‘Too late’ to cancel stadium at Burswood
The State Opposition has conceded it may be unable to reverse Colin Barnett’s decision to build WA’s major stadium at Burswood even if it wins the next election.
Labor has consistently said it believes a new stadium should be built at Subiaco or East Perth because the 2006 Langoulant report found those sites would be about $300 million cheaper than the Burswood option.
But deputy Opposition Leader Roger Cook yesterday acknowledged that the stadium project might have progressed too far by the time West Australians go to the polls in March 2013 for his party to change the location.
“We have to see where the contract process is up to at the next election,” Mr Cook said.
“The fact of the matter is that if construction contracts have been signed, if we’ve already moved too far down the process to extract ourselves from a costly decision to go to the Burswood site, we may ultimately have to plough on with that particular development.”
Government timelines say the “project definition” phase will last until June, with documentation and tendering to run until July 2013 with construction starting in 2014.
It is unclear just how far down that path the project will have travelled by election time.
Yesterday, _The West Australian _ revealed that junk including putrid organic waste, coal ash, building rubble, tyres and car bodies is buried at depths of up to 8m at the Premier’s hand-picked site.
“The taxpayers of WA are going to be the big losers,” Mr Cook said.
“Colin Barnett, because of his arrogance, has decided to plough on with the Burswood option and, quite frankly, he doesn’t know how much it’s going to cost.”
Mr Barnett said he remained comfortable with the site conditions at Burswood.
“This project is being done properly, in sharp contrast to the way the previous government handled the (indoor) Arena project,” he said.
“That area is an old tip area. But, it has a casino built on it, it has two hotels, it has apartment towers and it can have a stadium.
“It is a done deal. We’re now getting down to the detailed work on that site.
“Look, if someone finds an old bit of tin or a car body, I guess we’ll dig it up and move it. It’s not that hard.”
“There are always people who are going to say you can’t do it, you can’t do it, you can’t do it. Well, I’m sorry, we are doing it. That’s where it’s going, it’s going to be built.”