Labor’s four pages of election costings and its plan to pay down debt were dubious, but the party at least presented some kind of plan of paying for its promises – without leasing assets – prior to the election. This means Labor’s $100 million pledge over four years to fund Townsville’s super stadium can be met.
Mr Katter yesterday called on Labor to abandon its commitment for the stadium, saying the money should be spent on “productive infrastructure”, not “populist infrastructure”. He said he was concerned about the ongoing liability for taxpayers.
Some of these concerns may be valid: Stadiums Queensland – which manages the State’s biggest stadiums including Suncorp and 1300 SMILES – records multi-million-dollar losses every year, which are underwritten by the government. However, as the Townsville’s stadium’s feasibility study made clear, the flow-on effects to the community are significant: the project is estimated to generate more than 570 new jobs and $81 million in value added activity in construction, and an incremental annual contribution of 31 new jobs and $2.6 million in value added activity.
No matter how valid Mr Katter’s points are about the need for infrastructure in north-west Queensland vis-à-vis a stadium, he shouldn’t force Labor to abandon its biggest infrastructure commitment.
The "significant" annual flow-on effect of 31 new jobs and $2.6 million in value added activity sounds rather trivial to me for a feasibility study based on a $150 million stadium. Could it be that down in Townsville some are now a bit worried about the future of their "super stadium"?
It isn't clear how $100 million over four years will fund a $150 million stadium anyway? In a list of infrastructure funding priorities for any incoming state government this 'promise' should be somewhere closer to the bottom and on the endangered list to be taken out the back and shot.