Stadium demolition case must be ‘immune to political stoush’: lawyers

An expedited hearing of the case this week has threatened to delay the demolition and cause a political headache for the Berejiklian government in the weeks before the March state election.


The community group says that the stadium plan had insufficient public consultation, did not satisfy design excellence requirements and failed to consider contaminated soil on the Moore Park site.

Barrister for Infrastructure NSW, Sandra Duggan SC, said in her submissions that «the political dispute, election promises or disagreements between political parties» were not a relevant consideration.

«Politics is politics,» she said. «This court is immune to the political stoush.»

Lawyers for each of the parties finished their submissions in the case on Friday afternoon.

The court heard that Lendlease’s agreement to not carry out hard demolition until after the hearing had expired on Friday, leaving open the possibility that such works could start over the weekend.

Justice Pain said she would grant an injunction preventing any hard demolition until at least 4pm on Monday.

Local Democracy Matters is seeking a declaration that the consent for the stadium demolition is invalid and of no effect.

If its case is successful, the group wants the government to reverse the soft stripping that has started at the stadium.

So-called hard demolition on the stadium’s roof and walls has been scheduled for late February.

Labor leader Michael Daley has said if the stadium was torn down before March, an elected Labor government would not rebuild it.

Justice Pain said she aimed to hand down her decision in the case swiftly.

Megan Gorrey is the Urban Affairs reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald.

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