The NSW government has abandoned plans for the controversial $800 million redevelopment of ANZ Stadium in Sydney’s west, instead directing the funds towards fast-tracked infrastructure projects.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said the stadium rebuild remained a sensible project, but no longer made sense given the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
The premier said that approximately 220,000 people in NSW had been made unemployed amid the “economic devastation”.
The funds will now be rerouted into the state's recently announced $3 billion acceleration fund, which is set to prioritise smaller, shovel-ready projects across the state and create up to 20,000 new jobs.
“We are now not only guaranteeing our infrastructure pipeline, we will be looking for opportunities to fast-track projects to provide jobs as early as we can,” Berejiklian said.
The government was set to award the construction contract in June of this year.
“The communities of NSW have been through an incredibly tough period with continued drought, horrific bushfires and now Covid-19 and the best path to recovery is creating jobs,” NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said.
“An unprecedented crisis calls for an unprecedented recovery and redirecting funding from Stadium Australia to job-creating infrastructure builds is the right thing to do for the people of NSW.”
The Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta, which is now projected to cost up to $1.1 billion, will go ahead—shifting its location from inner-city Ultimo to Western Sydney.
Plans for the new riverside museum are expected to see two heritage buildings demolished to make way for its construction.
The government said that the project will create more than 1,100 construction jobs in Western Sydney, 2,400 indirect jobs, and keep hundreds employed once it opens.
It was not specified which "shovel-ready" projects the $810 million would go towards, but the state government said was focused on communities hit hardest by the bushfires and pandemic.