NSW’s schools and hospitals will be the losers from the Berejiklian Government’s reckless decision to write a blank cheque for the upgrade or rebuild of all of Sydney’s stadiums. 

The Premier’s plans to spend more than the $1.6 billion allocated for the upgrade of both the ANZ and Allianz Stadiums will result in schools and hospitals being robbed of the funding they so desperately need.

With 300,000 extra school places to find in the next 15 years and almost 75,000 (74,855) patients waiting for elective surgery such as knee and hip replacements, cataract removal and tonsillectomies – an all-time record number – the state’s schools and hospitals are crying out for additional investment.

Six and a half years into the life of the Government and the Liberals are still unable to say what exactly their policy on stadiums is, beyond announcing via the media a pie in the sky promise to do everything.

Now we learn that her government will upgrade the ANZ Olympic Stadium, build a new stadium at Moore Park or upgrade the existing one, as well as build a brand new stadium in the western suburbs and even an indoor sports stadium near the CBD.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley says the Premier’s stadiums wish list would cost the state $5 billion and showed just how warped her priorities are, given the state of NSW’s hospitals and schools.

Shadow Minister for Sport Lynda Voltz said today’s fantasy stadiums policy showed how little the State Government cared about grass roots sports, given community sports clubs are crying out for more playing fields and a replacement for Parramatta pool has yet to be fully funded.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“There are massive waiting lists in our hospitals and an overcrowding crisis in our schools and yet the Premier stands ready with an open cheque book and a promise that everything will get built.

“Government is about making tough choices but this Premier is incapable of making one when it comes to stadiums. Instead she is promising she wants to do it all. Not only is that unrealistic, it’s reckless.

“The Premier’s priorities are totally wrong if she thinks having an unlimited budget for stadiums is acceptable when our children are crammed into demountables and tens of thousands of people are waiting for routine surgical procedures.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Sports Minister Lynda Voltz

“Where is the money for the hundred sports fields that Football NSW has identified it needs just to keep up with existing demand? 

“This is a government that is quite happy to spend up big on stadiums but is unwilling to fully fund a replacement for the now demolished Parramatta Pool.”