Anthony Albanese and Tony Burke today suspended their NRL rivalry to stand up for western Sydney and oppose the NSW Government’s plans to spend $800 million on a new stadium in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Burke, a Patron of the Bulldogs, and Albanese, a former Director and Life Member of the Rabbitohs, backed calls by the clubs respective CEOs to invest the state government funds in improving ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.
Burke said investing in improving ANZ Stadium would better reflect Sydney’s changing demographics.
“The League’s heartland is in western Sydney and ANZ Stadium is where the money should be invested,” Burke said.
“We all know ANZ Stadium is where the Bulldogs will defeat the Rabbitohs at this year’s NRL Grand Final.
“The Bulldogs will return to Belmore for two home games this year, but for larger crowds ANZ is by far the best venue.”
Albanese said “it makes no sense to build a new stadium on parkland at the expense of further investment in the Olympic Games precinct which is easily accessible by public transport from around Sydney.”
“This plan will penalise the Rabbitohs more than 30,000 members who live in Sydney’s west,”
“With road and rail access, and seating capacity for major events, upgrading ANZ Stadium is the best value for Sydney.
“ANZ Stadium is where the Rabbitohs trounced the Bulldogs last year and where I hope the Rabbitohs can celebrate their 22nd Premiership this year.”
Both clubs have contracts to play at ANZ Stadium where they faced each other in the 2014 NRL Grand Final.