OPINION: What is it about governments and building new-beaut sport stadiums in Sydney when most of the country is floundering in debt?

The mortar had barely dried on the new Allianz Stadium at Moore Park – formerly known as Sydney Football Stadium – when the powerbrokers coughed up a further $40 million for another new stadium – this time across the way at Leichhardt Oval.

Sorry, almost forgot the $300 million spent on CommBank Stadium at Parramatta just a handful of years earlier.

That’s of course if Sydneysiders elect not to attend the 80,000-seat Accor Stadium at Homebush. Perhaps the western venue might be too far for the city elites from their inner city suburb to travel for an NRL game.

It borders on ridiculous when you think about it and outright absurd in light of today’s fiscally tight economic climate.

I’m sure the pensioner scraping the last remnants from the Vegemite jar for their morning toast is scratching their head wondering why this deserves more investment than improving their standard of living.

I have no doubt the pollies and stadium lobbyists understand what the “cost of living” dialogue actually means outside their talking points. But do they actually care?

This Leichhardt deal reeks of arrogance, especially in rural and regional areas which will see very little, if any, benefit from such upgrades.

If the Labor party, state or federal, was looking to reclaim country electorates, they’re going about it the wrong way.

The power plays between the Sydney stadiums reminds me of the envy from Tamworth when Gunnedah rolled out its new pool complex a few years ago. It took only a matter of weeks before our near neighbours began crying foul that they deserved a new pool as well.

How about the state government gets its own house in order – namely crippling public debt in the hundreds of billions of dollars which is apparently 500 per cent higher than the global financial crisis in 2009-10 – before it sets off on another stadium spending spree. – Sam Woods

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