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    Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Steve Dickson

    Further Labor taxpayer waste uncovered

    Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
    The Honourable Steve Dickson

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    Further Labor taxpayer waste uncovered

    Sports Minister Steve Dickson has today stepped in to stop a planned $6.1 million “world class” winter Olympic ski jump training facility from being built at Brisbane’s Sleeman Sports Complex, after finding the project buried in the former Labor Government’s cache of debt.

    Mr Dickson said the former Labor Government had approved the development of the 36 metre high, 10 metre wide behemoth, complete with hydraulics and purpose built lift at the Sleeman Sports Complex, using the centre’s new 50 metre swimming pool as a landing area.

    “Day by day, week by week the people of Queensland are discovering just how reckless the former government was with taxpayer’s money,” Mr Dickson said.

    “The fact that a Winter Olympic training venue was considered a priority at a time when 96 per cent of the Labor Government’s capital spending programs were being sourced through debt is simply beyond belief.

    “I have no hesitation in cancelling this project, which was approved and progressed using some of the most financially unsound reasoning I’ve seen.

    “With no credible business case to speak of and no tangible usage agreements, all this scheme would have achieved was to put a brand new pool off limits for actual swimmers.”

    “According to what little information there is available, potential usage indicates that very few elite athletes would have used it for training purposes.

    Mr Dickson said although the State Government was only required to contribute $2.6 million to build the facility, with the balance from the Commonwealth, it would have been responsible for 100 per cent of all ongoing management and maintenance costs for this complex piece of infrastructure.

    “What the former government proposed to build was a hugely expensive, 10 storey high structure to rival any winter sports training facility in the southern hemisphere,” Mr Dickson said.

    “This is a luxury item the people of Queensland can neither afford nor need when the state is facing such dire economic circumstances.

    “It’s hard to imagine how this ill-conceived and inappropriate project was ever progressed, let alone paid for with Queenslanders’ taxes, however the waste stops today.”

    [Ends] June 17, 2012
    Media Contact: Anna Hilton 0408 191 192