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Thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken…

The Olympic Stadium at Homebush will be refurbished.

The Olympic Stadium at Homebush will be refurbished.

We all have our favourite phrases and one of mine is: the more things change, the more they stay the same.

But as you get older and, hopefully, a little wiser, you realise nothing is that simple or clear cut.

I was reminded of this when the news came through that one of our local political representatives, Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong, had become a father for the first time when his wife gave birth to a baby girl a little after midnight.

There was a time when such an event was almost as rare as hen’s teeth.

Politicians used to run for office after they had built a career and had a family so it would have been very rare the media would have needed a “MP Becomes a Father’’ headline.

But the other thing that has definitely changed in our society is that people get married later in life and also have children when they’re older compared to people three or four generations back.

So you see, things do change, even if the pace of change in human affairs is slower than that of a very large glacier.

While I do make that concession, there’s a lot of evidence around us that some things rarely change.

For instance, I was interested to see today the premier of Victoria on TV announcing that state’s stadiums strategy.

Interested because Daniel Andrews made it clear that any money made available would be shared around by all stadiums, big and small.

Unlike NSW, where poor Premier Gladys Berejiklian seems to be stuck somewhere between a rock and a hard place on this same issue.

Another senior Liberal Party woman, Lucy Turnbull, chair of the Greater Sydney Commission, is determined to turn Sydney into three cities.

This is an eminently sensible idea because if it comes off each of the three Sydney “cities’’ will offer its residents access to jobs, leisure facilities and, hopefully sporting stadiums , none of which will be any more than a 30 minute drive away from anybody.

But when it comes to spending more than $2 billion on stadiums, all this seems to not exist as far as Gladys and her ministers are concerned.

A few weeks ago, the premier backed down a little, offering a refurbishment of the Olympic stadium instead of knock down-rebuild as was originally planned.

The premier trumpeted a saving of around $500 million, but still there was no mention of upgrading sporting facilities in the new Western Sydney City – that’s us.

Watching the Roosters and Rabbitohs NRL match last night, I could help noticing the mostly empty seats across this beautiful football stadium built just 30 years ago.

Sure, upgrade it and Homebush, too, so we don’t miss out on any sport tourism dollars.

But a fair and sensible policy would include spending enough money on Campbelltown Stadium and Brookvale Oval and other suburban facilities to ensure the people who live in those areas get value for money from their taxes, too.

Does the government get it?

It should; it’s that clear and obvious.

But no, it does not get it.

Which leaves me no choice but to declare that when it comes to some politicians, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

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