22 April 2022

Seselja confirms $15 million Vikings Park commitment

| Ian Bushnell
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Zed Seselja and Anthony Hill

Zed Seselja with Vikings Group Chief Executive Anthony Hill discussing his plans to expand Viking Park. Photo: Supplied.

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has confirmed a Coalition commitment of $15 million towards the upgrade of Vikings Park but has come under fire from his Independent Senate rival David Pocock for not listening to the community about Canberra’s infrastructure needs, including a city stadium and convention centre.

Before the March budget, Senator Seselja announced he was lobbying Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for funding to turn the 1000 seat facility in his Tuggeranong stronghold into a 10,000 seat suburban stadium with more capacity on hill areas so it could host teams such as the Brumbies.

But there was nothing in the Budget, with the commitment, like the $11 million to fix the AIS Arena, left for the election campaign.

Artist’s impression of the upgraded Viking Park. Image: Supplied.

The Canberra Vikings Club will co-fund the proposed upgrade, and Vikings Group CEO Anthony Hill said the teams who use Vikings Park deserve to have the best facilities.

“It is important to the Vikings Group that we are in the position to offer facilities that reflect the quality of sport we can showcase here in Tuggeranong,” Mr Hill said.

“With teams such as Vikings Rugby, Brumbies Super W, the Matildas and Canberra United using these facilities, it’s only right that the stadium and surrounding grounds receive the attention they deserve.

“The Vikings Group supports more than 50 local sporting clubs, and an upgrade to Viking Park will also enhance its role as the beating heart of sport in the Tuggeranong Valley.”

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Senator Seselja said the proposed upgrade would establish it as a first-class suburban stadium, equipped for mid-sized local and national events.

He said it would also be a win for women’s sport, with plans including women’s change rooms and facilities.

“I’m looking forward to watching local footy matches played here, national matches, with the potential to see Super Rugby and A-League games here down the track too.”

David Pocock

Independent ACT Senate candidate David Pocock: Canberra needs more. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

But Mr Pocock said it was disappointing to see Senator Seselja had not taken on board community feedback about this proposal which he said fell well short of community expectations.

“This re-announcement from Senator Seselja hasn’t gotten much better with age,” Mr Pocock said.

“Senator Seselja failed to secure any actual funding for this project in the federal Budget.

“This is part of a track record of not delivering for the Canberra community despite being in government for almost a decade.

“The community could not have been clearer in their response to this idea when it was floated a month ago. They want to see something that goes a lot further.”

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Mr Pocock has made infrastructure a key issue in the campaign, identifying the development of a new stadium in the city to replace the ageing Canberra Stadium in Bruce and a convention centre as priorities to boost economic activity in the ACT.

“In last month’s federal Budget we saw the ACT finish in last place for infrastructure investment once again with just 0.3% of the total national spend despite needing to make up for decades of neglect,” he said.

“The business community has been asking for a fit-for-purpose National Convention Centre for over a decade. We aren’t able to host major conferences in Canberra and we are missing out on an opportunity to grow our economy and host the best in the world here in the ACT.”

Mr Pocock said that in the nine years that Senator Seselja had been in government, Canberra had missed out on its fair share of infrastructure spending, “and now we’re seeing promises of a suburban rugby stadium upgrade if we re-elect him for a fourth term”.

“He hasn’t delivered and this re-announcement doesn’t offer anything like the long-term vision for our city we need,” he said.

“We need the type of infrastructure that will pump millions of dollars into our local economy, into the hands of local workers and businesses.

“The community expects, and deserves, much more from Senator Seselja and the Federal Government when it comes to investment in the ACT.”

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Capital Retro5:13 pm 26 Apr 22

Great post bj_act.

All the Zed haters bang on about his alleged broken promises and then him vanishing for another election term yet Simon Corbell made some of the grandest visionary promises and then disappeared forever.

Things like this are never picked up by the ACT Liberals and people wonder why they never win an election.

So you have no defence for Zed breaking promises and vanishing for an entire term (actually several terms) other than…”But…but….but…someone else did it before.”

Got it. Thanks.

Had to laugh at this old 2012 Riotact article that I got in the related links promising 1200 new car spaces for Erindale, new link from Ricardo st to Erindale drive, new road behind the eat street at Gartside, Wynn’s st extension with an amazing looking artist impression, better walking and cycling, relocated new skate Park and basketball court, multi purpose indoor sports, etc etc.

But best of all is a comment from Haskew97 saying “it’s great to see someone willing to do something instead of just talking about it.”

A decade later, nothing delivered and I wonder what he thinks now.

https://the-riotact.com/simon-promises-heaven-in-erindale/82800/comment-page-1

I’ve long been an advocate for improved sporting infrastructure for my former neighbours of Tuggeranong. But this proposal isn’t priority 1. A proper Civic stadium would be much better.

Tuggeranong would be better helped by funding towards the long promised Ice Rink facility, getting the M Powerdome back up and running and also Labor’s previous promise for an indoor netball facility at Calwell.

Tuggeranong gets promised a lot pre election but promises quickly get forgotten after the election. That’s a failure on both Labor, Liberal, local and federal politicians.

BJ,
The problem with the Civic stadium is that it has zero chance of getting done because of the price tag and the fact that the ACT Government priorities are elsewhere.

At least this proposal is possible and would give Tuggeranong a good mid range sporting facility option, particularly for the professional women’s teams, who don’t need the extra capacity of Bruce.

Whilst the other things you mention are also doable, it doesn’t have to be one or the other and the ACT Gov shouldn’t be relying on the Feds to pay for them either.

I actually agree with what you say, but concerned nothing will eventuate.

A middle sized stadium like Erindale would be great for a range of sports, particularly women’s sport, plus some outdoor concerts and events.

A Civic stadium would be great for the city and bring a lot of life to the city. Anyone who’s been to Lang Park Brisbane or the MCG will know the buzz created around games in the nearby bars and restaurants.

It’s a pity various indoor and outdoor sports venues across the city have been sold off by the ACT government to property developers without replacement (particularly in Woden and Tuggeranong) and that sports facilities have now become fodder for political battles not about better city amenities.

Governments in Canberra have promised plenty of things like a new Civic stadium, Tuggeranong Ice Rink, Indoor Netball etc but delivered little. What’s the bet none of these are built within the next decade? 50/50?

BJ,
We can definitely agree on that.

I’d love to see a city stadium, it would be fantastic for a whole range of events and the amount it would liven up the commercial areas around the site.

But pragmatically we’d be talking about a few hundred million dollars at least and there’s no way that the ACT Government will pay for it based on their current commitments (particularly to light rail) and there’s no way such a facility would attract Federal support.

It would be a good laugh to see all the pre election promises made in recent decades and see how much was actually delivered.

Capital Retro12:16 pm 26 Apr 22

Bethany Williams, China and the Solomons Islands have signed a bilateral security agreement, not a military one although predictably the left led by Penny Wong have ventured to say it’s has potential to become a military one.

And I can assure you that Zed is alive and hard working around Tuggeranong 365 days a year.

Oh hi Zed (er, CR), thanks for your contribution.

Capital Retro5:19 pm 26 Apr 22

Yeah, forget about the fake military agreement smear too.

Other than helping create your love children what exactly has Zed been doing? Also correct me if I am wrong but he is an ACT Senator not a local Tuggeranong MLA, so even if he has been working 365 in Tuggeranong what has he done for elsewhere in the territory. Well except for allowing the local government and make laws on a subject he personally objects too.

Capital Retro8:16 am 27 Apr 22

Another hater speaks.

Cos pocock will get $15m for Canberra? lol if he gets elected we’ll get absolutely zero from federal government for anything.

ilovecanberra8:15 pm 23 Apr 22

Where’s Zed been for the last 3 years? All of a sudden he’s all over Canberra with fistfuls of dollars. Wouldn’t be trying to buy votes, would he?

I saw Canberra Liberals’ leader Elizabeth Lee cozying up to Zed Seselja in Kingston today. Ms Lee calls herself a progressive Liberal fighting for Canberrans’ rights and aspirations even though Zed doesn’t believe in rights for Canberrans!!!! She has even posted a beaming photo of herself, Zed and his A-frame picture on her Facebook page. Good luck at the next ACT election Elizabeth Lee!!!

Capital Retro6:28 pm 23 Apr 22

Knuckle dragging Neanderthal, Zed, please GO AWAY, Lazy ol’ Zed “Mr Cellophane” Seselja, Bye bye Zed and plenty more.

Yes, the haters are alive and well this week.

Cronie Money!

Who is surprised that Mr Pocock is playing down the Vikings stadium?

A 10,000 seat stadium (in conjunction with Vikings) would be great for Canberra but in particular, great for Tuggeranong, who always seem to be low on the ACT Government’s priority list.

Having one Lib and one ALP Senator, is good for Canberra. It brings election promises, something that Mr Pocock can’t offer.

Nine years of doing nothing for Canberra sport then Zed holds off any possible federal funding until he can use it as election bait. A prime example of conservative self serving cynicism.

Not a lot to show for the last three years. A quick look at his Twitter feed shows no mentions of him in his capacity as ACT Senator, only as Minister for International Development and the Pacific, which he seems to have royally stuffed up too.

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