More than 114,000 people have signed an online petition in just three days urging the NSW government to reverse its decision to spend $2.3 billion of our taxes to rebuild two Sydney stadiums.
The petition, posted Saturday night by former rugby international Peter FitzSimons, calls on the money to be redirected to community sport and resources, “like schools, hospitals, theatres, galleries, homeless shelters and the like”.
The NSW Government’s decision to knock down and rebuild ANZ and Allianz Stadium at the taxpayers expense caused outrage in Griffith, a town still waiting for money to be allocated in the budget to upgrade its depleted public hospital.
Real estate agent Brendan Catanzariti will be signing the petition.
“Around the state people are dying because the hospitals are rubbish… there are so many other priorities the state government should be focusing on”.
More than 90 per cent of respondents to The Area News poll opposed the stadium splurge.
ABC news has also reported several NSW Government MPs are unhappy with their Premier’s decision.
The petition reads, “we are tired of taxpayer dollars being lavished on building facilities for Sports Big Business, while community sport withers on the vine for lack of facilities and resources”.
This echoes the sentiments of Leeton’s Michael Kidd, candidate for Country Labor at the recent Murray by-election.
“You could redevelop 1800 stadiums across the state for that [$2.3 billion] amount,” he said.
“ lot of country hospitals are still struggling… what’s more important?”
Mr FitzSimons, also a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald, was even stronger in his condemnation.
“When these stadiums are primarily used by the Big Business Sport, putting on spectacles that generate BILLIONS of dollars in ticket sales, together with gaming and tv rights revenue, why are Johnny and Jenny Taxpayer constantly forking over ever more moolah from the public purse, with nothing coming from those businesses?” he wrote in his column.
He said he’s been shocked by the level of public support over the past two days.
Mr Catanzariti reminds locals of the value of public protest.
“If we hadn’t have put up a fight for a new hospital, we would never have been promised one”.
“There’s a lot of things that should come before this stadium spend”.
You can add your name to the petition here.