23 Apr 2009

Stadium could cost ratepayers double, court told

4:59 pm on 23 April 2009

A lawyer acting for oponents of a proposed sports stadium in Dunedin has told a court it could cost ratepayers twice as much as the city council has claimed.

Lobby group Stop the Stadium is seeking an injunction at the High Court in Christchuch to stall the $198 million project.

Dunedin city councillors voted on Monday to approve the contract to build the stadium.

However, lobby group Stop the Stadium wants to stall the project until public consultation on the city's annual plan is completed in May.

Opponents say the stadium plan has changed significantly from the original, including a $10 million cost increase and it would be unlawful to proceed without more public consultation.

The Dunedin City Council says even with the increased price of the project, the cost the average ratepayer would stay the same at $66 a year, due to lower interest rates.

But a lawyer for Stop the Stadium, Len Anderson, told the hearing on Thursday told the court that that rate would not even cover the interest on the council's $91.4 million contribution to the project.

Mr Anderson said it could cost ratepayers twice as much to pay for the stadium over the next 20 years.

Justice Chisolm will release his decision on the injuncton on Friday.