It is with pleasure that I rise today to further discuss the state Liberal Party’s plans for City West.
The plan to rejuvenate the precinct represents an exciting vision for Adelaide’s future. South Australians have become frustrated by eight years of inaction by a government that has not outlined a plan for Adelaide’s future. It has been scaremongering at its very best from the Treasurer, who falsely alleges that our vision will bankrupt the state.
Is it not a marvellous coincidence that, hot on the trail of our announcement, the government has once again played follow the leader and suddenly found $450 million for an inner city stadium? After criticising the cost of the Liberal’s plan for an inner city stadium, the Rann government has suddenly scrambled and managed to pull from nowhere $450 million.
The opposition is delighted that the Rann government has now recognised that an inner city stadium is the way to go for South Australian sports fans, but we are concerned that the Rann government’s planned development will ruin the iconic status of Adelaide Oval.
When we released our vision for City West last week, which included a new inner city stadium, the Rann government derided the plan as pie in the sky stuff. What is pie in the sky stuff is the Rann government’s announcement today. This is nothing but a memorandum of understanding between the parties involved, as a legally binding agreement will not be finalised until at least July next year.
With the State Liberal Party’s plan for a new inner city stadium, South Australians can have a world class stadium whilst retaining the iconic status of Adelaide Oval. South Australians now have a clear choice between a state-of-the-art, fully covered multipurpose stadium, or a redeveloped Adelaide Oval which does not tick all the boxes. There are clearly questions for Premier Rann and Treasurer Foley to answer, including:
What car parking will be provided for these 50,000 spectators, and what damage will the Parklands endure during the wet winter months?
What has the Rann government promised the SANFL to make it move from AAMI stadium, and why should the SANFL trust the government to fulfil its word this time?
Given that members of the SACA have commenced paying a building levy in their annual memberships, will the government now require this levy to be forwarded to its coffers?
That being said, we are pleased that we have helped the government understand the need for an inner city stadium. As the Liberal leader has indicated, our project will not happen straight away. It would come together in stages. The first stage of the Riverside project will cost $1 billion. Nearly $800 million will be set aside for a 50,000 seat, covered, multi-purpose sports stadium, and $200 million will be allocated to relocate the interstate train terminal from Keswick to the city.
Experts have described that as a generous amount, which goes against the Treasurer’s continual claims that the state Liberals want to build a billion dollar stadium. The stadium would be built to FIFA’s strict standards, which would allow FIFA World Cup fixtures to be staged in Adelaide should a 2018 or 2022 bid be successful. It would be a magnificent stadium for soccer, rugby, concerts and major events. It would be a magnificent stadium for AFL football—still very much the main game in this town.
The new stadium and parking areas will be offered to the SANFL to manage. The SANFL could then downsize AAMI Stadium, keeping the oval for training but removing the grandstands, etc. One possible option would be to replicate what has been done in Melbourne, when that city realised that Waverley Park was no longer the right place to play football.
The facility is now home to the Hawthorn Football Club. Schools in the community also use the oval and facilities, and housing surrounds the oval and wider area. I visited the venue and it is extremely impressive, and I encourage members, if they are ever in that part of the country, to do the same.
There are certain aspects of our proposed development of the Riverside precinct upon which we are settled, namely: the need to have a multi-purpose roofed stadium in the city built to FIFA standards; the need to bring the Keswick rail terminal into the precinct so that the many interstate and overseas visitors arriving at our rail terminal are not left feeling they have arrived in the wilderness; the need to provide more state-of-the-art convention space; the need to improve the amenity along the stretch of the Torrens from Morphett Street to the weir; the need to breathe life into the area by providing the amenities people now expect—cafes, bars and areas to simply sit and enjoy themselves; and the need to ensure that any development is designed to world’s best suitability practices. Those are the things that we say must be included.
There are many other things that could be included, namely, other sporting facilities such as a velodrome, soccer pitches and a hockey centre; arts spaces and venues; a science museum; a children’s museum; new hotels; and what about a 12-court basketball stadium that would take us somewhere near what they have in suburban Victoria?
The Rann Labor government is now in the business of telling South Australians why we cannot do things. Let us create a ‘can do’ state.