Media release - Sportsfield death by neglect plan met with outrage

13 June 2018

Councils across NSW are outraged at the revelation that the business case behind NSW Government’s controversial plans to rebuild Allianz Stadium relies on stealing football fixtures away from locally-owned sportsgrounds.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said the business case, prepared by KPMG and released to the public yesterday, suggested at least two council sportsgrounds would be allowed to deteriorate sufficiently to force NRL games to be played at a rebuilt Allianz Stadium.

The two iconic grounds -  Manly Warringah Sea Eagles’ home ground Lottoland, at Brookvale, and Leichhardt Oval, spiritual home of the West’s Tigers – have been identified.

Both are council-owned.

“The KMPG business case is based on the need for the Allianz Stadium at Moore Park to draw more fixtures from council suburban grounds,” Clr Scott said today.

“Local Government NSW is disappointed the State Government’s business case states they won’t be funding venues they don’t own, raising the prospect of death by neglect for a range of council-owned community grounds.

“Opinion polling consistently shows NSW voters want to focus firmly on local infrastructure, rather than building big stadiums in Sydney.

“The local government sector simply does not believe it is in the best interests of the state to have sporting funding directed to elite stadiums when that money could be spent in a fairer way across the state on tennis courts, basketball courts or pools.”

Clr Scott said locally-based stadiums were necessary for the public good.

“The backroom deals on stadiums seem to be getting worse and worse for councils and communities,” she said.

The business case shows that even with the theft of NRL fixtures from home grounds, the state’s investment in the Moore Park Allianz Stadium would not return a positive cost benefit.

“This means further taxpayer subsidies as locally-based sport drifts further and further from the community,” Clr Scott said.


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