Labor MP Marjorie O’Neill under fire over photos at Allianz Stadium

·3-min read
Marjorie O'Neill, pictured here at a rally outside the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick in 2019.
Marjorie O'Neill speaks during a rally outside the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick in 2019. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

NSW Sports Minister Alister Henskens has slammed Labor MP Marjorie O’Neill after she was spotted at the new Allianz Stadium in Sydney despite previously expressing her opposition to the rebuilt venue.

Photos published in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday show Dr O'Neill in the corporate boxes at the new Allianz Stadium after an $828 million rebuild was completed earlier this month.

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The doors to the new stadium were opened during the final round of the NRL season, playing host to the Roosters' clash with the Rabbitohs.

The fierce Sydney rivals then went head-to-head at the same venue the following week in an elimination final, won by the Rabbitohs.

The costly rebuild of the stadium was at the centre of controversy during the 2019 state election campaign, with a number of Labor ministers arguing that the previous venue should have been upgraded.

Instead it was knocked down and completely rebuilt.

Labor leader Chris Minns had reportedly warned ministers not to visit the new stadium recently if they had expressed their opposition to it in the past.

But Dr O'Neill has been spotted at Allianz a number of times in recent weeks to watch her favourite team - the Roosters.

During the 2019 election campaign, Dr O'Neill wrote on social media: “This community does not want a new stadium. This community wants better health care, better education services and better public transport."

Marjorie O’Neill under fire over Allianz attendance

In parliament on Tuesday, Henskens said: “She has been in the corporate box not once, not twice, but three times in the last three weeks.

“(Labor) say one thing, they do another. They are hypocrites.”

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Dr O'Neill said her views hadn't changed and she couldn't help where her beloved Roosters were scheduled to play.

“My views on Allianz Stadium have been absolutely crystal clear and well expressed for years - the government should have simply refurbished the stadium and not demolished and rebuilt it,” she said.

Marjorie O'Neill, pictured here speaking to voters at South Coogee Public School in 2019.
Marjorie O'Neill speaks to voters at South Coogee Public School in 2019. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“That would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars that could have been spent on schools and hospitals across the state, like Sydney Children’s and Royal Women’s Hospitals in my electorate, or upgrades of Randwick Girls and Randwick Boys High Schools.

“I am a passionate Roosters supporter and rarely miss a game. I don’t get to choose which ground my team plays at.”

2GB radio host Ben Fordham said on Thursday that Dr O’Neill’s attendance was not consistent with “her history of opposing the new-look Allianz stadium”.

“Couldn’t you have waited a while? The thing just opened,” he said.

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