Townsville Super Stadium-land sales link would only be indirect

Rugby league has a massive following in Townsville, and I remember there was a betting comp on the Winfield Cup among students at Kirwan High in the late eighties, back when the Broncos were the only Queensland team in the national competition. Hence I expect a Super Stadium, so Townsville could host finals games and major international events, would be extremely popular and is likely to be built (unless the project appears completely infeasible when the cost estimates come in).

The Super Stadium is creating a lot of excitement in Townsville and the local paper has picked up on a suggestion that sales of surplus State Government land around Townsville could be used to finance it (Premier flags property sell-off to help fund super stadium). However, I think the Bulletin is making too much of the obvious point that, if the Government sells assets (e.g. surplus land), that will provide it with cash that it can spend on other things (e.g. a Super Stadium). But it would be inefficient and unnecessary to earmark the money for expenditure on a Super Stadium.

Money, after all, is fungible. One dollar from one source (e.g. land sales in Townsville) is identical with one dollar from another source (e.g. land sales in Brisbane or speeding fines).  Abstracting from accounting issues, either dollar could be used to build a Super Stadium or pay down debt, which is a major priority of the Government given it is aiming to restore our AAA credit rating. Hence the availability of surplus land in Townsville is not a major consideration in whether to build a Super Stadium. The Government needs to decide whether it is preferable to spend possibly several hundred millions of dollars building a Super Stadium or to instead reduce State debt by an equivalent amount of money.

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