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Out of left field: why Penrith’s $300m stadium upgrade was a surprising choice | New South Wales politics

The New South Wales premier, Dominic Perrottet, has been both praised and criticised over his decision to scrap $250m in upgrades to suburban stadiums and direct it toward flood relief in the state. But mystery remains about why the premier is still proceeding with the controversial $300m-plus upgrade of Penrith stadium – the most expensive of the promised projects – while scrapping the upgrades of other suburban grounds.

The obvious answer might be: it’s politics.

After a 2021 seat redistribution, Penrith is the third-most marginal seat in the state, held by the Liberals with just 0.6%.

The local member is Stuart Ayres, who until a few days ago week was deputy leader of the Liberals and sport minister.

Ayres was forced to resign on Tuesday over questions about his involvement in the appointment of the former Nationals leader John Barilaro to a $500,000-a-year trade commissioner…


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