The Berejiklian Government has written a blank cheque to fund the upgrade or rebuild of all of Sydney’s stadiums at the expense of much-needed funding for hospitals and schools. Her decision will allow spending to exceed the previously-allocated $1.6 billion for upgrades of both ANZ and Allianz Stadiums.
The Premier’s plans to upgrade a range of stadiums in Sydney would cost $5 billion. This is shameful when hospital waiting lists are growing and schools remain overcrowded and under resourced across the state.
A blank cheque for Sydney stadiums is yet another slap in the face for residents of regional New South Wales, which continue to struggle to get their fair share of resources.
For example, this announcement comes at a time when the future of Shellharbour Hospital is still unknown. The Government has failed to make a decision on whether to continue with its privatisation plans, despite the discussion of a 12,000 signature petition opposing the decision being debated in NSW Parliament led by Anna Watson MP two weeks ago.
There has also been no funding allocated for a new school in West Dapto, which is one of the fastest growing areas of the state, despite repeated calls from Anna Watson MP.
Quotes attributable to Anna Watson MP:
“The Premier is content with writing a blank cheque for stadiums, while funding for health and education services in our electorate are put on the back burner again.
“This Government’s priorities are way out of line. They promise to spend an unlimited amount on stadiums, but turn a blind eye to the desperate need for the promised $251 million upgrade to a public Shellharbour Hospital.
“This open wallet approach for stadiums shows that this Government couldn’t care less about growing waiting lists at Shellharbour Hospital, or kids stuck in tiny demountables across the electorate.”
21 August 2017