7 December 2022

City stadium idea a winner says Lee, with eye on 2024

| Ian Bushnell
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Elizabeth Lee

Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee: city stadium is firmly on the cards for the Canberra Liberals. Photo: Lottie Twyford.

The Canberra Liberals are aiming to kick goals with voters, reiterating their support for a city stadium and welcoming this week’s proposal from business and sporting groups for a combined convention centre and stadium precinct development in Civic East.

Well and truly staking out the electoral ground for the 2024 election, Leader Elizabeth Lee has sought to contrast the Opposition’s consistent position on supporting the city stadium idea with a “backflipping” Chief Minister.

“I’ve already said a couple of months ago on the record that a city stadium is firmly on the cards for the Canberra Liberals,” Ms Lee said.

“This idea has been floated around since 2009, when Andrew Barr was sports minister. So to drag the community and the stakeholders along for over 10 years, and then suddenly to drop a bombshell earlier this year to say it’s now off the table, is obviously going to have sent some shockwaves through the community that has worked really hard to try and convince governments.”

READ ALSO ‘Difficult decision to make’: Entire ACT Heritage Council sacked

Ms Lee said it was clear the project would not happen under a Labor-Greens government.

“After spending 13 years stringing the Canberra public along the Chief Minister was very clear in June this year that it was impossible to build a stadium in the city,” she said.

“He then changed his argument during Estimates Hearings in August saying the main reason for not building a stadium was due to the fact it would be used so infrequently and would be a ‘dead space’ for much of the year.

“I find it astounding the Chief Minister has now come out and said he will examine the proposal for the inverted-bowl stadium in what is his third position on the matter in recent times, despite the Sports Minister on the same day saying there is no consideration for a city stadium.”

Ms Lee said a stadium in Civic and the surrounding infrastructure would bring economic benefits that would flow through to the entire city.

“We do want to prioritise infrastructure projects that will provide the best economic and social benefits for all Canberrans now and into the future.”

She said Canberra had missed out on and would struggle to attract major sporting events and artists because it did not have the appropriate infrastructure to be able to host national and international events.

“This is very important for the future of our city and I acknowledge the leadership from the Canberra sporting and business community in the absence of any meaningful direction from the Chief Minister,” Ms Lee said.

“The Canberra Liberals will continue to liaise with and work closely with various stakeholders on this issue.”

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The new stadium/convention centre proposal aims to minimise the amount of taxpayer money governments need to commit to the project by seeking to unlock land at the AIS precinct in Bruce for development as a funding vehicle.

That depends on the Commonwealth coming to the party, something that would clash with the Australian Sports Commission’s ambition to revitalise the precinct.

The proposal says an inverted bowl stadium will fit on the Civic pool site and cost from $495 million to $736 million to build.

But Mr Barr believes it will be more like a billion dollars.

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How ironic this decision is. Not to mention that smug look in the picture above. This decision is not surprising though. After increasingly trashing the light rail project over the past number of weeks, the Canberra Liberals have now announced that they will reject the project and take it to the next Territory election in 2024. Our fourth light rail election in a row! After much prodding from the media and public, the Canberra Liberals continue to refuse to release their transport policy. Like honestly, how long must Canberra citizens put up with this ineffective opposition after six election losses in a row? Why couldn’t the party work with the government and support the project to negotiate a better transport system for all Canberrans and its expansion. Instead of building more roads we could have a better transport system which utilises all forms of transport modes. But no, their constant whining and whingeing from the sidelines will see Canberrans the big losers!! As a consolation prize however, the party has announced that they will support a combined convention centre and city stadium precinct should they win government. Can’t wait to see their plans and costings for this project!

Definitely not making sense – scrap the light rail project (to benefit all of canberra) and instead use these taxpayer monies to built a useless rugby league football stadium for the small minority.

How about no Elizabeth? Rather an infrastructure that will benefit the entire city rather than just the sports fans.

But go on, you’ll be on the opposition for another term, we prefer you out of government rather than having religious nut jobs dictating at us like your old senator did for over a decade.

HiddenDragon8:16 pm 08 Dec 22

This will probably go the same way as the debate over a new hospital in the lead up to the 2016 ACT election – after arguing against it, Labor will do a back-flip (in this case, yet another back-flip) as polling day looms and go to the 2024 election claiming that they can deliver a new stadium and convention centre and light rail to Woden (and various other places, as well, no doubt).

By the time anything happens – if it ever happens – growing numbers of people will be metaversing their way to at least some of the events which might be hosted at the proposed facility – https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/apple-glasses/

A city stadium is a great idea as long as we also spend more money on improving facilities for our teachers. Stadia are best placed in city precincts as they take advantage of existing transport facilities and provide pre and post game socialisation and entertainment. This gives the city a great atmosphere. But it is not much use having a great city culture if our teachers cannot get decent laptops or sit/stand desks.

Can Civic handle 30,000 people being let loose after an event?

Yep and no use having a stadium if landlords are continuing to get extorted through taxes. Get rid of land taxes and reduce rates.

Sam,
How exactly is a stadium and landlord taxes related?

If only the federal government removed the massive incentives to investors, people would put their money towards productive assets and our economy would be significantly better off.

Maybe then a stadium would be affordable.

chewy, chewy, chewy – about Sam… let me just leave these (very few from him) here for you to understand his motive…………….
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Sam Oak
7:40 pm 25 Nov 21
“ For those on JobSeeker, the share of income is an impossible 113 per cent.”

The analysis is a complete joke. Are people on the dole entitled to own houses as well?
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Sam Oak
12:10 pm 11 Nov 22
It’s a well established fact that Canberra has the lowest vacancy rates in the country because the ACT government has choked off rental supply by slapping egregious taxes on landlords. Could this be why rental demand is so high because people are turned off from home ownership in the first place?
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Sam Oak
1:22 pm 03 Mar 22
Once again, here is an example of biased media reporting “housing affordability problem” as a statement of fact.
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Sam Oak
12:25 pm 22 May 22
Seriously disgusted by how landlords have been treated by this ACT government!

Alex Smorhun1:47 pm 08 Dec 22

Anything for a vote – so obvious and sort of desperate. Won’t be getting my.

Thank God we don’t get your support – we don’t want this type of Labor Group think on the right side….

The stadium in the city (which seems to be a silly place to put one) should be seriously thought about once there is decent light rail and road access from at least the 5 other town centres.

That’s a long way off and the way things are going with the road access it’s getting further away with every new set of traffic lights.

Stephen Saunders6:11 am 08 Dec 22

That fixes our circuses, but what about our bread? I’m serious, the bakery situation is dire, for an OECD capital city.

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