Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, delivered a speech to Federal Parliament about the lack of progress at Macquarie Point and urged the Federal Government to not help fund an AFL stadium on the site. Please see above video for full speech.
“More than 10 years ago then Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese announced $50 million in federal funding towards the redevelopment of Macquarie Point,” Mr Wilkie said. “There was much excitement about this, as the site is considered the last big brownfield site in any capital and the project has the potential to unlock more than a billion dollars of investment.
“An Antarctic and Science Precinct, a Reconciliation Park, Eden Domes – all ideas that were considered for the space. But after 10 years and almost $40 million gone, all we’ve got instead is a couple of Macquarie Point Development Corporation headquarters, some sheds and garden beds, and a new road that needs to be ripped up.
“This outrageous scandal lies entirely at the feet of a succession of Tasmanian governments, both Liberal and Labor, all of whom have failed to take responsibility for the project. No wonder Prime Minister Albanese has described progress over the past 10 years as ‘appalling’. And now we’ve got the latest, brightest idea from the State Government, with a nudge from their AFL mates, to build a $750 million stadium that would be largely funded by the taxpayer.
“The Macquarie Point precinct should be a free and accessible area for the whole community. Moreover while I, like many Tasmanians would like a Tassie footy team, there are so many more pressing issues. More than 4,500 people on the housing waiting list, a health system on the brink of collapse, chronic underfunding of education and increasing traffic congestion – the list goes on.
“I’ve reached out to both the Prime Minister and the current Minister for Infrastructure to make it perfectly clear to them that I don’t support the Tasmanian Government’s request for hundreds of millions of dollars to build the stadium. I urge the Federal Government to not be fooled by the Tasmanian Government’s grossly irresponsible con job and not to hand over one cent for the project.”