear the risk and financial burden, instead of this being fully passed on to taxpayers.”