A civil war is brewing in Sydney, and it looks like a lot of it is about money.
A report from The Australian suggests the NSW Liberal Party is using taxpayer funds to build a $300 million casino on the site of the old Australian National Exhibition and Convention Centre (ANEC) in Bondi Beach, an idea that could potentially be a major boon to the local economy.
The proposed casino has been in the works for decades and was announced by the Liberal Party in 2016.
In 2017, the NSW Government announced it was considering selling off the historic ANEC site, and plans to build the casino in the suburb of Marrickville, where a number of major shopping malls are located.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last year that the NSW Liberals were in the midst of a massive fundraising campaign, and the Liberal National Party was also running a billboard campaign highlighting the proposed casino and other infrastructure investments.
In an email to The Australian, a spokesperson for the NSW Premier Mike Baird told the paper: “While the Liberals have not ruled out the possibility of the site being sold to foreign investors, we have no plans to sell any of the land on which the casino is to be built.”
It’s not the first time that the Liberals, who are currently in government, have used taxpayer money to expand their political power.
The NSW Liberal government used public money to build an airport in Sydney’s north-west in the 1970s and 1980s.
After that, the Liberal government built the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the state’s first tollbooth, and eventually developed the state-of-the-art airport that is now the world’s busiest.
This week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also announced a plan to sell off the ANEC property to a Chinese billionaire.
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