I appeared on Brisbane ABC News tonight, commenting on the Queensland Competition Authority’s new report on Queensland Government industry assistance, and the story has been written up on the ABC News website:
Queensland Government will maintain industry assistance measures for Hollywood movies, stadium, despite report recommending overhaul
As I suggested in yesterday’s post, it is disappointing that the Government has so quickly dismissed the report’s recommendations and will continue to waste money on a wide range of industry assistance programs. This will include the $100 million the Government has committed to the Townsville Super Stadium, despite the clear recommendation from the QCA that:
The Queensland Government should not subsidise stadium infrastructure and services for major sporting and entertainment events.
There is already an existing football stadium in Townsville, 1300SMILES Stadium, as well as the Sports Reserve, which should be sufficient to meet any genuine public needs. The new Townsville Super Stadium will provide a huge commercial benefit to the NRL, which should pay for the whole of the Stadium that it has so vigorously lobbied for.
Agree Gene. Of course, why the state government needs to own Suncorp Stadium also supports your argument. While I’m not overly familiar with this stadium’s history, it does not seem to make any sense to keep it in government hands when the private sector would almost certainly provide at least a good a service to the public in terms of qualtiy footy matches, rock concerts, etc, and probably better.
Great idea, Stephen. I’d certainly privatise Suncorp Stadium, although I expect private investors would probably prefer to knock down the stadium and re-develop the site as office and accommodation towers, which I expect would be the most profitable use of the site. I wish the Broncos had stayed at ANZ/QEII. Suncorp Stadium creates too much traffic congestion.
Yes, one that would need some investigation. A city the size of Brisbane (to come) likely will need a few good stadiums and Suncorp is well serviced by the upgraded Milton train station. I take your point on traffic congestion though.
Brisbane would certainly benefit from better entertainment venues. Brisbane Convention Centre hasn’t even managed to crawl into the era of on-line seat selection under Stadium Qld management – so would certainly agree they couldn’t do worse under private management.
Sorry to slight the Brisbane Convention Centre – but I meant the Brisbane Entertainment Centre at Boondal, where the ticketing system does not allow you to select your own seat. Just my personal little gripe.
Thanks Katrina. I’m not a fan of the entertainment centre either. It’s a tired venue which hasn’t aged well. The circulation areas are small and it gets very crowded at big concerts.
While you are slashing tax-payer funding to the expensive industry assistance programs, let us not forget the Great Australian Wine rort – and the $25M of tax payer money sloshed about in the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate (WET).
For every Government Assistance program there is a greater and opposing rort associated with it increasing costs to tax-payers.
Thanks Katrina. I agree wine taxation needs reform.
If the Govt is in the business of owning and building stadiums, which it is, then it should build the new stadium in Townsville. The current stadium is a run down asset that misses the grade on many levels, the western stand is failing and needs to be demolished, no wheelchair access, no permanent catering facilities, temporary toilet blocks, the list is long, access is poor, and it is in the middle of a residential area that restricts concerts etc from using the facility. The Governments own report advised that as the owner of the asset it would need to spend $100 million upgrading the facility to an acceptable level, or look at constructing a new stadium in a different location. Stadiums Qld chose the latter. Either way the Govt still has to spend $100 million. Thanks.
The stadium in Townsville would require <$30M to be repaired and maintain its essential charm. Building a debit funded $317,000,000 white elephant in a costal inundation hazard is insane and profligate. Townsville is desperate for investment and jobs, but a stadium would loose money, we could use that money to create a set of smaller, profit, job and culture/confidence, resilience boosting investments.