http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/ne ... eap-arena/
Premier punts for cheap arena
ROBERT TAYLOR STATE POLITICAL EDITOR, The West Australian December 10, 2009, 2:25 am
Colin Barnett was under attack from all sides yesterday after declaring the Government would progressively rebuild Subiaco Oval rather than produce a new stadium.
He said WA could not afford a new stadium but needed to have an arena ready if Australia won its bid for the 2018 or 2022 soccer World Cup.
"The previous government promoted the idea of building an entirely new stadium on a new site, (for) over $1 billion," Mr Barnett said.
"Western Australia just simply can't afford that ... no State can afford that. What we might be able to afford is to progressively rebuild a new stadium on the Subiaco site."
He said WA was committed to having a "FIFA compliant stadium" as part of Australia's bid for the World Cup, which would mean rebuilding Subiaco to seat 50,000 to 60,000 fans.
But the man who headed the previous government's stadium task force, former State under-treasurer John Langoulant, said the Premier was just plain wrong and had been "under-briefed" about the cost of a new stadium and what could be achieved with a rebuilt Subiaco.
He said proponents of rebuilding Subiaco had never solved the problem of realignment and buying properties on Roberts Road to the south.
"It clearly is cheaper to build a new stadium because you avoid all the difficulties of Roberts Road," Mr Langoulant said. "The plans I've seen for a progressive rebuild of Subiaco don't even get close to dealing with that."
The task force recommended a new stadium at Kitchener Park to the north costed at $670 million, not the $1 billion Mr Barnett claimed.
"You won't find $1 billion in the task force report," he said. "That figure came about because Alan Carpenter decided that rather than build it now he'd build it in 2016." The WA Football Commission is expected to present a plan in the new year to rebuild Subiaco Oval.
Chief executive Wayne Bradshaw said Mr Barnett had a consistent view on the issue and the WAFC was confident the upgrade would go ahead.
"Our understanding is that it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when and what. We are going to keep trying to bring forward the when," he said.
But Mr Langoulant said the WAFC proposal would produce a lopsided, one-dimensional stadium.
"It's got all the crowd on the northern side of the stand, it doesn't go close to revealing what the final cost will be, it doesn't provide for moveable seats to make it truly a multi-purpose stadium and yet it is represented as having all those things," he said.
Shadow sport minister Ken Travers said Mr Barnett did not have the backing of detailed research or planning for his preferred position.
Labor used an expert panel to explore the best option and it decided on a new stadium. If this was the cheapest long-term option, why not do that, Mr Travers said.
A spokesman for Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron seemed to contradict Mr Barnett, saying a new stadium had not been ruled in or out. Mr Waldron was still considering all options from all stakeholders.