Opposition Leader Mark McGowan says Labor would build WA’s new football stadium at Subiaco if it won the March election, unless Crown Limited “stumped up half a billion dollars” to make Burswood worthwhile.
The Government says throwing the current stadium plan out the window in favour of Subiaco would waste $11.6 million spent this financial year developing the feasibility of Burswood.
It would also add 18 months to the current timeframe of having the new stadium available for the 2018 AFL season.
Premier Colin Barnett said this morning he expected no contracts on the site preparation or construction of the Burswood stadium would have been signed by the March election, meaning Labor would be free to carry out its threat to go back to Subiaco.
“That would be an appalling decision,” Mr Barnett said.
“This stadium is now well advanced, a huge amount of effort has gone in and it will be a world class stadium on a greenfield site. Far better than trying to cram 60,000 seats into Subiaco.”
Mr McGowan said one of the recommendations the 2006 Langoulant taskforce commissioned by the previous Labor Government was to build a new stadium at Kitchener Park in Subiaco adjacent to the current Patersons Stadium.
He said that option, settled upon by former premier Alan Carpenter had been far cheaper than the Burswood option described by the taskforce the least desirable.
“My preference is to have a world class stadium at the most affordable cost to taxpayers at the home of football,” Mr McGowan said.
“A vote for Labor is a vote for a world class stadium that is affordable for taxpayers with whatever can be saved out of it, given back to taxpayers in their pockets.”
Mr McGowan criticised the Government’s decision not to ask Crown Limited, owner of the casino on the Burswood peninsula, for a contribution towards construction since it would be a major beneficiary.
He said a “significant contribution” from Crown, making the Burswood option cheaper than Subiaco, may change his mind.
“If they wanted to stump up the half a billion dollars in extra cost, well that may put a different complexion on the matter,” Mr McGowan said.
Mr McGowan said Labor’s dormant plans for Subiaco were more advanced than the Government’s Burswood plans and would be a cheaper option because there was already good transport links to Subiaco.
But Sports Minister Terry Waldron said all Labor had was the Langoulant taskforce report, whereas the Government had completed a stadium master plan and project definition plan for Burswood.
“The Government has completed 18 months of intensive planning which will ensure the stadium is delivered in time for the 2018 AFL season,” he said.
“This work would have to be replicated if the Opposition made the decision to build the stadium at Subiaco.”