Labor to sell naming rights to Perth Stadium, Barnett says move ‘tacky’

Former Premier Colin Barnett.
Former Premier Colin Barnett.

WA Labor would allow naming rights to Perth Stadium and Perth Arena to be sold as part of its plan to restore the state’s financial health.

Shadow Treasurer Ben Wyatt has told The West Australian the sale of the naming rights would add $10.5 million to the budget bottom line of four years.

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He’ll be releasing Labor’s independent costings later on Wednesday, a day after the Liberal party released its costings done by Treasury.

The move has rankled Premier Colin Barnett, who cancelled a scheduled media appearance at Melissa’s Supermarket in Huntingdale, before announcing another press conference in East Perth where he pledged to #save PerthStadium.

Shadow Treasury spokesman Ben Wyatt responded to Mr Barnett on Twitter, with a simple message of his own.

Mr Barnett said the idea was “tacky”.

“I think it’s a dreadful idea … absolutely the wrong thing to do,” he told radio station 6PR.

“It promotes Perth, it is our stadium – we’re not going to share it.”

He said it was evidence of Mr McGowan’s “cheap, tacky” approach, adding the opposition leader had no vision.

Mr McGowan defended the policy, saying it would help reduce the debt and deficit facing WA.

“Every little bit counts,” Mr McGowan said in the electorate of Bicton on Thursday.

“And the financial situation confronting Western Australia is extreme, particularly when it comes to recurrent spending, so every opportunity you can to address that by methods that don’t really hurt the state are good.”

Mr McGowan said the city’s name would be retained in the new names for Perth Stadium and Perth Arena, and he hoped a local company like Wesfarmers or Woodside would bid for the rights.

The successful bidder would have to be a reputable company without an outlandish name.

Selling companies naming rights for such venues was standard practice across the world, he added.