11/06/2015 - 12:27

State govt denies stadium cost blowout

11/06/2015 - 12:27

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Claims of a massive cost blowout for Perth's new stadium have been denied by the state government, which says the latest estimate of $1.6 billion simply reflects a different way of presenting the numbers.

Claims of a massive cost blowout for Perth's new stadium have been denied by the state government, which says the latest estimate of $1.6 billion simply reflects a different way of presenting the numbers.

The state opposition grilled government officials for a breakdown of the costs during budget estimates last night.

Department of Sport and Recreation officials said that under the 28-year design, build, finance and maintain contract with a private consortium, the total cost of the stadium was now expected to be $1.214 billion, plus $359 million needed to improve transport infrastructure for stadium events.

Labor finance spokesperson Rita Saffioti said the total cost, of $1.57 billion, compared with premier Colin Barnett's 2011 estimate of $1 billion.

That figure was revised in 2012, with the government saying the cost will be $918 million for the stadium and $359 million for transport links - a total of $1.277 billion.

The treasurer's office has denied there has been a cost blowout.

“There has been no cost blowout. Differences between the different ways of reporting the costs are a result of different financial treatments/conventions and scope,” the treasurer’s office said.

“A direct comparison between the two figures is difficult because while they are for the same project, it is the financial treatment of the costs that differs and in one figure transport costs are in and in the other they are not.

“Costs of the stadium can also be reported as $1.2 billion which is the total value of the DBFM contract over its life of the 28 years including maintenance, but which excludes transport infrastructure.”

Ms Saffioti said the Barnett government had been trying to hide the true cost from the public.

“Mr Barnett has never cared about the finances or the cost of this stadium, but it will be Western Australians that will be paying for the premier’s horror handling of this project,” she said.

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