Demolition gets the nod

Bull­doz­ers on job af­ter SCG Test

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Federal Politics - ED­WARD BOYD

AL­LIANZ Sta­dium will soon be his­tory with the NSW gov­ern­ment get­ting ap­proval for its demolition just three months out from the state elec­tion.

Bull­doz­ers will be­gin tear­ing the Moore Park venue down as soon as the Test match be­tween Aus­tralia and In­dia at the neigh­bour­ing SCG wraps up in early Jan­uary.

But NSW Op­po­si­tion Leader Michael Da­ley said the gov­ern­ment was show­ing “un­due haste” and should wait un­til af­ter the March state elec­tion.

The De­part­ment of Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­ment yes­ter­day ap­proved stage one of the sta­dium re­de­vel­op­ment, which in­cludes the demolition of the venue and a con­cept ap­proval for the new one.

NSW Min­is­ter for Sport Stu­art Ayres said Lendlease had been awarded the $730 mil­lion con­tract to de­mol­ish and build the new sta­dium, which is ex­pected to be com­pleted in early 2022.

“We will start con­struc­tion on the sta­dium im­me­di­ately. The site is be­ing pre­pared for demolition which will take place in early Jan­uary,” Mr Ayres said yes­ter­day.

The project is ex­pected to cre­ate more than 600 con­struc­tion jobs and sup­port around 300 jobs once op­er­a­tional.

De­spite plan­ning ap­proval only be­ing given for the demolition of the site, Mr Ayres said the con­tract with Lendlease was for both the knock down and re­build of the ground.

“We have con­sent for demolition. Af­ter demolition, stage two plan­ning con­sent is the ac­tual con­struc­tion of the sta­dium, but the con­tract is one con­tract.”

Mr Ayres said the grant­ing of stage two of the plan­ning ap­proval, which de­tails the fi­nal built form and oper­a­tion of the new sta­dium, should hap­pen in early 2019.

“We are very con­fi­dent the $730 mil­lion will fit into all of the plan­ning con­di­tions that will be put on to this sta­dium, ” Mr Ayres said.

NSW Op­po­si­tion Leader Michael Da­ley said it was the wrong de­ci­sion.

“Don’t knock this thing down now, wait un­til the elec­tion,” he said. “There are around 90 days to go un­til caretaker mode. There is no good rea­son why this gov­ern­ment needs to pro­ceed with such un­due haste.”

Mr Da­ley said if elected, his gov­ern­ment would not fund the re­build. In­stead La­bor would con­sider a low in­ter­est loan to the SCG Trust to pay for the de­vel­op­ment.

“I will not leave it as a hole in the ground if it is de­mol­ished, but the tax­pay­ers of NSW will not foot the bill,” Mr Da­ley said.

Al­lianz Sta­dium.

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