Allianz Stadium in Sydney’s Moore Park will be knocked down and rebuilt at a cost of $730 million. Picture: Christian Gilles
Allianz Stadium in Sydney’s Moore Park will be knocked down and rebuilt at a cost of $730 million. Picture: Christian Gilles

Inside stadium demolition NSW wasn't meant to see

THIS seemingly mundane photograph of a sports stadium in the early stages of demolition illustrates a $730 million controversy the government would rather you didn't see.

Allianz Stadium in Moore Park in Sydney has been surrounded by large fences and scaffolding as works to dismantle the venue kick off.

But the enormous project to knock down and rebuild the inner-east has been a contentious nightmare for the New South Wales Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has faced growing opposition to the huge spend required and criticism over the messy decision-making process.

With an election just months away - one a succession of opinion polls indicate her government will struggle to win - the demolition hasn't attracted the usual media fanfare that large-scale infrastructure projects ordinarily would.

The image, obtained by news.com.au, shows that pulling apart Allianz Stadium is well under way.

 

Demolition has begun on Allianz Stadium, which critics say should have been refurbished rather than completely replaced.
Demolition has begun on Allianz Stadium, which critics say should have been refurbished rather than completely replaced.

 

Rugby legend, journalist and author Peter FitzSimons is a staunch opponent of the stadiums plan, which also includes the $1.5 billion upgrade of ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park.

He has described the project as a "gross waste of precious resources" and said there was "zero public demand to replace" Allianz.

Mr FitzSimons launched a petition that has gathered more than 217,000 signatures.

 

The government has described the old Allianz Stadium as “a rust bucket” but opponents of the replacement plan insist it could’ve just been refurbished. Picture: Christian Gilles
The government has described the old Allianz Stadium as “a rust bucket” but opponents of the replacement plan insist it could’ve just been refurbished. Picture: Christian Gilles

 

"We, the undersigned concerned citizens of NSW, believe our money could be better spent with the likes of 100 X $10 million projects being funded across the state, so towns, suburbs and regions could see a thousand fields, pools, courts and arenas bloom, doing something for the wider people of NSW and not merely the tiny percentage involved in elite sport," it reads.

"We believe some of the money could be used to lower registration fees for kids playing a variety of sports, to remove the obstacles that prevent so many from participating.

"This would still allow nearly a billion dollars left over to refurbish the current stadiums, and put much-needed money into other community resources, like schools, hospitals, theatres, galleries, homeless shelters and the like."

 

Peter FitzSimons is a staunch opponent of the government’s stadiums plan, which will cost taxpayers more than $2 billion in total. Picture: Jane Dempster
Peter FitzSimons is a staunch opponent of the government’s stadiums plan, which will cost taxpayers more than $2 billion in total. Picture: Jane Dempster

 

An artist's impression of the new Allianz Stadium.
An artist's impression of the new Allianz Stadium.

 

The new stadium will be a 45,000 seat-venue and is expected to be completed by 2021, with designs revealed last year by Cox Architecture.

Since the plan to knock down and replace the existing site was announced, the Liberal Government has faced increasing pressure to justify the enormous expense.

 

The stadium plan has proven to be a political nightmare for NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: AAP
The stadium plan has proven to be a political nightmare for NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: AAP

 

Former Labor leader Luke Foley and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore both claimed an overhaul was unnecessary.

But the state's Sports Minister Stuart Ayres said the venue was unsafe and didn't have enough female toilets and disabled seating.

The Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, which manages the site, also welcomed the plan and claimed the old venue would have eventually shut down.



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