Legislative Council, Wednesday 1 November 2023
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, we are here to consider a referral of the Government's Macquarie Point proposal, also known as the stadium, for assessment as a Project of State Significance. Our role here is to either vote to approve this or reject this referral.
As the Leader said in her contribution, it is not about the merits of the project as such. The act is fairly silent on what basis a member might choose to vote for or against the referral. The act does lay out a number of possible criteria that would warrant an assessment as a Project of State Significance and in section 16 of the act it talks about meeting at least two of the following attributes. I will go through those attributes as I think they are relevant:
(a) significant capital investment - I think that is pretty clear, particularly on the part of the state;
(b) significant contribution to the state's economic development;
(c) significant consequential economic impacts;
(d) significant potential contribution to Australia's balance of payments;
(e) significant impact on the environment;
(f) complex technical process and engineering designs; and
(g) significant infrastructure requirements.
Members would agree a number of those could notionally be supported with regard to this project. I am sure we are all aware of the pressure and threats of the loss of our team that will allegedly occur if this proposal was to be defeated.
As I have done before, and I will do so again, I will state at the outset to ensure all who may be listening now or reading this at a later time who wish to quote me, in or out of context, I will clearly state my own position on our own AFL team.
I fully support our own Tasmanian team. I come from the north-west of Tasmania with a deep and lasting tradition of AFL football. As stated prior debate, I have played a game myself, even kicking a goal when I was at high school. I am a somewhat disillusioned North Melbourne supporter and, as far as AFLM teams go, they are languishing near the bottom of the ladder. North's AFLW team is a much better story. I have been to many AFL games in Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne and Sydney. I have also visited Adelaide Oval a number of times before and after its redevelopment and stayed in the Adelaide Oval Hotel, not when a game was on - it would be far too expensive then, I am sure.
I support the construction of a new purpose-built stadium, a facility with sensitive design, community support and limited financial risk to the public purse. I recognise the need for quality facilities for elite games of sport together with real grassroots support for boys, girls, men and women.
I am also disappointed by the Government's handling of this proposal before us. It has led to deep divisions within our community when the opportunity for our own Tassie team, after years and years of trying for it, should have been uniting us all, whereas it has created great division in this community and the state.
To focus on this motion, we are being asked today to consider a proposal, with next to no detail, except a diagram of a proposal that seems destined to fail. I will elaborate further on that and I acknowledge that we are not here to make decisions about all the merits of a particular design. As members would be aware, the Public Accounts Committee has been undertaking an inquiry into this process and has received significant evidence and scrutinised this process as far as we can without any design because it kept shifting around the area that is designated as Macquarie Point.
Why do I believe it is destined to fail? The proximity to significant and sacrosanct sites, such as the Cenotaph and the overshadowing of this important site and structure, and blocking the views to the things that matter to the people who decided to put the Cenotaph where it is. It is the view down the river, where loved ones disappeared down that river and never came home, and the view to St George's Church. That is why it was built there and that is the view that is of concern to the RSL.
Second, the fact that ground conditions are such that even if it could support a stadium, there are enormous, unaddressed challenges to do so. We all know this site includes contamination. Some of it has been remediated. It is not sure to what extent it has. There is the goods shed that sits there and clearly no remediation of what sits under the goods shed could possibly have occurred. What is under there? People may know what is under there but that could create a whole set of challenges. In the schedule before us that is part of this order, the goods shed disappears, completely gone. Whatever is under it will need to be considered. That is part of POSS process; I am not saying it is not. It could prove to be frightfully expensive and we know from the agreement that it appears that the state will carry all financial risk of this.
It is not a matter of liking or disliking what little we have seen about this stadium at Macquarie Point. Surely the question must be, should we be committing what is currently little more than a dream to the rigours of a POSS scrutiny and the associated costs of that? As we know, the proponent pays the cost. The proponent is clearly the Government, so the proponent is the people of Tasmania. That is who is paying for this process.
Governments also are facing financial sustainability problems; Tasmania is no exception. We need to make wise and well-informed decisions about the expenditure of public money. Why would we even review or progress a proposal that is likely to fail, at great expense to the taxpayer, when we have what appears to be a viable option that could be assessed through the same POSS process? Not this process; it has to have a separate order - you cannot amend an order - where the proponent will be required to fund the assessment and thus carry the financial risk.
If the other alternative project is as advanced as the promoter suggests it is, are they going to wait on the sidelines for this particular process to unfold? The project gets thrown around from pillar to post for another year at least, or two years, and it may be longer. The Government is trying to appear decisive by throwing the Mac Point stadium into the POSS process. This is the wrong decision, in my view. I am beginning to think the Government prefers the argy-bargy of the process, rather than adopting a more pragmatic approach and search for a solution.
We are still seeing distraction after distraction. The turning of a blind eye to the state's financial position and the hopeless lack of consideration as to the best way major projects could and should progress seems to be the order of the day. These diversions appear to be almost a deliberate strategy.
Why am I saying that? When the Government unveiled their Mac 2.0, which is the one we are dealing with, the one that the order proposes, it has far more questions than answers. It does not really resemble what was previously presented. Most of it will not begin to be addressed for at least 12 months, or more than 12 months, because the clock on the 12 months does not start until after all the guidance work that has to be by the Tasmanian Planning Commission. Then, the proponent to provide all the relevant information, which I am sure will take some time. This order was basically tabled in this House and it was quickly followed the very next day by an alternative stadium just around the corner at so called Regatta Point or the Regatta Grounds.
The Government knew about this proposal beforehand, which is likely to be far less contentious. In fact, we know many of the key stakeholders, including the RSL, have put their support behind such a proposal because it does not overshadow the Cenotaph, particularly in the direction that matters most to the RSL and to families and loved ones of non returned service people.
They continue to claim the Macquarie Point site is the only possible stadium site. We have seen the media recently do a little bit of a crab walk about we need more information. It sounds like someone else in the Liberal Party in the other place.
Some will say we should leave this to Tasmanian Planning Commission: after all, that is their job. Yes, it is. I absolutely agree and they will be doing it, if this goes through. But, we, the taxpayers of Tasmania will be paying for this proposal developed by the Macquarie Point Development Corporation and it will be helpful to have some idea of the design etcetera to help inform our decisions.
In the other House, the Labor Party has indicated their intention to support this referral. That appears to be based on the belief the process will fail and the Government will be left with egg on its face. That may well be the case, but it is an expensive path to go. I know they may wish to be a small target and avoid being called Labor Greens blockers, the childish and particularly unhelpful mantra from the Liberal Party members. Every time it is Labor Greens government, Labor Greens government or Labor Greens opposition or whatever it is, this childish, stupid mantra.
When there is another, what appears to be at least as viable, if not more so option, that could be considered through this process, where the financial cost and risk primarily sit with the private proponent, why would you not consider that particularly with the level of public support that is seen for people who do support a stadium? We have all received many emails. There have been a number of people who were pretty averse to a stadium but they have swung and said the other proposal looks much better in terms of fitting in, providing a whole range of other services, matters and community benefit with it.
Mr President, I cannot in all good conscious support a project at great expense to the Tasmanian taxpayer where there are so many other pressing needs on the public purse and ignoring the financial position of the state when we actually have another proposal that could meet the demands of the AFL - who, incidentally, do not run this state, just saying - and deliver a facility that enables not just AFL games in a state of the-art facility, but also provide a range of other community benefits and event spaces.
As I said, we know the RSL and Hobart Regatta organisation support this proposal as do many immediate property owners who have been negatively impacted by the Macquarie Point Development Corporation proposal or the Government's proposal. By the look of the Government's proposal of the design, it would be impossible to hold a major music event there, if saying this is what they will attract, or any other major event, even international cricket. It appears from the diagram we have seen and the information we have, that you could not even get a semitrailer in to it to bump out an event. It is not just about having a stadium plonked, you have to have access if you are going to put on anything other than a fairly small event. This proposal before us, shows a stadium squeezed onto this site with no regard to the necessary services to make it work. It is actually crazy.
Of course, there are number of matters that require much greater detail and clarity on the Stadia Precinct proposal, the one around the corner. However, financial costs of providing that would fall to the proponent, so they would fund that. It would be in their interests to progress the work as quickly as possible.
The key proponent, Dean Coleman, has also had extensive experience in construction of stadia, he was particularly involved with Marvel Stadium the home of AFL with a retractable roof. This is why I am seeking to give us more time to enable the process to be reconsidered, with more details provided on both the Government's proposal, as well to hear sworn evidence from the proposal on the Regatta Point proposal.
As published on the Public Accounts Committee website yesterday and notified via media release, there is a public hearing on Friday this week between 9.00 and 10.30 where Mr Coleman and any other relevant people will be called to give sworn evidence to the PAC to provide details about the financial risks to details about design, what work has been done, and matters like that. On that committee the Government has a party member, the Labor Party has members, and there are also Independent members. I am seeking an adjournment of this debate to enable us to hear that sworn evidence. Before we go down this path of pushing through a project that will cost the taxpayer a significant amount of money, we delay it until next week, after which time the Public Accounts Committee would have called in Mr Coleman and heard from him about process, the cost and the risks and all the other matters important to know about the proposal.
The Public Accounts Committee has heard a lot about the other proposal. We have not heard a lot about the current precinct plan, because there is very little to no detail to be had. Whilst it is not possible to amend the order, the Government could introduce a separate order for the consideration of parliament and this could be dealt with before the end of the sitting year. We still have two more sitting weeks and the lower House does not sit next week but they sit the following week. It does not need to be done one after the other. It can be done concurrently, but it could be dealt with.
I am asking for, Mr President, the opportunity to get more information before we are forced to make this decision. As the member for McIntyre has often said, when a member asks for more time to get more information that is relevant to the debate, we normally grant it. I believe this will enable us to make the best possible decision. At face value, the Regatta Point proposal appears to provide real benefit and a high likelihood of success. In addition, the cost of assessment will be funded by the proponent, not the taxpayer and we know there is much more public support, particularly from key stakeholders.
I am asking the members to allow another week to enable us to be more fully informed and make decisions that were informed by sworn evidence. The Government has the opportunity to change tack here and support this request. They have the opportunity to enable additional time to more fully consider the alternatives here, before we commit to a very expensive project, a long time-consuming project, one that we know currently lacks a social licence and where the state carries the entire financial and other risks as the proponent.
Mr President, I move -
That the debate stands adjourned.
This to enable that process to unfold for the Public Accounts Committee to hold the hearing on Friday and we have the next two weeks to come back to this motion.
Legislative Council, Wednesday 8 November 2023
(Continued from 1 November 2023)
Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I appreciate the opportunity to have more time to consider this motion granted by the Chamber last week. It was particularly helpful to hear from Mr Dean Coleman and Mr Paul Lennon, proponents of a so-called Mac Point 2.0 proposal at the Public Accounts Committee hearing. I do not wish to reflect on the public evidence on the record. As members would be aware, there was also some evidence taken in camera.
Since there has been a break in this debate, I will reiterate my views regarding our own Tassie team. I fully support our own Tasmanian team and am not averse to the construction of a new, purpose-built stadium. I do, however, remain deeply concerned about the use of the Macquarie Point site as proposed by the Macquarie Point Development Corporation on behalf of the Government for a stadium for many reasons. This includes the visual impact, particularly on the Cenotaph - the visual lines of site from the Cenotaph as that location obstructs that view; the land conditions and the base conditions, a lack of support from the RSL, as well as the financial risk which we, the people of Tasmania, under the AFL agreement, will be required to cover with the cost of the assessment and the cost of any financial overruns. We still have not heard what the cost is likely to be, as the initial cost was made some time ago. We know the cost escalations that have occurred in all builds in more recent time. Under the AFL agreement, the state is responsible for those cost overruns.
We also need to fund a costly and lengthy assessment process which, despite this project meeting the criteria of a project of state significance - I reflected on that in my earlier contribution last week - is likely to fail that process. The criteria on the social and economic impact is taken at its heart, the cost to the state's budget could be extraordinary and the social licence, which one would expect a project would be able to secure to pass that test, clearly does not with the RSL and a range of others, including other neighbours continuing to oppose that particular site . In our briefing we heard TasPorts has been spoken with, but they are only one neighbour. There are the operators at the TSO and Federation Concert Hall, and the Federal Group which owns and manages Mac1 and Henry Jones, which is in very close proximity.
Members will be well aware that the Public Accounts Committee has been scrutinising this project in broader terms. Yes, I did sit across the table from Andrew Dillon, then acting AFL CEO, when he repeated 'It's a stadium or nothing - no team.' This creates enormous distress for many of the ardent footy fans who want to see our team and they have basically said, 'We have to have the stadium, it does not matter what the cost is'. I will reiterate that the AFL does not run this state.
From what was provided to the Public Accounts Committee and in the public arena more broadly, the second proposal, the so-called Mac 2.0, has far more detail and limited financial risk to the state. Mr Lennon made clear today, that should there be cost overruns they would be met by the proponent, not by the state, which is fairly likely in a major construction of any sort.
It is also located on Macquarie Point, so to hear the suggestion by some in the public arena that the agreement would need to be renegotiated - it may need to be on some points, particularly time frames even if this POSS is to be supported. But the requirement to be on Macquarie Point - I will say a roofed stadium because a retractable roof can be fixed if you want it to be, just keep it shut - it would have more than 23 000 seats with the capacity to put more in without having to alter the structure. It meets that requirement. That would not require an amendment or a renegotiated contract. Other matters might, but that could potentially be the same with this proposal we are dealing with right now.
This approach and threats made by the AFL have led many of these ardent footy fans to ask me to forget about the costs and think only about the benefit. If I had no concern where the money was coming from and what impact it would have on the state's financial position, I too may have the luxury of taking such a position. But, I do not. I am not elected to overlook key important matters. I am also not elected to overlook the legitimate and genuine concerns of key stakeholders, such as the RSL, and others.
I also believe the most recent proposal - Mac 2.0, I will call it for clarity - in my view is a much better option that removes the financial risk to the state and also creates many other facilities within that project that will have enormous community benefit.
I too, want to see an AFL team sooner rather than later, so I am more likely to support a project that I believe has the best chance of success. In our briefing today, suggestions were made that the current proposal we are dealing with now has the best chance of success because it has gone through a certain process that has satisfied the Government that it should be put in the project of state significance process.
The other proposal has not been through that same process as yet. However, it seems to me that a lot of that work has been done, including the environmental assessments, the environmental and water monitoring and assessments, and the issue with the spotted handfish that is identified in the Premier's letter - those studies have to be repeated every two years; those studies are already on foot again, as the Public Accounts Committee was informed; the Aboriginal heritage and a range of other factors. If you read the evidence, it is clear that a lot of this work has been done.
We know that the Premier has given Mr Coleman and his team until 5 February to respond and address a number of matters that were raised by the Government in relation to that. It seems in many respects that we should wait until that is available so that we can make a properly-informed decision. But no, we have been told we have to keep going, put this in the POSS process because it can always be withdrawn. That is a matter of faith and trust.
I am not averse to a new stadium, but I am averse to being dictated to by those outside the state, who potentially could put our state under significant financial pressure. The Government's proposal carries enormous financial risk to the state. The risk it will not pass the project of state significance process, is one. Even in the unlikely event in my mind that it did, the state is responsible for all costs overruns, and as we know, in that building sector, these are significant.
In my mind, it would be much better to support a project with defined and known financial risks than to debt-fund the Government's proposal. We know that the increased borrowings that would be required to fund the build, as it is described, and the money that has been allocated for it, in addition to any cost overruns, puts enormous pressure on our already stretched financial position.
The sooner we acknowledge these very real financial challenges we are facing, the better in this state. We cannot keep sweeping all these problems under the rug for ages. We are going to see significant funding shortfalls and projects being defunded. We are already seeing projects and organisations having their funding either not renewed, or restricted, or cut back in various parts of the community sector.
I agree that a multipurpose events facility could deliver an intergenerational asset, but we have to fund it with all the cost overruns as our responsibility. This means that interest payments to service this debt will be acquired from the same bucket of money we need to fund health, education, justice and other infrastructure around the state. It is a limited bucket. These are matters I must take into consideration on behalf of all Tasmanians. I do not have the luxury of saying, 'Do not worry about the cost, just think of the benefit'. I cannot - I am absolutely aware of the potential benefit.
In terms of the so-called Mac Point 2.0 proposal, I quote from the Hansard transcript of Friday's hearing, Mr Coleman stated -
… to explain the process, the stadium itself is going to be done under a PPP, a public private partnership. They are not unique to Tasmania. The first PPP in Australia was done here in Tasmania at the Burnie Hospital. What that does is that takes away the risk from the Government and the taxpayer because it is a fixed price. If there are any cost blowouts, it is worn by the consortium that are doing the project. It is not going back and we do not put our hand back up for money from the Tasmanian Government.
The critical nature of doing your job properly is making sure, which is why we have been working so hard with Hazell Bros because that is a big component of the risk. We have had that price and the costings are a proportion of the various projects.
He was referring to the digging out of the area.
The problem with the Macquarie Point stadium and the $715 million it was quoted two years ago, you have to forget the risk, forget the contaminated soil, forget that it is reclaimed land, just do the base maths of going up by 35 per cent per annum for the last two years. That puts the stadium in excess of $1 billion. You cannot build a stadium for less than $ 1 billion. That is what the cost is. We realise that and that is why it becomes a community-based precinct and we build around it.
With a PPP, the financial players come into it. They sell their components to the superannuation funds. Behind the PPP companies have got about $50 - to $60 billion worth of projects and assets under management. We are not talking about, you know, funders with no capacity. The nice thing about us having to wait and talk to all the players, if you like, is if you are having a home loan fee for a house, you will try the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, all the other players, and we are the same.
He goes on to explain that funding model under the PPP and adds;
It is the same if you buy your house. You pay the mortgage off over 20 years, but it is still your house and there is involvement from a finance player. At the end of the period, the keys are transferred over fully and the asset is in mint condition, but you own the asset from the start.
Mr President, with regard to the Projects of State Significance referral before us, Mr Coleman made the following comments -
I stress again that we are the original Macquarie Point, so we are on Macquarie Point. The stadium does not fit -
He is referring to the Government's proposal -
… the RSL brought that to everyone's attention. What we have here is the size of the ground -
He is showing us a slide at this stage with seating and the roof only based on Marvel Stadium, just showing how the seating and the roof fit. The proposal that, when you overlay that into the order before us, does not actually allow for concourses around the project, around the outside. I know this will probably be disputed by the Government and by the proponents, but there are many unanswered questions.
Looking at the quite small map, it is hard to tell exactly where it is and it seems to impose on Evans Street, which then can limit access to Evans Street. As Mr Lennon said in the briefing today, it will limit the entry and exit of heavy vehicles including buses.
Concerns were also raised about the additional northern access road to the port. In the briefing we heard that is all being dealt with. But, we have two very different views here. They have had engineering people look at that matter as well. It would suggest that you will not be able to get a B-double round that entry in the northern approach. It is on the Tasman Highway, it is a national highway, and it would be very difficult for semitrailers to access through that way without a lot of money being spent. Anyone who goes over that regularly knows how busy that is with traffic.
I suggest we will have competing arguments and comments about which project might have addressed certain matters, and which may not have. I went back to the basics, and it is clear to me from the public evidence that we have received in the Public Accounts Committee, that this project was quite advanced and it would be relatively straightforward to provide that information to the Government in order for them to meet whatever the criteria are.
I believe the member for Nelson asked about the criteria during the briefing. It was matters relating to Aboriginal heritage; transport; the capacity to be built; the operations of neighbours; and site feasibility. The evidence we heard - including the member for Nelson - was that many of these matters have been considered in that proposal. Of course, it is up to the proponent to demonstrate that. To say that there is no way that can meet those criteria when the Macquarie Point 1.0 clearly can, is arguable, I believe. I have to make the decisions based on the information I have.
In the Public Accounts Committee hearing, when asked about meeting the timetable that is required by the AFL - that is another matter that was raised - Mr Lennon said, 'We believe we can meet the timetable, where we would question the ability of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation to meet the timetable, but that is another thing to explain'. [TBC]. They are confident they can meet the timetable. There are many different and competing views here.
I found it interesting when you look at the broader community benefit of a proposal. When we were looking at the Macquarie Point 1.0 proposal that we are dealing with now in this motion, it is a stadium and some housing around on Regatta Point but not much else. We are not looking at hotel accommodation or conference facilities. Maybe we are, maybe we are not; we do not know any of that. Regarding the housing proposal as part of the project Macquarie Point 2.0, we are informed that initially, worker accommodation will be constructed to house the necessary workforce. It will be a quite large workforce. It does not matter whether it is 1.0 or 2.0., there will be a large workforce; that is not questioned. This housing would be constructed by the proponent and then converted to social and affordable housing, with a significant proportion of accessible units or accommodation. You get the benefit of not pushing people out of their homes in Hobart while builders move in and take up all the rentals - there are not many of those anyway. In addition, they build accommodation for the workers and then convert it. There is a flow on social benefit there.
With regard to that, Mr Coleman said:
'We have also put in the set-up on the Macquarie Point site, which for first four years is construction employee's accommodation. There will be over 1200 people working on the site for the next four years. The workers' accommodation will be reprovisioned at the end and will become social affordable and housing. The great thing about that is that four years of repayments on the property are already done'.
So, the workers would pay to live in those properties, and that is a revenue stream from the outset. He goes on:
It makes a very good economic answer to a problem, but we can also design it in a format that blends in perfectly with Macquarie Point'.
With regard to the housing included in this project, Mr Lennon and Mr Coleman stated that, at the moment there are 311. They were looking at a minimum of 300 but it could be increased. When asked about that Mr Coleman added, it could be expanded to 500 houses - this is social and affordable housing, a mix of housing. This is in addition to the 450 apartments that are part of the actual stadium design itself. With regard to public and affordable housing, they were anticipating a mix of public and private housing with a number specifically set aside for people with disability.
To those who might suggest we stick with the Mac Point 1.0 proposal because it has momentum, I am not sure what the momentum is here, other than we have come to a point so let us put it into this process and see whether it can stack up. If this motion passes it means that the process will start. There has been some work done. When the directive was issued to the Tasmanian Planning Commission they started doing some work in planning for how they are going to put out information about the guidelines and consult on that. This is the step that is needed for it to be put into the formal process, which will still take many months or years for the whole process.
It seems that all the information that has to be provided to satisfy all the requirements under the integrated planning assessment, as I understand it, are not provided to the Tasmanian Planning Commission until after the guidelines were established. The proponent has to respond to the guidelines and provide the information that meets that criteria. That is why I come back to the point that if social licence and visual amenity and impact on significant sites, such as the Cenotaph, are part of the guidelines, how can it possibly meet that, knowing the height it has to be to meet the criteria that is demanded by the AFL, which is a fixed roof stadium?
For those who claim we have more detail related to Mac Point 1.0, to me we were provided with a bit of detail in the briefing today. It is almost laughable to suggest we have all this information but in many respects it is not reasonable to have all the information because that is what the process is for. The same thing applies to the Mac Point 2.0 proposal. You cannot say, we do not need all the information on this one but we will need it on this one. That is sheer hypocrisy. The same standard applies to either and we only have one before us on the table now and I know that is the point and I will focus on that.
Some say that more detail will be required to be provided during an assessment process. Of course, it will, that is what the assessment process is for, but to say that we should push on with this one while the other proponent has time to answer the questions and satisfy the Government that it may be feasible seems like 'trust us', and we will see. Trust us and we will come back to you next year. Next year who knows if we will be back at all until after an election. It could become a moot point. So here we are, notionally, stuck with a proposal because it is the least worst option at the moment.
Ms Webb - Not even that.
Ms FORREST - Not even that really. It is the only option at the moment because we have been boxed into this by the demands of an external player that consists of the AFL and 18 club presidents.
Mr Valentine - It has not been out for an EOI for instance.
Ms FORREST - No, but that is part of the process.
Mr Valentine - No, but I am saying for other options.
Ms FORREST - Yes.
Ms Webb - It started with a result and worked back from there.
Ms FORREST - That is right. How do you make the results stack up, or the decision? It started with a decision. I go back to the financial risk. Despite there being adequate reasons to reject this proposal, in my view, on the basis that it is likely to fail based on the evidence we have been provided, by far the key and absolute biggest factor in my mind is the limited financial risk to the state of the so-called Mac Point 2.0 project and the absolute financial risk associated with the one that is the subject of this referral motion. We know the total we will pay if the second one was chosen. Even if costs blow out there will not be additional costs; that is what we were told. Again, the proponent can prove that to the Government too, and I would expect them to, and Mr Lennon reiterated that in the briefing today.
On that basis, particularly the financial risk, I cannot, in all good conscience, support a project into a lengthy and costly assessment process that has inadequate detail, is unlikely to actually work or pass successfully through the process, due to the site size and the size of the stadium design. There is a lack of real clarity about the additional community benefit, as there is no event space that we can see. Housing is questionable in its location, there are traffic management constraints, there is no parking, and on top of all of that, there is the absolute lack of social licence, and we carry all the financial risks.
It is unconscionable that we would proceed - I am happy for someone to adjourn it until next year, and if the Mac Point 2.0 project does not stack up and cannot satisfy us that it meets the criteria that this Mac Point 1.0 does, then we could come back at that time, and say which one it is. We are being asked to approve a project that I do not think meets the pub test in my electorate, in terms of expenditure of public money, I know that. For me, the financial risk particularly, is the key. It is something that I cannot support knowing that we are already struggling financially; knowing that there is a limited bucket of money.
Yes, infrastructure funding is appropriate and beneficial, but there is very limited broader community benefit in the proposal that sits behind this referral now. The other option provides much more detail on how that social benefit could be gained in housing, other event spaces, the private hospital, the RSL centre for the veterans up on the top. There is a lot, even the car parking.
I find myself in a difficult position where as I said, and I will continue to say, that I am not averse to the construction of a purpose-built stadium that provides broad community benefit. As I said, I have stayed at the Adelaide Oval Hotel, and it is lovely. It is great, and it has transformed that area but we are not seeing any of that detail in this.
There are so many questions, and in all good conscience, I cannot support a process that is likely to cost us an extraordinary amount of money, and that on face value appears doomed to fail.