A Sydney mayor who has lashed out at Dominic Perrottet for alleged rugby stadium “pork barrelling” has reacted with shock after a grandstand collapsed at the weekend.
A disturbing video shows the moment a railing at a Leichhardt Oval grandstand collapsed under the weight of fans attending a schoolboy rugby match.
A number of fans went tumbling over the stand like dominoes and face planted onto concrete metres below.
Paramedic crews at the game treated some minor injuries but no one was taken to hospital, NSW Ambulance reported.
Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne, who has campaigned for funding to upgrade the Leichhardt Oval, issued a media release just days before the collapse, accusing the state government of pork barrelling for choosing to spend upward of $300 million to build Penrith Stadium despite numerous commitments to fund suburban sports grounds.
“Dominic Perrottet is happy to spend $300 million in Stuart Ayres seat, to build a shiny, new Panthers Stadium for the exclusive use of one club,” Mr Byrne said, referring to the outgoing trade minister and MP for Penrith.
“But the Wests Tigers, and all of the other senior and junior, men’s and women’s Rugby League, Soccer and Rugby Union teams who regularly use Leichhardt Oval get nothing.”
The Council had plans to use part of a planned $250m slated for suburban sports grounds to upgrade and expand their grandstands.
“I call on Mr Perrottet to explain why this shocking pork-barrelling continues while most footy fans across Sydney get dudded,” the Labor mayor said.
Leichhardt Oval hosts more than 50 games a year across various rugby codes while Penrith Stadium will host just 11 Penrith Panthers games a year.
Mr Byrne took to his social media following the grandstand collapse to share his shock over the dangerous incident.
“The collapse of grandstand seating at Leichhardt Oval today during a schoolboy rugby match was incredibly dangerous,’ he said.
“The footage is shocking.”
Inner West councillor Philippa Scott jumped into the comment section to direct her anger at the state government.
“I am heartened to know that the spectators were sent home with only minor injuries, however I am incandescently angry at how our inner west infrastructure is treated by the state government,” she said.
“We are being smashed by not being a marginal Liberal seat.”
Mayor Byrne said his team are working to make the site safe and will fully investigate the safety risks it raises.
Australia Rugby League boss Peter V’landys this week accused Premier Dominic Perrottet of reneging on his agreement after he redirected funds set aside for sports grounds to flood recovery.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has denied backflipping on his deal to upgrade Brookvale Oval, Leichhardt Oval and Shark Park.
“We won’t give up. We’re going to make sure the fans will get the facilities,” Mr V’Landys told 2GB radio this week.
A tense 24 hours of negotiations on Tuesday night had the ARL boss and the government tussling over whether the grand final would be moved from Sydney to Queensland.