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Potent Seselja derails Australia’s World Cup Bid!

By 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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50 Responses to
Potent Seselja derails Australia’s World Cup Bid!
Deano 11:56 pm 16 May 10

I’ve always found that the size of a white elephant is directly proportional to the hyperbole that its proponents use to defend it. With statements like “staggering flow-on effects to the local economy”, “stakes are far higher than he could imagine”, and “city-building initiative”, this one is going to be a doozie.

As for a new stadium being a $300m capital investment in infrastructure, my dictionary defines infrastructure as “The basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines.” – a bit of a stretch of the term to include something a stadium.

As for the statement “Capital expenditure does not come off the territory’s bottom line.”; whilst it is true, the depreciation of the asset does come off the bottom line. To say it won’t affect the bottom line is totally misleading.

2604 11:08 pm 16 May 10

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.

Pandy 10:17 pm 16 May 10

What about completing Foootball Park at Woden 1st Mr Stanhope?

enrique 9:30 pm 16 May 10

54-11 said :

Build Stadium Island in the middle of the lake, with immigration bridges to Northbank and Southbank.

Absolute gold!

enrique 9:28 pm 16 May 10

Waiting For Godot said :

Australia won’t get it because of the timezone factor – we are simply out of sync with the northern hemisphere. Europeans will not stay up until 3AM to watch matches live – provided the TV stations show them live, that is.

If that was the case then by your logic Japan/Korea should have never got the world cup. Did I imagine all those games back in 2002 or something?

This isn’t the Grand Prix man!

bd84 8:19 pm 16 May 10

With Katy crying that the Government “has no money” and therefore can’t afford to pay its staff enough to keep up with living costs or doesn’t have enough money to build the Majura Parkway etc, I can’t see why they are interested in building a $300m stadium.

Although, 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. We should also be considering why the ACT Government would ever be paying a cent to upgrade the stadium when it is owned by the Commonwealth.

mcs 5:34 pm 16 May 10

My understanding is that Bruce Stadium is falling apart anyway, and will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. So if we are going to contine to have football teams based in the Territory, big $$$ will have to be spent repairing Bruce, so may as well use . All sporting stadiums almost are white elephants- but if Stanhope doesn’t waste our money on it we will just find somthing else to waste it on, so all I can say is Meh.

54-11 5:29 pm 16 May 10

Build Stadium Island in the middle of the lake, with immigration bridges to Northbank and Southbank.

Make absolute sense to me.

Waiting For Godot 5:22 pm 16 May 10

The millions being poured into the World Cup bid is just money down the drain. Australia won’t get it because of the timezone factor – we are simply out of sync with the northern hemisphere. Europeans will not stay up until 3AM to watch matches live – provided the TV stations show them live, that is. The entire Sydney Olympics had to be time-shifted in Europe and America and the ratings were rock bottom. In any case, who wants an intrusive, expensive event which will cut in on the rugby and AFL seasons? Who can forget the outrageous demand that the NRL and AFL cancel their seasons during the year the World Cup is on? The last thing we want or need is to be denied our proper footy just so a bunch of ugly, overpaid, scrawny wimps can prance around with no shirt on after scoring a goal or else take a dive and feign injury when their team is losing?

georgesgenitals 5:05 pm 16 May 10

Battlecat said :

They should build these stadiums actually near something, not in the middle of nowhere. that’s what Melbourne does well, that’s why so many people go to sport there. You can go into the city, shop, have lunch/dinner, a few drinks and walk over to the game. Can’t do that at Bruce.
However, the World Cup is the biggest event (short of a war!) in the world every four years, and will attract many more visitors than the Olympics did, so I’m a bit at a loss as to why the bid seems to cop so much stick. Maybe it’s old fashioned wogball bashing?

In this town, inner city space is need to house humans.

johnboy 5:01 pm 16 May 10

Well lessee, Melbourne’s at least ten times larger than Canberra and on winter nights ten degrees warmer, sometimes 15.

Australia probably isn’t big enough to host a world cup anyway, the ongoing disaster in NSW’s public finances is the result of the Olympics for all that they try to hide it.

But even if the million+ population cities can put in a competitive bid a 45,000 seat rectangular stadium’s just too big for what this city needs. If it’s a requirement for participating in the bid then we’re idiots to be trying to get involved.

Rectangular ground sports are mostly played in winter and thanks to TV at night. Canberra’s going to do a lot of great things, but huge football crowds realistically won’t be one of them.

Being out at night in Bruce in july just isn’t much fun.

Battlecat 4:44 pm 16 May 10

They should build these stadiums actually near something, not in the middle of nowhere. that’s what Melbourne does well, that’s why so many people go to sport there. You can go into the city, shop, have lunch/dinner, a few drinks and walk over to the game. Can’t do that at Bruce.
However, the World Cup is the biggest event (short of a war!) in the world every four years, and will attract many more visitors than the Olympics did, so I’m a bit at a loss as to why the bid seems to cop so much stick. Maybe it’s old fashioned wogball bashing?

madamcholet 3:48 pm 16 May 10

Exactly my thoughts. Don’t value teachers, nurses or anyone working for the greater good. Lets have 5 footy matches in it and then just live to tell our grandchildren why it exists, but is sadly in need of bulldozing in 30 years time. But maybe Lauren Jackson will purchase it back with her russian millions, making her more of a Canberra hero than she already is.

I really thought that Stanhope had pulled his head in in recent times, but maybe he is feeling safe and emerging again with ridiculous plans to build his own monument. I had almost forgotten who Zed Seselja was though.

krats 2:30 pm 16 May 10

Just what we need,another white elephant.Don’t pay police/nurses etc more money.Purchase more elephants.About the only place that could use one is the Zoo.

NickD 12:29 pm 16 May 10

At last, a reason to vote Liberal. Kate Carnell will be spinning in her political grave though if her party opposes building this white elephant.

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