Sydney Stadium Legal Stoush Fast-Tracked
A Sydney court has agreed to expedite a last-minute bid by a community group to stop the controversial demolition of Allianz Stadium.
Local Democracy Matters launched legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court claiming the NSW government botched the approval process ahead of demolition works which were potentially to start this week.
Justice Terry Sheahan on Wednesday agreed to expedite the case with a three-day hearing set down starting on February 20.
Lendlease barrister Naomi Sharp told the court hard demolition works weren't due to start until late February anyway.
The NSW government wants to knock down and rebuild the Moore Park stadium at a cost of $730 million.
But Local Democracy Matters argues the government didn't exhibit the proposal for the required period of time, failed to consider design excellence and didn't deal with remediation issues before approving the project.
In a letter to Infrastructure NSW on Monday, the group's solicitor, James Ryan, said the urgent court hearing was sought "given the imminent threat to carry out substantive demolition works".
Meanwhile, Waverley Council on Tuesday night voted to launch its own Land and Environment Court action on the grounds the relevant minister didn't form the opinion that the new stadium would exhibit "design excellence" as required under the Sydney Local Environmental Plan.
That legal action has been delayed until at least Monday after Liberal councillors subsequently moved a recession motion, Mayor John Wakefield told AAP on Wednesday.
Woollahra Greens councillor Megan McEwin told reporters she wants her neighbouring council to join forces with Waverley.
LDM spokesman Chris Maltby argues the community group has a "very strong" case.
"It shows the community is able to hold the government to account on its own processes," Mr Maltby told reporters.
Group members aren't ruling out chaining themselves to the stadium should demolition works begin before the next court date, he added.
Both NSW Labor and the Greens oppose the government's controversial $2 billion stadiums plan which includes upgrading ANZ Stadium at Olympic Park and a new facility at Parramatta.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian was in Orange on Wednesday pledging $25 million for a major sporting complex in the regional town - but only if voters back her candidate in March's state election.
"This will only happen if (Nationals candidate) Kate Hazelton is the member and I want to make that clear," the premier told reporters.
Opposition leader Michael Daley says that's another example of the government bossing regional people around.
"I'm not sure if it's blackmail or a bribe but the message is clear: if you don't do what you're told, you're not going to get your stadium, but people in Sydney will get three stadiums for billions of dollars," the Labor leader told reporters.