'Extraordinary' image at centre of $730 million stadium controversy

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.

Hard demolition went ahead on Thursday. Image: AAP

“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.”

The Roosters have been forced to use the SCG as their new home this year. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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.