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NSW minister defends $2b stadium spend

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December 04, 2017

The NSW government has defended a $2bn spend to knock down Sydney's Allianz and ANZ stadiums.

An online petition protesting the NSW government's $2 billion stadium plan has been signed by more people than the proposed new Olympic Stadium could hold.

Almost 80,000 people had signed a change.org petition by Monday afternoon, calling on the NSW government to back down on the plan to knock down and rebuild Sydney's Allianz and ANZ stadiums.

The petition, which was launched at the weekend, recommends $1 billion instead be spent improving grassroots facilities in communities across the state.

But Sports Minister Stuart Ayres says the government's proposed investment would bring money back into the state.

Mr Ayres said NSW was "just about the worst-placed state" in the nation when it came to attracting events because it stopped building after the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

"If we do not make these decisions, that have a 30-year return, all we're doing is taking important revenue out of our state - and that revenue is what supports important investments that the NSW government makes in things like health and education," he told ABC radio on Monday.

The plan, which was announced last month, would see a new 45,000 seat stadium built to replace the Allianz stadium at Moore Park by 2021.

Meanwhile, a 75,000 capacity stadium would be constructed by 2022 after the 17-year-old Sydney Olympic Park is knocked down.

NSW Opposition leader Luke Foley on Monday described the $2 billion stadium-spend as an "outrageous squandering of public funds".

Given the large public backlash to the stadium plan, Mr Foley said the issue was now a test for NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian as to whether she will reconsider the public interest.

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