7 November 2019

Liberals say EPIC stadium makes no sense, remain noncommittal to city venue

| Lachlan Roberts
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James Milligan and Alistair Coe

James Milligan was noncommittal about whether or where the Canberra Liberals would build a new stadium if elected in 2020. Photo: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

The Canberra Liberals are adamant that a new stadium at Exhibition Park would merely replicate the current issues at the Bruce facility, but would not commit to building a new stadium in the city.

The ACT Government is still weighing up where to build a new indoor sports stadium, with the latest suggestion to build it in Mitchell.

Canberra Liberals spokesperson for Sport and Recreation James Milligan said the ACT Government’s EPIC proposal would just turn into another GIO Stadium.

“We have seen the Government backflip over their ideas for a new stadium and recently they announced that they will possibly build a stadium out at EPIC,” Mr Milligan said. “Building a stadium in EPIC would just replicate the issues that are currently experienced with GIO Stadium. It just doesn’t make sense.”

However, Mr Milligan was hesitant to declare his party’s position on whether or where it would build a new stadium if elected in 2020.

He said he had spoken to Federal Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck about the Commonwealth’s plan for the Australian Institute of Sport and GIO Stadium, which would, in turn, affect their next course of action.

“At the end of the day, if we build a new stadium or if we keep GIO, we need to ensure that we have people attending the game,” Mr Milligan said. “When looking at a new stadium, we need it to be a full experience for the family. It needs to be a whole experience and not just two hours for the football field.

“We also need to ensure that we have more than 24 games of content that we currently have at GIO. We need to have content every single week of the year to make sure it is a viable option and that the stadium can be used for a number of different things and not just sport.”

Site of recent Raiders and Brumbies games, Parramatta's Bankwest Stadium. Photo: Bankwest Stadium.

Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium has been a raging success. Photo: Bankwest Stadium.

If the Liberals were to build a stadium, Mr Milligan said they would follow in NSW footsteps and build a venue like Bankwest Stadium.

“Recently I was up in Paramatta and I had a tour through Bankwest,” he said. “It is an absolutely amazing stadium and what they have done there is build a stadium for the future. They haven’t built a stadium for the next five years, they have built a stadium for the next 30 years.

“There is great design out there for a new stadium and I think what we need to do is ask where can the stadium go, what can support that stadium and how can that stadium support other activities.”

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How can they say that Epic makes no sense? If we aren’t going to use the Institute of Sport lands, then Epic is the only spot that makes any sense at all! There is public transport to it, it is far enough out of the city that the noise from it won’t bother all that many people (especially if placed on the far side of the grounds).

But still, anything but the outright insanity of building it over the site of the Civic swimming pool.

Capital Retro11:15 am 10 Nov 19

“Redevelopment of Epic into a world class entertainment precinct. With hotels with restaurants/ cafes at street level, show style indoor auditoriums, multi level car park.”

Because Canberra is where it is geographically it can’t compete with “world class” projects like you have suggested. And the cost of such a development would rival that of the tram and would be just as useless. Barr just may do it, who knows?

Rob Chalmers10:24 am 09 Nov 19

If it must be built build it near Glenloch Interchange. Plenty of land there, have a look at the map. 4kms from the city at the point roads from all of Canberra converge. Lake view build some infrastructure on the lake cafes boardwalk etc

Capital Retro8:51 am 10 Nov 19

I can see the community receptivity plan already.

“Football in the Forrest”.

Capital Retro9:16 am 09 Nov 19

The “open air” stadium at Bruce is fine for the two rugby games and the occasional round ball game.

It tests the kicking skills of players. These skills are being lost because in the new enclosed type stadiums all they have to do is kick straight. The commentators also can’t comment on the swirling winds and how that will affect play. Enclosed stadiums should be banned.

Capital Retro2:19 pm 09 Nov 19

When I said “two rugby games” I meant the two codes; rugby union and rugby league which are played there regularly of course.

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