The demolition of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium can begin immediately after a judge dismissed an application to extend a court order preventing major works.
A temporary injunction – in place since February to allow a challenge to the $730 million project in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court – was due to expire at 5pm on Friday.
Those behind the challenge applied to have it extended until Monday, when they head to the Court of Appeal in another attempt to stop the controversial redevelopment of the 30-year-old stadium at Moore Park in Sydney’s east.
Justice Nicola Pain on Friday dismissed the application and lifted the freeze on major structural works.
Interior fittings and seating had already been legally pulled out of Allianz Stadium.
The demolition of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium (pictured) can begin immediately after a judge dismissed an application to extend a court order preventing major works
Community group Local Democracy Matters is now considering applying for an urgent injunction before their appeal is heard next week.
The group had unsuccessfully argued Planning Minister Anthony Roberts did not consider design excellence or soil contamination before approving the project and his government did not exhibit the demolition proposal for long enough.
LDM spokesman Chris Maltby, an IT specialist for the Greens, said it would be an outrage if the bulldozers were sent in before Monday.
‘If the government does proceed like that, it says everything you need to know about how they’ve carried out this project,’ he said.
The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust had claimed they needed more than $700 million from taxpayers to build a new stadium because of safety concerns.
While Allianz Stadium is being demolished, the heritage-listed Members’ and Ladies’ stands of the Sydney Cricket Ground, next door, are being allowed to stay despite being made of wood.
These sections of the SCG were both built during the nineteenth century, in 1878 and 1896 respectively.
New South Wales Opposition Leader Michael Daley pointed out this hypocrisy on Tuesday as he vowed to sack unelected SCG Trust board members, including 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones, were his Labor Party to win the March 23 state election.
New South Wales Opposition Leader Michael Daley (pictured) pointed out this hypocrisy on Tuesday as he vowed to sack unelected SCG Trust board members
‘Some of the [claims] were about safety and compliance, that the stadium wasn’t built for today’s standards and it was unsafe,’ he told reporters earlier this week.
‘Well I make this point – the ladies’ stand and the Members’ Stand at the SCG are made of wood.
‘They don’t comply with today’s standards either. I don’t see people rushing to try and knock them down.’
In an earlier heated exchange with Jones on Tuesday, Mr Daley pointed out the Members’ and Ladies’ stands of the SCG ‘don’t comply with modern standards’.
‘They’re flammable as well. We don’t knock them down, do we?,’ he said.
Jones, who has been an SCG trustee for 30 years, said Allianz Stadium had no fire sprinklers which was ‘completely in breach of the building code’ and had insufficient emergency exits.
Mr Daley then sensationally accused the SCG Trust of ripping out sprinklers from Allianz Stadium.
‘The board’s ripped them all out under the cover of darkness,’ he said.
Sydney radio 2GB broadcaster and SCG Trust board member Alan Jones (pictured) said Allianz Stadium had no fire sprinklers ‘completely in breach of the building code’
SCG Trust board member Maurice Newman, a former chairman of the ABC and the Australian Securities Exchange, told The Australian he was considering launching defamation proceedings against Mr Daley over this suggestion.
Who is on the powerful SCG Trust?
Chairman Tony Shepherd, former president of the Business Council of Australia
Deputy chairman Rod McGeoch, leader of Sydney’s Olympic bid in 1993
Alan Jones, 2GB broadcaster
Barry O’Farrell, former Liberal Premier of New South Wales
Katie Page, Harvey Norman chief executive
Maurice Newman, former chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange and the ABC
John Hartigan, former News Limited chairman and chief executive
Phil Waugh, former Wallabies rugby union player
Stuart MacGill, former Test cricketer
David Gilbert, former Test cricketer
Nihal Gupta, former SBS chairman
Michael Crismale, Sydney businessman who is also on Racing NSW board
Stephanie Brantz, ABC presenter
Peter Ivany – businessman and philanthropist
SGT Trust spokesman Phil Heads told Daily Mail Australia the heritage-listed Members’ and Ladies’ pavilions at the SCG had been retro-fitted with sprinklers, smoke alarms and heat sensors.
He also disputed Mr Daley’s assertion fire spinklers had been ripped out of Allianz Stadium.
‘Mr Daley’s claim that the Trustees of the SCG ‘ripped out’ the Allianz Stadium fire sprinkler system ‘under the cover of darkness’ is incorrect,’ he said.
‘The venue was constructed in 1988 and has never had a fire sprinkler system.’
On Wednesday, Jones stepped up his attack on Mr Daley.
‘He was completely out of his depth and still is,’ he said.
Mr Daley, who took over the Labor leadership in November, has vowed to take on the powerful SCG Trust little more than two weeks out from the state election.
‘I don’t care what enemies I pick around town, whether they think they are powerful or not,’ he told reporters.
‘I will take the side of the ordinary citizens of NSW every day regardless of the peril it puts me, personally, in.’
Mr Daley has vowed to sack the SCG Trust board, including Jones, and replace them with people that ‘better reflect the diversity of the sports loving people of NSW’.
‘If I’m elected, the board will go,’ Mr Daley told Jones as he faced him in the studio.
Liberal Premier Glady Berejiklian pledged more than $700million of taxpayer money to demolish and rebuild Allianz Stadium.
Labor vowed to cancel this project, along with an $800million plan to refurbish ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park, in the city’s west, were it to win the election.
Mr Daley then sensationally accused the SCG Trust of ripping out sprinklers from Allianz Stadium (pictured in the 2GB studio on Tuesday)
Mr Daley told Jones he intended to remove the trustees that oversee operation of the Moore Park sporting facilities, such as Allianz Stadium and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Opposition has pledged to instead invest the money in schools and hospitals.
This is a major point of difference with the Liberal-National state government, with a January Newspoll showing both sides of politics on 50:50 support.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Daley clarified that he would only sack the unelected members of the board.
Former rugby union player Phil Waugh and retired Test cricketer David Gilbert, who were elected by members will stay, as would former Test cricketer Stuart MacGill.