Don’t demolish the Gabba!

The Courier Mail has reported this week that rumors abound the Queensland government is planning on ditching the plan to demolish the Gabba Olympic stadium rebuild.

$2.7 billion is the bill for the rebuild, a blow out from the original plans of $1 billion. Money is like confetti for the Labor party, especially when it’s someone else’s money.

The Gabba controversy is of significant national importance. The Queensland government will undoubtedly put its hand out for federal taxpayer funds to subsidise the vanity project. The rebuild involves demolishing a heritage state school and relocating its students, and importantly this is the community that our founder Pauline Hanson grew up in.

When the Olympics were proposed, it was sold to us that it would be cost neutral, or net gain financially to the state and country. Dream on.

What we know is this. $2.7 billion dollars spent on a stadium won’t put a single roof over the head of a single Queenslander. What is worse, the housing crisis will be made worse, as these vanity projects take labour and materials away from the domestic construction industry. They are inflationary by nature.

Calls can be made to scrap the Olympics until you’re blue in the face. The reality is the Liberal/Labor coalition would never scrap the games, and doing so would make us the laughing stock of the world.

Common sense however should be the guide of planning the games, not vanity projects, not pork barreling and certainly not wastage.

One Nation has a clear view of the Olympics; we need to better use existing infrastructure like stadiums, venues, and even natural locations like the Brisbane River.

Further, our view is the Olympics spending should be capped, and we have joined with other cross benchers in Queensland to make this view clear.

The community around the Gabba is bitterly opposed to a rebuild. Weirdly, the new premier poked the bear a few months ago saying the whole precinct could be renamed ‘East Bank’ (for those not familiar, the Gabba is quite some distance from the river).

Building a new stadium when existing stadiums will suffice is not the type of policy direction Queenslanders will accept. Pressure is building on Labor to back down on the projects before many more millions are spent on the consulting fees that a whole rebuilds undoubtable entails.