Sydney Football Stadium without a builder as Lendlease loses project
Exclusive by Nick Dole
26 JULY 2019
The future of the Sydney Football Stadium project is in doubt, with the NSW Government seeking a new builder as the Moore Park site lies in ruins.
- The rebuild of the Sydney Football Stadium has a budget of $729 million
- The NSW Government says Lendlease is not able to meet the target and negotiations are underway with other construction firms
- The Sports Minister says he is still confident of a 2020 completion date
Last year, the Government announced that construction giant Lendlease would both demolish and rebuild the facility.
While Lendlease has successfully demolished the stadium, leaving a giant hole in the ground, the company looks unlikely to finish the project due to a dispute with the Government.
The Government budgeted $729 million for the knock-down and rebuild to be completed by 2022.
But Sports Minister John Sidoti said Lendlease was not able to meet the Government’s targets.
“The budget is $729 million … they’re our projected costs and we have to meet those,” he said.
“We’ve asked [Lendlease] to sharpen their pencil and they’re unable to meet the objectives of the Government.”
Mr Sidoti said negotiations were already underway with other construction firms to finish the job.
“There’s a lot of competitive tension in the industry at the moment. There’s a lot of interest being shown.”
‘It was always going to cost more’: Labor
The Sydney Football Stadium project became a major election issue, with Labor refusing to rebuild the stadium, labelling it a “giant vanity project”.
Mr Sidoti denied the dispute with Lendlease was a bad look for the Government, having come so early in the project’s timeline.
“I believe we’re showing leadership here,” he said.
“It’s the people of New South Wales’s money and we have to be prudent.”
Labor’s sports spokeswoman Linda Voltz said the Government knew the stadium would cost more than the budgeted $729 million.
“The stadium was always going to cost more, we said that from the start, they originally had a billion-dollar price tag on this stadium,” she said.
“When the public reacted and said, ‘we’re sick of this hand-over-fist money being handed out for stadiums’, the Government said ‘oh that’s alright, we’ll just make it cheaper’.”
But Mr Sidoti said he was confident whichever firm wins the new contract to construct the stadium will deliver it on time and on budget.
“I wouldn’t go back to tender if I didn’t think we could meet those requirements. I’m very confident we’ll meet the budget and those time constraints,” he said.
Mr Sidoti said he did not anticipate Lendlease making a revised offer.
“One would think that if Lendlease wasn’t able to meet the objectives yesterday they won’t be able to meet them today.”
In a statement to the ABC, Lendlease said it was pleased to have partnered with Infrastructure NSW on stage one of the stadium redevelopment.
“Building social infrastructure in partnership with Government is a source of pride for Lendlease and we look forward to supporting future projects.”