Media Release: Councils welcome stadium announcement - call for more action

29 March 2018

LGNSW President Linda Scott welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement today to abandon the rebuilding of ANZ stadium, listening to calls from NSW councils and saving $500m in infrastructure funding.

“Mayors and councillors across NSW know funds allocated to elite stadiums would be better invested in local community infrastructure across NSW – such as local sporting fields, bridges, footpaths, libraries, community facilities and services,” Clr Scott said.

“We call on the NSW Government to use funding saved from this single project – and funds committed to the demolition and rebuild of Allianz Stadium in Moore Park – to instead support councils to replace and grow essential community infrastructure across NSW.

“Funding alone from the Government’s announcement today would fix council’s infrastructure backlog, allowing community roads and bridges to be maintained at appropriate standards.

“If the Government put less than five per cent – or just $22 million – of the funds saved towards local libraries – it would benefit the 34 million people who visit libraries each year, compared to only 1.6 million visitors to ANZ stadium. 

“Council-run libraries are open to everyone and they’re free, offering a wide range of services including children’s story time, homework help for students, and activities for seniors – no entry ticket required.

“Yet the NSW Government contributes $3.76 per capita; well under the next lowest government contribution of $6.07 provided in Queensland.

“The Government’s forecasts for dramatic population growth in NSW make it even more important to boost funding for underlying community infrastructure now.

“NSW’s population is expected to swell to 9.9 million people by 2036, and the State Government is pushing for faster development to support this growth.

“Let’s make sure that community infrastructure and services such as those provided by public libraries aren’t left to fall even further behind the rest of Australia.”