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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release July 2004

SOS Project

Hi Members

Last night on ABC TV's "Stateline", Quentin Dempster featured Professor Maurice Daly's final report into the Oasis project in Liverpool which has now been released. It found none of the illegality hinted at in the press at the time, such as suspect payments to Bulldog's officers and an allegation about a requested $1,000,000 political donation.

There is a side to the affair that has not been ventilated. That facet is where the money for the $800 million scheme was to come from. The project included a 35,000-seat football stadium, a basketball stadium, a water park, an ice hockey rink and residential units. Just as we are finding with the Olympic Games venues, the sports facilities could never be viable on their own. So how would it all hang together in the long term?

A possible theory is that the funding for all this would have been substantially underwritten by profits from the sale of the residential units plus profits from additional pokies that would have been permitted.

And why can such huge profits be made from selling residential units? Because the State Government severely restricts the release of residential land. The Housing Productivity Commission refers to this in its recent report on the affordablity of houses. The 50,000 people coming into Sydney each year have to find somewhere to live. So, in the face of an artificially restricted supply, the price of homes rockets up. We know that this scarcity allows developers to make huge profits on building units. It is likely that any developers receiving development permission to build the Oasis units would make massive profits. One imagines that they would continue the well-known quite legal practice of making considerable donations to the political parties.

All under the guise of a sports facility.

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)

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