Evidence given to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee confirmed that almost everyone associated with the Adelaide Oval seemed to know about a cost blowout before the March election.
“However, if you believe Mr Foley’s story, then either people didn’t tell him or if they did he quickly forgot what they told him,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“Senior Treasury officer Kevin Cantley told the Committee that he advised the head of Treasury, Jim Wright, on 9 March (11 days before the election) that latest estimates indicated a significant blowout in the Adelaide Oval redevelopment project.
“I assume Mr Foley will have to argue Mr Wright never passed on this advice to him, or else he did and forgot about the meeting and the advice.
“Senior Government adviser Bruce Carter and public servant Rod Hook both confirmed that on 7 January 2010, Mr Hook told Mr Carter he didn’t think the promised project could be delivered for $450 million. This was about 10 weeks before the election.
“Documents provided to the Committee include a letter from Stadium Management Authority CEO Leigh Whicker to the AFL dated 17 November 2009 indicating the SANFL had “severe reservations” the project could be delivered for $450 million.
“Senior Treasury officer Mr Cantley advised the Committee that Treasury had held the document since early December.”
Mr Lucas said another SANFL document dated 6 November 2009 signed by SANFL President Rod Payze includes the following:
“By way of example, if the over spend was as high as $100 million (and it has been suggested that it could be) it would create an interest factor of say $7 million per annum.”
“Under Treasurer Mr Wright will be appearing before the Budget and Finance Committee in two weeks to answer questions about whether he advised Mr Foley of the blowout and if he didn’t, why he didn’t.
“As further evidence is being provided to the Budget and finance Committee, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe Mr Foley’s story on when he was advised of the blowout on the Adelaide Oval redevelopment project.”