When I joined then Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese at Macquarie Point in 2012 to announce $50 million in remediation funding, I called on the State Government not to ‘stuff it up’. Well, they certainly have and it’s deeply disappointing to see Mr Albanese back here 10 years later to observe the place is a mess and progress appalling.
Despite the promise that the Mac Point precinct would be thick with cranes and concrete trucks in 2022, we have to date received virtually no bang for our buck. Big-ticket, city-shaping projects like the world-class Antarctic and science precinct and a truth and reconciliation art park remain unrealised.
And now we have these eleventh-hour calls from various groups to consider Mac Point as the site for an AFL stadium. That would require going back to the drawing board yet again and result in even more delays.
While I support the push for a Tasmanian AFL team and am certainly not against a new AFL stadium if it’s privately funded, I believe Mac Point is simply not the right place to build it. I’m also dead against squandering any taxpayers’ money on such an expansive and expensive project when so many Tasmanians are doing it tough.
Mac Point could and should be a jewel in our state capital’s crown. Instead, it remains a lump of coal rather than a glittering diamond. It begs the question: is the State Government capable of organising a piss-up at a brewery?