Government Must Keep Its Promise to Western Sydney

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has urged the State Government to keep its promise and prioritise the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, ahead of Allianz Stadium at Moore Park.

Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said the debate over stadia funding had dragged on for too long, and that with the NSW Government close to finalising its decision, it couldn’t afford to go back on its word.

“Most people had thought that this matter had been put to bed last year, when Premier Baird and the entire NSW Cabinet committed to invest in the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, to create a world-class rectangular sporting venue at Sydney Olympic Park, in the centre of Sydney,” Mr Brown said.

“But politics, and the influence of a few people who have long-championed a new stadium at Moore Park, have skewed what should have been an open and shut case.

“Their failure to accept the umpire’s decision has created an unnecessarily messy situation and I can understand the public’s frustration. The people of Western Sydney want leadership, decisiveness and accountability – not an unsure Government that continually changes its mind.”

Mr Brown said he would hate to see the stadia funding issue head down the same path as other funding and policy initiatives that have been reversed or jeopardised in the past 12 months.

“We saw the confusion, and frustration, that followed the Government’s attempts to reform local government, which in some parts is still unsettled, and unfortunately, this is what happens when our leaders don’t maintain their resolve,” Mr Brown said.

“There are two things that Western Sydney care passionately about - rugby league and keeping your word - and the region is watching closely.

“Advising both ANZ Stadium and the NRL, and being a proud Westie and footy fan, I watched at close quarters last year’s torturous debate about stadia funding and was full of praise for Mike Baird’s leadership in bringing the issue to an elegant conclusion.

"The State Government made the right call last year so let’s hope that it follows through on its commitment – the people of Western Sydney deserve no less.”