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Perth Stadium operations to cost more than $50 million in first year
The completed Perth Stadium is projected to cost Western Australian taxpayers more than $50 million in its first full year of operation in 2019.
The ABC has revealed budget figures showing the forecast yearly cost of financing and operating the stadium starting at $26.7 million in 2018, rising to $53.4 million in 2019 and then $52.6 million in 2020.
Under the design, build, finance and maintain contract for the stadium's construction and operation, the payments will continue for 25 years.
Questioning the finacial commitment in the Western Australian Parliament, Opposition Planning spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said taxpayers had finally been given a clearer picture of the ongoing and long-term cost of the project.
Saffioti stated “the figures show that taxpayers will be paying a significant amount of money each year to subsidise the stadium.
"In its first full year of operation, taxpayers will have to pay at least $50 million a year to finance the stadium and on top of that, we know that taxpayers will be paying for the public transport costs as well."
The Opposition used a budget estimates hearing to question Western Australian Treasury officials about the justification for a $7 million-a-year subsidy for public transport to the stadium.
Treasury's Executive Director of Strategic Projects Richard Mann told the hearing the 50% subsidy of public transport costs for football spectators reflected heavier reliance on public transport to get people to the stadium.
Mann stated “where at Subiaco at the moment, public transport shifts around 30% of a peak crowd of 40,000 people, and we are therefore recovering costs for public transport for around 14,000 patrons ... at the new stadium for a capacity crowd, we will be required to move 80% of 60,000. So 50,000 people to be moved by public transport.”
Mann said without the additional government funding, AFL fans would have faced increased costs.
He added “if the Government sought to recover 100% of the cost for the new stadium then that would be a very substantial increase attributed to ticketing charges.”
But Saffioti said AFL spectators currently met the full cost of public transport through a charge included in their match ticket, saying that the subsidy planned by the Western Australian Government was another hidden cost of the project.
The Opposition also pursued the Western Australian Treasurer over the unresolved issues of stadium memberships and payments to the WA Football Commission to fund support for AFL..
In the hearing, Saffioti asked Treasurer Mike Nahan why the issue of stadium memberships had not been resolved.
The Government is still finalising the operating stadium with preferred operator Stadium Australia Operations, and the user contracts with AFL clubs West Coast and Fremantle.
Dr Nahan said while negotiations were continuing, the Government was pushing for stadium memberships to be offered, explaining “we are in the process, as the Premier indicated, expecting and attempting to get stadium membership and that would be an uplift to the stadium revenue.”
The Western Australian Government has assured the Western Australian Football Commission (WAFC) it would not be financially worse off when AFL games move to the new stadium.
The WAFC currently uses revenue from Subiaco Oval to fund football development and the WA Football League competition.
The Western Australian Government has said that money would be replaced by funding from revenue at Perth Stadium.
Images: The Perth Stadium under construction (top) and how it will look when completefor the 2017 AFL season (below).
25th February 2016 - PERTH STADIUM CRICKET WICKET TESTING BEGINS
8th February 2016 - ANZ STADIUM OPERATOR TO MANAGE NEW PERTH STADIUM
10th September 2015 - BHP BILLITON TO SPONSOR PERTH STADIUM PRECINCT
7th September 2015 - PERTH READY FOR ECONOMIC WINDFALL FROM HOSTING FOUR AFL FINALS
17th June 2015 - WESTERN AUSTRALIA PREMIER URGES AFL TEAMS TO CO-LOCATE AT THE WACA
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