In Sport

South Australia Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas

Final Decision On Adelaide Oval Now 12 Months Away

Victor P Taffa

It may be 12 months before a decision is made on the future of the Adelaide Oval upgrade.

Appearing before the Parliament Budget and Finance Committee today, Mr. Ian McLachlan, Chairman of the Stadium Management Authority (SMA), confirmed that at best there would only be a conditional agreement for the Adelaide Oval project by 31 August 2010.

“Mr. McLachlan explained that if conditional agreement was achieved there would then be an eight month period for technical drawings before a tender period of about two months could commence.” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said.

“Premier Rann and Treasurer Foley have been telling everyone a final decision would be achieved next month and now we hear it will be 12 months away.”

Mr. McLachlan also stated today:

• That he and Mr. Whicker had told senior Rann Government advisors of the blowout before the election and that Mr. Whicker had told Mr. Foley;
• That he was aware in November 2009 that the SANFL didn’t think the project could be completed for $450 Million;

• That Mr. Foley in December 2009 had originally promised a $30 Million grant to SACA for its debt but he had only asked for a commitment of $20 Million;
• That for more than two years he and Mr. Demetriou from the AFL had agreed to keep secret from Mr. Whicker and the SANFL that the AFL had funded all the cost estimates the SACA did in 2008 for the Adelaide Oval project;
• That Mr. Demetriou had rung him in September 2007 about moving AFL games in SA away from AAMI Stadium to Adelaide Oval;
• That Westpac had refused to extend its loan to SACA by $16.7 Million in late 2009 and soon after this the Rann Government arranged a $30 Million guarantee for SACA’s loan with Westpac;
• That the total cost of SACA’s Western Stand development was now closer to $120 Million than $85 Million;

• That in a certain set of circumstances the SA Government and taxpayers would be providing   an $85 Million loan to SACA for the Western Stand development.

“Mr. McLachlan has now revealed for the first time the extent of the involvement of Mr. Demetriou and the AFL and the nature of the secret agreement between the AFL and the SACA.” Mr. Lucas said.

“Mr. McLachlan also claimed in evidence today that the cost of a stand alone stadium with a roof would be about $1.3 Billion. However he was unable to reconcile his claim with evidence tendered by his SMA to the Committee which showed an Etihad type stadium could be built for just over $600 Million. This $600 Million estimate was undertaken by Rider Levett Bucknall who was commissioned by Mr. McLachlan and Mr. Whicker to undertake confidential costing work for the SMA.” Mr. Lucas said.

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