Potent Seselja derails Australia’s World Cup Bid!

johnboy 17 May 2010 50

[First filed: 16 May 2010 @ 10:30]

One doesn’t normally associate being leader of the opposition in the London Circuit Soviet with great power or responsibility

But Andrew Barr reckons our own Zed Seselja is jeopardising Australia’s bid for the soccer world cup!

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today that the business and sporting communities in Canberra would be reeling today at the news that Mr Seselja was opposed to a $300 million capital investment in the city – the bulk of which would be funded by the Commonwealth – and was also opposed to one of the biggest tourism opportunities ever to come the city’s way.

“One can only hope that his comments today have not materially damaged the Australian bid. Essentially, if the ACT was not a part of this commitment, the whole Australian bid would be in jeopardy, and Mr Seselja needs to understand that before he is tempted to again talk down the city and talk down an opportunity of this magnitude,” Mr Stanhope said today.

Personally I think that when planning white elephants we need to think bigger. The world is full of un-used 45,000 seat stadiums, if we want a tourism draw we need to build this sucker to accomodate at least a quarter of a million people.

We can dig it into the ground as an enourmous amphitheatre! And then we’ll finally know into which hole all the money is going! And the international hotel chains which derive almost all the economic benefit can laugh all the way to the bank!

(Excuse me, I just need to go have a bit of a lie down)

UPDATE: Andrew Barr has been in touch to make the following points:

I think there is a need to clarify some of the misconceptions in this thread.

Firstly, the new stadium would have a permanent seating capacity of 26,500, with the ability to expand to 40,000 through a temporary seating overlay to meet FIFA World Cup standards.

Secondly, the ACT Government contribution is capped at $100 million in today’s dollars. The Commonwealth Government will meet the additional expected $170m cost (again in 2010 dollars). A major stadium of this type would obviously be well beyond the capacity of the ACT to afford by itself.

Thirdly, the ACT’s agreement to part-fund the stadium is contingent on Australia winning the bid.

Fourthly, the construction of a new stadium is a better long-term option than a major rebuild of the existing Canberra Stadium, which was built in 1977 and will require major upgrading by the middle of the next decade. It would also mean less disruption to our leading sporting teams, including the Raiders and Brumbies, during the three-year construction phase.

Fifthly, the new stadium will provide for the needs of Canberra’s sporting community for 50 years from completion of construction.

Finally, there is a difference between one off capital expenditure on infrastructure and recurrent spending on wages and salaries. Nearly 50% of the $3.84 billon annual Territory Budget is spent on salaries, wages and superannuation for ACT Government employees. Over the next decade, more than $20 billon will be spent on salaries for nurses, teachers, bus drivers, ambulance officers, firefighters, police officers, child protection workers, therapists, park rangers, city rangers etc

He was also keen to point out that last year the Liberals had a go at him for not pushing this.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Zed’s office has now been in touch feeling they’re being verballed here. Their position is set out in a media release but basically they’re saying they’d like to know more whys and wherefores before we sign up to the show:

“What we haven’t heard from the government is detailed plans about what type of major sports this proposed stadium will be able to accommodate, what size the the stadium will be after the event and whether it is the most efficient way of providing large sporting events in the ACT.

“One of the concerns would be that the ACT would have two stadiums of similar size capacity right next to each other that would only be able to host sports that use a rectangular field, effectively ruling out major cricket and AFL matches here in the ACT.


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50 Responses to Potent Seselja derails Australia’s World Cup Bid!
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housebound housebound 11:13 am 03 Dec 10

Looks like Zed’s “comments … materially damaged the Australian bid” after all. Unbelievable.

Deano Deano 10:35 am 03 Dec 10

Looks like we’ve been saved from this white elephant.

canucksfan canucksfan 5:10 pm 24 May 10

Deano said
No. We _need_ decent public transport, health system, public education, police force etc. A new stadium to host a sport that barely rates a national competition here ranks pretty low on that list.
Luckily Rudd is going to take over health so thats not an issue. We could throw another $100 million at ACTION but i doubt we’d see more than another couple of buses and maybe a couple of new routes to the Arboretum. No ACT government is ever going to show the Ba#$s to fix public transport in Canberra as it would cost a lot more than $100 million.
I’m happy with the jobs the boys in blue are doing, don’t get me wrong they could always use more money and i’m sure building the stadium will not mean they get nothing.
And unfortunately the current view is super schools are good because they work in the US (cough, cough) so the money might build us a new hall for one of these, to add to the two they already have.
The federal gov is going to put in most of the money so lets take advantage of it.
Wraith said:
Lets not even start the transport logistic problem if this gets up………….
Having been following this for a while i believe an improved transport system is part of the package with a bus terminal off the GDE. This might actually encourage more people to catch buses and therefore more money to Action.
Facts are being thrown around about how much the Sydney Olympics cost NSW. you know what i don’t care if it made or lost money for them. My friends who run businesses here in Canberra said even having just a few games here was a boost. Any boost to the local businesses is good.
I say build it- Can they use one of the existing islands or will they have to create a new one? If the bridge isn’t built in time will everyone have to catch the adult party boat across to and from the games???

Deano Deano 9:30 am 20 May 10

RAGD said :

So enjoy trying to occupy yourselves with anything else other than the FIFA World Cup if it does come around. I suspect you will be very miserable at a time when the rest of world will be very excited.

You’re more than welcome to my ticket. I have plenty of more enjoyable things to do that keep me occupied everyday of the year without requiring the government to ‘invest’ hundreds of millions of dollars on one event.

So enjoy your spectacle, I just hope you can recall your excitement the next time you are stuck in the casualty waiting room because of a shortage of beds or your car gets stolen because of a lack of police patrols.

2604 2604 8:39 pm 19 May 10

Observing said :

Yeah, because the constant capacity filling crowds that watch AFL games between teams that aren’t even local sides sounds like a bad investment. Crowds which would be larger than an average Brumby/Raiders game if they weren’t forced to play in a tiny oval with just under 15,000 capacity.

Now imagine what that would be for a team that the locals DO care about. If only there was a bit more foresight and not constant efforts to kill AFL off in Canberra, that WOULD be a great investment.

I agree that more could be done to promote AFL here, and there was a good crowd at Manuka on Saturday. But I’m pretty sure that any AFL team which comes here will suffer from the same fickle supporter syndrome as affects the Raiders and Brumbies. Weren’t there only 3,700 people at the NAB cup game between the Lions and the Bulldogs in February?

RAGD RAGD 1:38 pm 19 May 10

If Australia wins the bid and the stadium build goes through, I will be first in line waiting to get tickets when they are up for sale. I am glad so many people here won’t be, since they are obviously so against it. It will mean more tickets for my family, friends and I to buy up and enjoy being part of the biggest thing that will probably happen to Canberra in my lifetime. So enjoy trying to occupy yourselves with anything else other than the FIFA World Cup if it does come around. I suspect you will be very miserable at a time when the rest of world will be very excited.

MissPeaches MissPeaches 12:57 pm 19 May 10

Deano said :

The actual number of individuals who watch the World Cup is closer to 700 million.

MissPeaches said :

Impressive number isn’t it.

That was probably the intention, but it is misleading nonsense none the less.

I’m still impressed by 700 million. 🙂

Mathman Mathman 1:38 pm 18 May 10

MissPeaches said :

Impressive number isn’t it.

Not really. By the same measure, more people have watched M.A.S.H. (especially given the constant reruns) and look how much benefit that has brought South Korea.

Deano Deano 1:17 pm 18 May 10

MissPeaches said :

Deano said :

Deano – do you not understand what CUMULATIVE means. Those statistics are the total viewers for each game – added up.

Actually it is FIFA that doesn’t understand the concept of cumulative audience as it is commonly understood in media and marketing. Here is the standard definition:

“Audience accumulation for a medium over a specified time period. Individuals or households count only once in this measurement, no matter how many times they may have been exposed to the medium. Sometimes called the cume or reach, cumulative audience for the advertiser represents the unduplicated audience (the number of people who will be reached at least once) for a schedule over a specific time period.

The actual number of individuals who watch the World Cup is closer to 700 million.

MissPeaches said :

Impressive number isn’t it.

That was probably the intention, but it is misleading nonsense none the less.

Observing Observing 12:52 pm 18 May 10

2604 said :

bd84 said :

I think it would be a good investment to turn the stadium back into a oval shape at some point as it is clear the stadium will not be viable on the small crowds of the Raiders and Brumbies.

Yeah, cos the ~100,000 fans that go to the Brumbies and the ~130,000 fans that go the Raiders every year will be dwarfed by the huge crowds that will turn up to see Canberra’s non-existent AFL, Cricket and Football teams play at a new oval-shaped field.

Sounds like a great investment to me.

Yeah, because the constant capacity filling crowds that watch AFL games between teams that aren’t even local sides sounds like a bad investment. Crowds which would be larger than an average Brumby/Raiders game if they weren’t forced to play in a tiny oval with just under 15,000 capacity.

Now imagine what that would be for a team that the locals DO care about. If only there was a bit more foresight and not constant efforts to kill AFL off in Canberra, that WOULD be a great investment.

MissPeaches MissPeaches 12:33 pm 18 May 10

Deano said :

According to FIFA website data:

“Cumulative TV audience of 26.29 billion (24.2 billion in-home viewers, 2.1 billion out-of-home)”

And we don’t want to be a part of it? Are we crazy?

That’s pretty impressive, considering the world’s population is only 6.8 billion. They could be including extraterrestrial lifeforms but they are only now just receiving the 1930 games.

Deano – do you not understand what CUMULATIVE means. Those statistics are the total viewers for each game – added up. Impressive number isn’t it.

astrojax astrojax 9:43 am 18 May 10

2604 said :

Have you ever actually met any Raiders players? Or are you just intimidated by league players generally?

i have actually, but the commment is related to the nature of play; can’t stand thugby league, me. not intimidated by them, just don’t like them… or their playing strip!

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 8:39 am 18 May 10

thehutch said :

I hope I never live in a world which is run by such visionless and boring individuals who seem to have the fair proportion of the comment here. If the Government just spends money on the basics of society (policing, health and education) Canberra would really be a boring place.

I’d be satisfied with govco sticking to the basics and getting it right.

annoyedcan annoyedcan 10:23 pm 17 May 10

I rather have the new Stadium, the old one turned into a oval field and hosting the world cup than money spent on road cycle lanes. That’s the biggest white elephant the ACT Govt. has ever made or any government will make. More people will use the stadium.
Bring it on and build it.

2604 2604 9:02 pm 17 May 10

astrojax said :

canberra has a [future] a-league side, the brumbies and that other group of thugs (who wear lurid green guernseys), all using a rectangular pitch, so the comparison, like so many, is odious.

Have you ever actually met any Raiders players? Or are you just intimidated by league players generally?

bd84 bd84 8:34 pm 17 May 10

2604 said :

bd84 said :

I think it would be a good investment to turn the stadium back into a oval shape at some point as it is clear the stadium will not be viable on the small crowds of the Raiders and Brumbies.

Yeah, cos the ~100,000 fans that go to the Brumbies and the ~130,000 fans that go the Raiders every year will be dwarfed by the huge crowds that will turn up to see Canberra’s non-existent AFL, Cricket and Football teams play at a new oval-shaped field.

Sounds like a great investment to me.

If you could read, I would indicate to you that I was making the point that the average 8000-9000 crowds in a stadium with a capacity of 22,000+ isn’t exactly viable in the long term. Having a one stadium which caters for a wider range of sports would be a smarter option, instead of building another white elephant stadium which will be just as under-utilised. The non-existance of the types of national teams you described is also partially to do with the lack of suitable venue, except soccer where there has never been enough support (as evidenced by the former Cosmos).

To address Barr’s comments, $100m in today’s money equals a massive blow out in the project budget, rounded for the natural Stanhope bungles, $300 million would be a good estimate for our share (based on GDE and Cotter estimates). I would also suggest that only 40 to 45% of the Territory’s expenses are staff costs, which is about $190 million difference (not sure if that’s him disguising the anticipated cost blow outs for the project).

I do agree with the point about the stadium being contingent on the Australian bid succeeding, I think our chances are very slim, so we may not have to worry after all.

Battlecat Battlecat 7:06 pm 17 May 10

I wonder if there was the same debate when they first built Bruce Stadium? All the same arguments applied then, and we had NO national teams when they planned that. If they hadn’t built it would we have even had the Brumbies?? And would they have eventually become the Queanbeyan Raiders like the founding fathers actually wanted?

But here’s a history lesson for you, Canberra’s first national league team, the Canberra Arrows in the National Soccer League (the first national league of any football code) played at Bruce stadium starting in 1977.

WillowJim WillowJim 6:53 pm 17 May 10

p1 said :

Who cares, it’s just soccer.

I say build it, if only to spite those with your attitude.

I’ve seen my taxes support sports businesses such as the Raiders and Brumbies, in which I have no interest, for decades. Soccer won’t benefit as much from this stadium as the rugby codes, anyway. But at least I’ll have a chance to see more soccer matches of high quality without travelling to Sydney or Melbourne.

thehutch thehutch 5:14 pm 17 May 10

I hope I never live in a world which is run by such visionless and boring individuals who seem to have the fair proportion of the comment here. If the Government just spends money on the basics of society (policing, health and education) Canberra would really be a boring place.

No Brumbies, Raiders, tourist drawing Art Gallery Exhibits, Fireworks, remove funding for classical music and forget about spending money celebrating Canberra’s 100 birthday – they’re all non-core.

If Aust wins the world cup, the ACT Government will spend 100 million dollars… that’s around 8.5million a year over next 10 years – which will then be used by the Brumbies and the Raiders for many years to come. Hardly a white elephant. Considering a report came out last suggestion that ACTION is wasting 30million dollars a year – i don’t think its an excessive amount.

The fact is we all have different hobbies and things we follow… I expect the Government to contribute funding so we can all pursue our own passions. I’m not a big art man, but don’t complain when the Government spends money on it – I respect that other people in society enjoy it.

Australia is a good chance of getting the 2022 world cup – suggestions are it’s either us or Qatar – both bids have their positives and negatives… but who knows what FIFA will do, they might decide to have two world cups in Europe? We just have to wait until December.

And John Boy, I trust that if Australia wins the Rugby World Cup again in the future, you would equally protest the use of taxpayer’s money on any required stadium developments???

    johnboy johnboy 5:47 pm 17 May 10

    Two things, first the rugby world cup didn’t require a new stadium.

    Secondly it’s amazing what can happen in a polity when the government doesn’t take all of its citizen’s moneys and spend it on pet projects which enrich their special mates.

ghughes ghughes 4:53 pm 17 May 10

We should build it – whether we win the world cup or not.

This is the most exciting thing since the announcement that Canberra would have its very own purpose built futsal slab.

And we should run a competition for Canberrans to decide what colour to paint the playing surface. I think it should be Barbie Pink.

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