The demolition of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium will go ahead after an application to extend a court order preventing the work was dismissed today (Friday).
Earlier this week, the New South Wales Land and Environment Court ruled that the government did not breach its own planning rules for the project. The court has now rejected an extension application for a temporary injunction and the demolition can begin immediately.
The temporary injunction had been due to expire at 5pm local time today but opposition groups had applied to have this extended until Monday. Justice Nicola Pain has dismissed this, clearing the way for work to begin.
The Australian Associated Press news agency reports that the Local Democracy Matters community group is considering an application for an urgent injunction before a further appeal is heard next week.
Waverley Council had also joined the opposition with its case, which was heard concurrently alongside Local Democracy Matters’, relating to the claim that the government breached design excellence requirements in its vision for the stadium.
The plans of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s coalition government for the stadium, along with other sports facilities in Sydney, have stirred up political tensions ahead of a state election scheduled for March 23. The Labor and Greens parties have both been strongly opposed to the government’s wider stadium masterplan.
Local Democracy Matters spokesman Chris Maltby, who is also an IT specialist for the Greens, said it would be an outrage if work began before Monday, adding: “If the government does proceed like that, it says everything you need to know about how they’ve carried out this project.”
Opposition leader Michael Daly told ABC: “Only someone spectacularly arrogant would send the wrecking balls in to knock that stadium down now, given the anger about this is white-hot.
“This is not just about stadiums. The stadiums are emblematic of everything we’ve seen with this government. They change their minds, they don’t do the planning. When the business case doesn’t stack up, they ignore it anyway. Communities aren’t consulted. Plans aren’t done. It’s like the light rail. It’s like the WestConnex. It’s like the Opal building. It’s like a million dead fish in Menindee. This Allianz Stadium debacle is emblematic of everything this government does.”
The government plans on demolishing Allianz Stadium and building a new 45,000-seat stadium that will feature a hybrid steel and wood roof. In December, the Berejiklian government said it had signed a contract with property and infrastructure group Lendlease to knock down the existing structure and build a new stadium for Aus$730m (£392m/€457m/$513m).
Image: Allianz Stadium