Discussion in 'NRL Media Watch' started by Foreign Legion, Feb 19, 2016.
I groan, you groan, we all groan.
No one, least of all me, wants to go back to the bad old days of #StadiumSplurge wars and endless columns back and forth, but ...
But it has to be said, and if we can both grit our teeth I'll at least make it quick.
The primary question, friends, is obvious. Is Deputy Premier John Barilaro barking mad?
For yes, as revealed by the Herald on Tuesday, the leader of the NSW National Party has now said that even after knocking over the perfectly fine Sydney Football Stadium to replace it with a state-of-the-art new stadium, they now want to get behind the NRL in getting another four or five suburban boutique stadiums for another nigh-on-a-billion dollars or so!
Seriously, you couldn't make this shit up! For who would credit it? Could you please tell the folks, Mr Barilaro, what you said, one more time for the road, in a clear voice?
"The government has an appetite for the ground renewal program that the NRL has put forward," he told Herald reporter Chris Barrett. "I think we're going back to basics, back to the past where that tribalism is actually what the competition needs in a way. We're seeing upgrades at Brookvale, you've got [the new] Parramatta stadium. If we've got an opportunity to do three or four or five more Bankwests, well that's got to be great for the game long term, great for the community and great for that competition."
Great for the game? Certainly!
Great for the competition? No doubt about it.
But can you get to the part about it being great for the community, Mr Barilaro, most particularly the vast majority of the people in the state who don't go to an NRL match from one year to the next, and who are actually in need of government help that has no glamour attached?
The points against this madness are so obvious I can barely bear to go through them again. But just quickly ...
The original #StadiumSplurge was pushed through on the transparent nonsense that knocking down fine stadiums and rebuilding them would help the economy. By the end of the process even the government had to acknowledge that was not the case, and the best it could claim – even as ludicrous as that was – was a 95¢ return on every dollar spent.
I made the point at the time, and stand by it that not one of the members of cabinet who signed off on that push would put their own money on a best-case return of 95 per cent of money invested, but when it was taxpayer money, no problem.
But still the government pushed forward that this was the right thing to do: put billions of taxpayer dollars towards providing key infrastructure for a sporting business that pays no taxes. So great was the outcry they caved on doing the same to the Olympic Stadium and got home in the election anyway.
But now the election is over, the new whizz-bang stadium is under construction at Moore Park, Mr Barilaro says the government also wants the NRL – beyond having huge stadiums in central positions – to have boutique stadiums in the suburbs?
Some questions for you, Mr Barilaro.
Is there anything the NRL has requested that you have declined to push?
Is there anything in the rural electorates you represent that you have supported with the same vigour as you have supported the big business of sport in Sydney?
We have seen your enthusiasm for supporting the sport you love, your eagerness to hand over taxpayer largesse. How are the arts going on your watch? How are the schools going?
I have previously noted in my columns how I received a letter from the Bomaderry High School P and C, Sue Cuninghame, expressing her frustration at the lack of funds to repair and renew the school's ancient infrastructure which saw it suffer severe water damage in the recent rains.
"I know we are a regional school," she said, "and maybe no one else will be interested, but when the government can spend billions to upgrade 20-year-old sports stadia, but can't find the money to rebuild/refurbish a 50-year-old high school in an underprivileged area, my blood boils and I feel something must be done."
Do you and the government, Mr Barilaro, have an answer for her on this one, and for all other schools crying out for support their own infrastructure? They don't get a zac, but you want the NRL grounds to have the best of everything?
Where is the Premier on this? Does she support this madness?
Enough. I am going outside, and should be some time.
Former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons has defended the Sydney Opera House as the iconic Australian landmark has come head-to-head with the sports world.
This past week the Sydney Opera House Trust caused a stir when its plan to introduce a $50,000 fee for sporting teams in the city to use the building's infamous sails in their logo, made news headlines.
The Trust has since hit back at that claim, countering that the latest fee tabled was significantly lower than the $50,000 reported.
Sporting clubs like the NRL's Sydney Roosters, AFL's Sydney Swans and NBL's Sydney Kings have reportedly been paying $1,000 a year for those image use rights.
Deputy Premier of NSW John Barilaro described the move by the Trust to get more money from sports as a "disgrace", especially during the current economic climate.
But FitzSimons - who disclosed that he is currently writing a book on the Sydney Opera House - said the Trust have every right to demand more money for the use of the iconic landmark's image and called out the hypocrisy of criticism from the state government.
"It's very easy just to say: 'You blokes are kidding, everybody owns this'," FitzSimons said in Wide World of Sports' 5 Minutes with Fitzy.
"The key critic is John Barilaro. Every time there's a stink, John Barilaro, Deputy Premier of NSW, is right in the middle of it.
"It's very well for him to say, 'This is ridiculous, everybody owns the Opera House, stamp it on anything you like' - broadly that's what he's saying.
"Hang on, would you be the same Deputy Premier Barilaro who has recently said, '$800 million for four or five new stadiums for the rugby league, no problem, taxpayers off you go'.
"Rugby league is a business, it pays no tax - you want new stadiums, you bloody well pay for them. So John Barilaro on one hand is saying here's $800 million of taxpayer money, and poor little Opera House, poor the theatrical, dramatic community, the best they can get is $200 million out of the federal government.
"I like watching rugby league too - though I'm frequently accused of hating rugby league - I don't hate rugby league. But can you see any money going the theatrical community's way?
"Is it reasonable do you reckon that the people in the singing, the drama, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, that they also make a quid?
"In these grim times, we can't afford to ask $50k for the Opera House but you don't blink when $800 million is put towards four stadiums?"
FitzSimons called for some perspective and said that the economic climate argument is irrelevant because the arts community is struggling just as much as other industries amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"If the Opera House says we need some oxygen, we need some money, can we get some money for our image - it's not unreasonable," he said.
$1,000 a year doesn't seem unreasonable, but $50,000 a year does. This is just a quibble over price.
What would Pirate Pete be with out his clickbaits,reliant on rugby league news.
I thought it was $50k over ten years?
Lol @ that flog saying he doesn’t hate RL. He goes to bed and wakes up thinking about it every day, it consumes him.
On Sports Sunday last weekend ,he made the comment to the panel."On this occasion I won't criticise the NRL,which I usually do as a matter of principle."
Yeah crap, he loves rugby league so much, that he spends his ill gotten hours ,praising his own code and fumble ball.The latter completely ignoring any atrocities.
When French rugby league came up on the show some time ago, he noted the code was badly affected by Vichy, completely ignoring the complicity of French ru officials.Every bit of dislike, he earns in spades.
Pinched from TRL.
Mentions Pirate Pete quite a few times lol, I think everyone including the fella himself hates Pirate Pete.
Anyway, a really long read but worthwhile, one of the best if not the best articles/essays I've ever read regarding sport and class.
cheaper then toilet paper
Brilliant article, well worth a read.
Thanks for posting
I can’t remember the last time I read a positive, intelligent, even handed article on RL. Is this real life?
Thanks for posting that.
How much of a cringe is the part where Hanky-Head likens someone scoring an Onion try to him dropping a load?!
“Hrghh, Aaaahh, Ooooohhhhh!”
Thanks melad. I enjoyed that article so much,I printed the 14 pages out ,for future reference, particularly if I get a chance to fire a typing shot over Hanky Head's bows.
The whole essay encapsulates the game I have followed for decades ,after flicking union and it's holier than thou mentality ,which I experienced at one of those private schools.
And I further add ,it shows exactly what the Super League War implications have had long term for rugby league. The suggestion by some that it happened ages ago, and it's therefore all clear sailing now for rugby league ,is utter tosh.
The code lost monetary assets during the War and had to provide News with half share of profits until they pulled out of half ownership.No money, no honey.
Cringe/disturbing/lowbrow - take your pick.
Even in the most depraved corners of the dark web, I doubt whether you could find a rolling maul clumsily collapsing over the tryline as a porn category.
Whatever gets you off Jack.
Makes you shudder to think of the kinks Pirate Pete and his missus are up to during the bloodyslowcup.
They follow the old rah rah scrum rules on the lounge: Crouch, touch, pause, engage.
Bandana Boy has another go at the relationship between the NSW Government, particularly Barilaro and RL. Something that benefits both sides and destroys the Coalition’s traditional ties with RU
Barilaro replied to Bandana Boy who then criticised Barilaro’s spelling and grammar - you know you have a weak argument when you do that.
Nice burn lol!
"I noticed again you’ve written a story with a so called sauce [sic]. A colleague!! Your writing must have significant dedicated shelf space, in the fiction section of the local Library.
Your obsession with someone like me, is borderline creepy."
Separate names with a comma.