A community group has lost its court appeal to halt the demolition of Sydney's Allianz Stadium, meaning heavy machinery can continue to tear down the concrete venue.
Local Democracy Matters fronted the NSW Court of Appeal on Friday for a hearing after the Land and Environment Court last week threw out their challenge to the state government’s $730 million plan to flatten and rebuild the venue.
But after hearing more than four hours of submissions, Justice Mark Leeming stated: “All members of the court are of the view that the appeal should be dismissed.”
The judge heard the matter alongside Acting Justices Ronald Sackville and Arthur Emmett.
LDM had argued in the Land and Environment Court that the NSW planning minister did not consider design excellence or soil contamination before approving the project and his government did not exhibit the demolition proposal for long enough.
Heavy machinery has been tearing down parts of the Moore Park stadium this week.
“(Premier) Gladys Berejiklian will be known as the wrecking ball of NSW politics,” NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said outside court on Friday afternoon when labelling the court’s decision “very disappointing”.
“The wreckers will go in, the stadium’s going to be destroyed, and the people of NSW won’t get to have their voice heard or their opinions heard at the next state election (on March 23).
NSW Labor leader Michael Daley wrote to Ms Berejiklian on Thursday demanding “hard demolition” be halted.
“No one in their right mind would think that knocking that stadium down eight days before an election, while there’s an appeal, is anything other than an act of malice and an act of arrogance,” Mr Daley said in Coffs Harbour on Friday ahead of the court ruling.
Ms Berejiklian said: “Obviously people have to work towards a contract.” She claimed not to know details of any fast-tracked demolition underway.
“All we know is that there’s a contract in place and governments don’t and shouldn’t interfere in the day-to-day operations of the contract, that’s up to the contractor (Lendlease),” the premier said in Sydney.