One of WA's richest property developers, Ralph Sarich, has hit out at plans for a $900 million football stadium at Burswood and the expansion of the nearby casino, questioning whether it was the right priority in tough economic times.
The publicity-shy inventor of the Orbital engine and billionaire businessman has broken a five-year silence to voice his concerns on a range of issues.
A backer of the original Fremantle Dockers organisation, Mr Sarich said he loved football but would prefer more was spent on housing for struggling families or public transport.
“I put a considerable sum into the Fremantle Dockers when they got started, so I’m not against the game,” he said.
“I just cannot comprehend why the priority is to build a new stadium rather than help struggling families desperate for housing.”
His call to delay the stadium until better economic times is unlikely to win a hearing in political circles, given the Government is close to awarding front-end contracts and the Opposition has said it will go ahead, pending a review of a possible switch to redevelop Subiaco.
He also said fellow billionaire James Packer's deal with the Government to boost his nearby casino was a "worrying" expansion of gambling that would have an impact on the community.
Read more in today's WestBusiness section