Both sides of politics are pointing the finger at each over a deal involving general admission seating for AFL games at the new Perth Stadium.
Premier Mark McGowan confirmed just 7,000 general admission seats were likely to be available for AFL games when the stadium opens next year.
It is 3,000 seats less than the Barnett government promised in the 60,000 seat stadium.
According to the Premier’s office, the deal between the Barnett government and stadium operator VenuesLive was done in January but was not made public.
Mr McGowan said it meant the State Government’s hands were now tied.
“Well contracts are contracts, the contract has been signed, difficult for us to undo,” Mr McGowan said.
“The former government promised there’d be 10,000 walk-ins, clearly that’s not going to be the case.
“We’ll make it work as best we can with the arrangement that has been signed up.”
There was no deal: Nahan
But according to Opposition Leader Mike Nahan the contract signed in January does not exist.
“There’s no deal signed, when we left the government negotiations were still live between AFL, Dockers, Eagles and the Football Commission,” Dr Nahan said.
“This is another example of McGowan being in government, making decisions and [wanting] to blame somebody else.”
Dr Nahan said Mr McGowan still had the chance to negotiate more general admission seats for the public and could not just point the blame at the former government.
Perth Stadium CEO Mike McKenna said the only agreement that had been signed between VenuesLive and the State Government was when VenuesLive was taken on as the stadium operator in June 2016.
Mike Nahan says no contract was signed before his government lost power. (ABC News: Eliza Laschon)
“Negotiations between the Perth Stadium Operator, VenuesLive and the two local AFL Clubs have been progressing positively for a number of months,” Mr McKenna said.
A Perth Stadium spokesperson clarified the seating arrangements were part of those ongoing negotiations that have not yet been signed.
The Government confirmed an additional 3,000 seats for non-members will be divided into four areas — some for tourism packages, complimentary tickets for VenuesLive and the playing football club and nearly 1,400 stadium memberships.
Mr McGowan said he would look into expanding the number of general admission seats, but would need to take into account any legal ramifications.
Footbridge headaches continue
Both leaders expressed frustration with ongoing delays to the Swan River footbridge that will connect the stadium to the CBD.
“It’s been a long, protracted difficult issue to deal with virtually every day I talk about this damn bridge over the river and we want to make sure it’s build properly,” Mr McGowan said.
“I can confirm it’s been a disaster.”
Dr Nahan conceded it was a mistake to involve a Malaysian manufacturer.
“It was an error to contract it offshore, it should have been done here,” Dr Nahan said.
The ABC understands the McGowan Government is poised to announce it has negotiated for local companies to now undertake the steel works for the bridge.