Page 842 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 April 2014

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sports. So we are seeing that the experience at the venue together with the costs of entry to events are certainly impacting upon crowd attendance. As both the Brumbies and the Raiders have pointed out, the conditions in a Canberra winter, particularly at night time when games are regularly scheduled in order to meet the TV broadcaster’s requirements, make it very difficult for them to attract crowds.

Canberra stadium is old. The facilities are not purpose built for rectangular sports. You are a long way away at the back of the Meninga Stand or the back of the Gregan-Larkham Stand from the action of a code played on a rectangular field at that venue.

Pretty much every other city in this country which hosts these major sporting events has been investing in recent times in new stadium infrastructure—in Melbourne, in Adelaide, in Brisbane, in Sydney and soon in Perth. There will be a need at the end of Canberra stadium’s economic life—and stadia normally last about 50 years—for new infrastructure.

Mr Coe: Where in Sydney, Andrew?

MR BARR: The Olympic stadium. And the Sydney Cricket Ground has also been upgraded with support of the New South Wales government. There has been investment from state governments in stadium infrastructure. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, how do you propose to pay for such an indoor facility?

MR BARR: As part of the city to the lake project, the government will be seeking investment partners in a new facility. There are countless examples around the world. In fact, we will be at the opening of the new Singapore sports hub where the Brumbies will be representing Canberra at a tournament to open that new facility. That was a public-private partnership. There are countless examples—

Mr Hanson: Who is going on that trip?

MR BARR: It is at the same time as my trade mission to Singapore, and the ICT conference is on at the same time. Amazingly, Singapore are coinciding a number of events. Isn’t that extraordinary!

The point is that there are private investors interested in investing in stadium infrastructure. The government will certainly need to supply the land, and we will certainly need to supply a range of development opportunities that are associated with new stadium infrastructure. But, like the government seeks to provide new public infrastructure in a variety of areas, this project, together with a new convention centre and a range of other important pieces of public infrastructure, is part of the Chief Minister’s delegation, and her approach in China will be part of my approach in Singapore.

There is certainly a great degree of local interest from the football codes themselves, from other development partners, to partner with government to deliver new stadium infrastructure for Canberra.

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