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Greens MPs respond to $7 billion Olympics funding announcement


The State and Federal Governments have just announced $7 billion in public funding for the building of Olympics venues in Brisbane, including $2.7 billion for the demolition and rebuilding of the Gabba Stadium. This project is deeply unpopular and will destroy a local, heritage listed state school and public park.

Max Chandler-Mather, Amy MacMahon and Jonathan Sriranganathan will respond at a press conference at 1:45pm outside East Brisbane State School (front gates on Wellington Road).

Lines attributable to Max Chandler-Mather MP, Greens spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness:

“I’ve just come back from Canberra where Labor is trying to ram through a housing plan that will cut housing funding every year because they claim the federal budget is tight, and now they announce they’re spending $3.4 billion on stadiums for a 4 week sporting event - it’s a disgrace.

Today we should be reading about a joint Labor plan to spend $7 billion on social and affordable housing, instead we’re reading about a disgraceful decision to spend billions demolishing a school for a 4 week sporting event. 

This announcement means that more public money will be spent on Olympics stadiums than the federal government is proposing to spend on building public and affordable housing.

By refusing to directly fund the Gabba demolition the Federal Government has acknowledged that the project is a disaster, but let’s be clear, by funding half the Olympics infrastructure they are subsidising this disgraceful demolition.”  

Lines attributable to Amy MacMahon MP, MP for South Brisbane:

“With the Federal government washing its hands of this project the State Government now has to decide whether they’re really willing to go ahead with a project that will cost a state school, a local park and will severely impact housing affordability in the neighbourhood. 

$2.7 billion is an obscene waste of public money. For that spend we could get over 6,000 public homes, 100 schools across the state, 130 maternity units across the state or we could pay for free public transport for 8 years. 

Let’s be clear here. People don’t want this. The Government has done precisely zero consultation with the residents in our electorates, or East Brisbane State School. But we certainly have, and we can say with certainty that the vast majority of locals do not want this project to go ahead.”

Lines attributable to Jonathan Sriranganathan, Councillor for the Gabba

“This is a morally bankrupt decision to waste resources, construction labour capacity and public funds on a vanity project that our city doesn’t need, while shutting down a public primary school and cutting down hundred-year-old trees.

“What kind of twisted, sadistic government leaves homeless people sleeping in parks and bus shelters while wasting billions demolishing and rebuilding sports stadiums?”

“A funding announcement doesn’t mean this fight is over - the government still hasn’t published any detailed plans for the new Gabba stadium or explained how it will handle the impacts to East Brisbane State School and nearby public parks.”

“If Labor tries to shut down this school or relocate it out of the catchment, they can expect mass protests and significant disruptions and delays to any stadium construction work.”

“The $2.7 billion projected cost is still a significant underestimate that won’t include the full cost of a new primary school and doesn’t account for the significant drainage challenges under the Gabba.”

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