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Opposition party pledges to drop Adelaide arena project

South Australia’s Labor party has said it will scrap a proposed project for a new 15,000-seat arena in Adelaide if it wins the state election next year.

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall, of the Liberal party, unveiled plans for the new arena back in March. The venue, which marked Marshall’s first major pitch ahead of next year’s state elections, is expected to cost around A$700m (£380m/€444m/$531m) and would replace the existing Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

The arena would be capable of hosting concerts, conventions and court sports, including basketball, netball and tennis. Adelaide Entertainment Centre currently has a total capacity of 11,300, with only 9,600 for basketball and netball, and construction of the new arena had been pencilled in to commence when major works for a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital are estimated to conclude in 2025.

However, the Labor party has said it would scrap the arena plans and use the funds to support South Australia’s health system instead.

In an interview with ABC Radio Adelaide, South Australia’s Labor leader Peter Malinauskas said: “Our health system needs more resources now, not a basketball stadium.

“If you spend half an hour or 45 minutes with ambos (paramedics) at the moment and hear about the stories they’re experiencing first hand it’s pretty devastating. It’s shocking and they have made it perfectly clear they are at breaking point, genuinely at breaking point.”

“At the next election, South Australians will have a clear choice: Steven Marshall and his A$662m basketball stadium or a Malinauskas Labor Government which will instead invest in our health system to help address hospital overcrowding and ambulance ramping,” Malinauskas added, according to the InDaily newspaper.

“There’s no point focusing on a flashy new basketball stadium when South Australians can’t guarantee they’ll get an ambulance when they call triple zero in an emergency. People are dying – this is literally a matter of life and death.”

Image: Steven Marshall (Facebook)