For months now, the people I talk to want their governments to focus on making their lives better – better health services, affordable housing options, safer streets, community sports and recreation facilities – not a concrete mausoleum to pander to the AFL gods.
Now today we have the spectacle of the Prime Minister swanning into town throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at a football stadium.
Oh, and something he calls an “urban renewal project” that risks being anything but.
I fear “urban renewal” has been tacked on in a desperate attempt to dress up the project.
Anthony Albanese was federal infrastructure minister when his Labor government gave Tasmania $50 million back in 2012 to kick-start development at Mac Point. And what happened over the succeeding ten long years? Practically nothing. Some remediation, nice offices, and fat salaries for public servants.
How can Mr Albanese for an instant believe the Tasmanian State Government will deliver on this project? They’ve already burned the fifty million in seed funding. Then look at the mess which was the redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital. Huge cost and time blow-outs. And don’t get me started on the Southern Outlet fifth lane fiasco.
Just this week in the media the Premier has refused to say who will pick up the bill for any cost over-runs.
But we know the answer: the Tasmanian taxpayer.
This project, with all its faults and flaws, relies on the State Government to deliver the outcome on the ground. Good luck with that, Mr Albanese.
My message to both federal and state governments is stop and think about the priorities you should have: delivering the safest, kindest and most prosperous lives possible for our people. That should be your legacy, not a football white elephant.