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.”
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.”