The cost of the Adelaide Oval project had now blown out from $450 million to almost $700 million.
“Information on the $250 million blowout has been provided to the Liberal Party by sources with an intimate knowledge of the detailed workings of the new Stadium Management Authority (SMA) and its two working parties,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“The project costs include the costs of the roof on the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, the bridge across the Torrens and a new multi-level car parking facility, which is required to meet some of the car parking needs of the project.
“The proposed above- and below-ground car parks are on the north eastern corner of the Montefiore Road and War Memorial Drive intersection and would have an obvious impact on some of the tennis court facilities on the site.
“It has also been revealed there is a massive further blowout in the costs of SACA’s current redevelopment project of the western grandstands. SACA doesn’t have a fixed price contract for the project and the costs have blown out from $85 million to approximately $115 million.”
Mr Foley revealed the following to Parliament on 13 May 2010:
“The offer from the state government is $450 million minus SACA debt. Therefore, the more debt SACA incurs, the less free cash they get for the rest of the stadium.”
“If Mr Rann and Mr Foley have agreed to $85 million of SACA’s debt being included in the project cost (and the $5 million cost of the SMA) it would now mean that only about $360 million of the Government’s $450 million is available for the new construction costs,” Mr Lucas said.
“This will also mean that SACA will still have a debt of at least $30 million.
“The SANFL told the Rann Government last year that one of their “non-negotiable” conditions to even consider the Adelaide Oval project was that they would not contribute $1 to any blowout in the claimed costs of the $450 million project.
“Given that SACA is actually in debt, it has no prospect of paying for any blowout.
“Therefore, if the project proceeds, taxpayers will have to pay the bill for any $250 million blowout.
“These figures make it clear why many football figures are increasingly concerned that football is being used by the Rann Government to bail out the financial problems of SACA and cricket.
“It is also why football figures like Bill Sanders, John Reid and Mark Ricciuto have raised concerns about the Rann Government’s project not being in the best interests of the SANFL and the Adelaide Crows in particular.
“Given this massive blowout in the costs to almost $700 million, and the increasing opposition to Labor’s policy, Mr Rann and Mr Foley need to justify why they will not consider a new stand alone covered stadium in Adelaide’s CBD. It should be noted the SANFL approached the Government last year with their proposal for a $643 million stadium and the Liberal Party released its policy for an $800 million stadium in the city.”
Some of the other “non-negotiable” conditions laid down by the SANFL last year should also be remembered; they include:
• Rann Government must ensure SANFL and SACA have total control of not just Adelaide Oval but the whole precinct bordered by King William Road, War Memorial Drive, Montefiore Road, and Pennington Terrace, including resolution of any planning or heritage issues involved with any required development in the process;
• SANFL must receive increased revenue flows of $8 million per annum (indexed) from the move;
• Benefits and rights of AAMI Stadium, Adelaide Crows and Port Power Members should be equal or better than current arrangements.
“It is clear that some of these “non-negotiables” from football are not achievable from the latest proposition,” he said.
“So even if Mr Rann’s ego leads him to commit taxpayers to whatever it costs ($700 million plus), the project will not proceed unless the SANFL’s “non-negotiable” conditions are met.
“This project is now a major embarrassment to Mr Rann and Mr Foley and demonstrates their financial incompetence in managing large projects and taxpayers’ money.
“It always was an ego driven, knee-jerk, ill-prepared response to the Liberal Party’s policy of a covered CBD stadium, and the recent evidence is just confirming that fact.
“If Mr Rann and Mr Foley are now going to spend $700 million on this project, why not admit they are wrong and build a new covered stadium based in Adelaide’s CBD and controlled by football?”