Chief denies multi-million blowout on Eureka Stadium

Ballarat City Council has confirmed an uncosted number of works undertaken at the Eureka Stadium were funded outside of a $14 million contract awarded by the state government in July.

However, the council’s chief executive Justine Linley denied suggestions of a budget blowout.  

“There has been no budget blowout,” Ms Linley said. “The council is delivering the Eureka Stadium redevelopment on behalf of the state government within the state government’s allocated budget over a couple of financial years.”

Mystery surrounds the total cost of the Eureka Stadium development.

Conflicting council financial reports suggest there has been up to a $4 million budget blowout.  A recent quarterly finances report revealed the total expenditure committed for the stadium upgrade for the 2016/17 financial year was $15 million.

It comes after a $14 million upgrade contract for a grandstand at the stadium was awarded to Nicholson Construction earlier this year. 

However, a quarterly financial report for the period ending in March 2016, revealed the council already committed an additional $5.3 million to the stadium in the 2015/16 financial year, blowing the long touted $15 million budget out to more than $19 million.

The Courier understands the extra $5.3 million was pumped into resurfacing and oval realignment costs. 

The council said an extensive list of works had already been undertaken at the stadium, including oval works, realigning the orientation by 32 degrees to meet AFL and Western Bulldogs Football Club requirements, replacing and improving the playing surface, landscape works, installing watering and drainage systems and reducing the oval size to be the same as Etihad Stadium.

The Courier sought a breakdown of costs to date, but the council did not provide it. No detail of works to date at the stadium were included in the council’s annual report.

The Courier also sought a breakdown of costs from the state government but it did not provide it. It said $30 million had been allocated to the Eureka Stadium precinct.