A community group has lost its court appeal to halt the demolition of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium, meaning heavy machinery can continue to tear down the concrete venue.
Local Democracy Matters fronted the NSW Court of Appeal on Friday for a hearing after the Land and Environment Court last week threw out their challenge to the state government’s $730 million plan to flatten and rebuild the venue.
Heavy machinery was seen tearing down parts of the Moore Park stadium on Thursday.
“Clearly millions of dollars of damage to a public asset has been done by this government,” Greens MP David Shoebridge told reporters outside court on Friday morning.
“That’s clearly their intention, to smash this asset as hard as they can, to make it next to impossible for an incoming government of a different view to try and retain the asset and save the public hundreds of millions of dollars.”
The state election is on March 23.
LDM were in court on Friday to “challenge the legality” of what NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had done, Mr Shoebridge said.
“This is deliberate, it is malicious, and it’s an ugly political play from the premier.”
NSW Labor leader Michael Daley wrote to Ms Berejiklian on Thursday demanding “hard demolition” be halted.
“No one in their right mind would think that knocking that stadium down eight days before an election, while there’s an appeal, is anything other than an act of malice and an act of arrogance,” he told reporters in Coffs Harbour on Friday.
Ms Berejiklian said “obviously people have to work towards a contract”. She claimed not to know details of any fast-tracked demolition underway.
“All we know is that there’s a contract in place and governments don’t and shouldn’t interfere in the day-to-day operations of the contract, that’s up to the contractor (Lendlease),” the premier said in Sydney.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has denounced Mr Daley as “Captain Cancellation” standing in the way of progress. The appeal hearing continues.
Economic madness – destroying a valuable public asset nine days before the election.
If it was a private asset, owned by the NSW Cabinet, and there was a 50/50 chance that in nine days the value of the asset could be realised, would they have sent the dozers in?#NSWPol https://t.co/UIlwuFaeBX
— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) March 14, 2019
It’s quite extraordinary that the demolition of Allianz Stadium is happening this close to an election when the Opposition has promised to cancel it. Smacks of Sir Joh.
— Dom Knight (@domknight) March 14, 2019
Cranes on the roof at Allianz Stadium. If the roof is removed it will cause irreparable damage. pic.twitter.com/kITFFkKZ5e
— David Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeMLC) March 13, 2019
The pig-headed demolition of Allianz Stadium is just another example of the arrogance and true character of the NSW Premier. @GladysB is unfit for the position and her government needs to go. https://t.co/zLDSDJAkjr
— Graham Kahabka (@owgreally) March 14, 2019