Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1385 ..
MR OSBORNE (3.59): I will speak to the whole motion, Mr Speaker. I had a really good time yesterday. I thought that the full-monty budget yesterday was a tremendous performance. I enjoyed it that much that I am here today wanting more. I want to see the full monty mark 2. Mr Speaker, I will be supporting Mr Stanhope's motion, with the only real issue being that of the date that the information needs to be tabled by. I have yet to make up my mind over that.
Mr Speaker, if I may give you what I consider to be a brief history lesson on the whole Bruce Stadium redevelopment from the perspective of what I know and where I think the problems have been. I would like to say at the outset that I think the development at Bruce is a magnificent facility. I think that the corporate facilities and the seating on the Paul Osborne stand side - sorry, it has not been named yet, has it? - are second to none. In saying that, throughout this whole process I have been concerned about what has been going on there, especially in relation to some of the projections and some of the advice that has been given to some of the public servants in relation to this whole project.
From memory, a consultant was hired by one of the departments to look at the redevelopment. From memory, the main reason for Bruce Stadium needing to be redeveloped was the Government's wish to attract Olympic soccer to town. SOCOG had made it very clear that, unless there was a complete rectangle, there was no chance in the world that we would get a look-in at hosting any matches. I mention that because I find it quite interesting that the MCG has been given the privilege recently of hosting some Olympic soccer matches and has been permitted to put in temporary seating for those games. I just thought it important to mention that point.
I am not sure of the name of the consultant hired. I think it was Graf Consulting. I get a nod from the Labor Party. I have to say, Mr Speaker, that I do recall some quite ludicrous projections being made by this company in relation to crowds, turnover and many of the things involved with getting the private sector aspect of the redevelopment off the ground. From memory, some of the figures bandied about in the Assembly and in the press in the last couple of days were quite correct. I recall figures of 17,000 and 18,000 being mentioned by this consultant as an average for Raiders attendances. Mr Speaker, I retired a number of years ago and I do not know whether there is anyone left at the Raiders who can draw those crowds. I do not like harking back to my last year, 1994, but I will. It was the year that the Raiders last won a premiership and we were the only major football code in town at the time, yet - I do not have the exact figures - I think it would be fair to say that the average attendance at Bruce Stadium was something like 14,000 or 15,000.
The figure of 18,000 was high for a competitive market. The Brumbies are very successful at the moment. The Cosmos are getting a few there, Mr Speaker. With the emergence of the Brumbies and the Super League war, attendances have been affected. I know that during the Super League year the Raiders played in games where over 75 per cent of the crowds were non-paying people, had been given a free ticket. Crowds of 6,000 or 7,000, well under half, had got in for free. I think some of the advice given by this company in relation to projected crowds was clearly out of this world.