Stadium Opening – Friday 5 August

The public are invited to the official opening of the Stadium at University Plaza on Friday 5 August. Those attending must be seated by 6.50am for the hour long celebrations which will begin at 7.00am.

Further details regarding entrances and parking will be available over the next two weeks.


This notice appeared in ODT today, page 4 – Dunedin City Council Noticeboard.
Also see:

What if? Dunedin… has removed any reference to the stadium’s name sponsor from the notice since it’s our understanding that to date the sponsor has made no financial contribution to the stadium project.

We’re prepared to stand corrected if this information is in some way wrong or inaccurate.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Construction, Economics, Events, Media, Politics, Project management, Stadiums

72 responses to “Stadium Opening – Friday 5 August

  1. Peter

    It’s bloody lousy of Forsyth Barr to have two years of free advertising without paying a bean towards their naming rights – to this point. There seem to be no other sponsors around proudly waving their flag. Funny really, as you’d think they’d be proud to do so.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s the Fubar Stadium. You know I’m right – the Fubar has impeccable credentials with more to come as soon as the secret money-go-rounds have to be brought out into the light.

  3. Anonymous

    On the other hand, the stadium WAS completely free of snow and ice inside today…

  4. Peter

    Somewhat irrelevant, Anonymous, to this thread? Nevertheless, I noticed on the Fubar site today a query about the temperature inside the stadium with the snow. Poor, young, naive guy sounded as if he thought it would be ‘warm’. Nevertheless, their response was 2-3 degrees warmer than outside. What was the top temperature today in Dunedin? 4 degrees, minus wind chill factor. (Remember those lower placed vents to allow the grass to grow? How many metres high is it again?) Brrrr.

  5. Mike

    Don’t forget the roof is made of ETFE – it’s opaque to infra red but passes UV – it doesn’t let the heat of the sun through but does let you tan – that’s why it’s prized for indoor ski slopes (and stadiums in hot climates).

    So on a nice clear frosty Dunedin day it’s actually more likely to be colder in the stadium than outside – but don’t forget that sunscreen!

    • Elizabeth

      Finished “on time and on budget”, thanks Malc…so what does this mean?

      “The formal handover process started yesterday, but would take a few days. It required going room by room through the stadium and finishing off uncompleted work.”

      ### ODT Online Tue, 2 Aug 2011
      Stadium control handover under way
      By Rebecca Fox
      Forsyth Barr Stadium will shift to Dunedin Venues Management control this week as the project managers who oversaw its construction hand over control. The construction of the stadium was complete, meeting the August 1 date for the handover.
      Read more

  6. Peter

    Thanks for the tip, Mike!

  7. Bev Butler

    ‘Oh, Elizabeth, you are just being mischievous,’ is what he would say.

  8. Phil

    The project was always going to be “on budget”, Malcom sold a winner when he took that one to Council.

    The only publically monitored budget is the “GMP” of $130-odd million (I forget the exact amount). That’s a capped price and will never be exceeded. So, by default, it will always be “on budget”. However, any addition, deletion, variation, or alteration works (and there have been many of those) are not included within the GMP. So their costs aren’t shown, and don’t affect the “budget”. You can even look exceptionally clever and come in “under budget” if, during the course of the contract, you take some previously included items of work out of the base GMP contract and make them a separate contract. The bottom line stays the same, but only the GMP portion is ever seen.

    In Malcolm’s defence, this is a standard contract ploy used within the DCC. Additional contract costs are often moved over into another unpublished budget. The Port Chalmers Town Hall redevelopment in the early 2000s is a great example of this, where almost $1 million of building cost over run was paid for out of a maintenance budget, ensuring that the capital costs for the project came in “on budget”. The other alternative is to increase the “budget” during the contract period to mirror the actual costs. Again ensuring that the project is always “on budget”. Which helps when it comes time for annual bonuses. So Malcolm’s not really doing anything that Council hasn’t seen and condoned before.

    The ODT will never dare to explain this concept to the public, but hopefully it will surface in the other media who moniter this and other sites.

    • Elizabeth

      ### August 4, 2011 – 7:13pm
      Forsyth Barr Stadium to be officially opened by the Prime Minister tomorrow morning
      The Forsyth Barr Stadium will be officially opened at a ceremony involving the Prime Minister tomorrow morning. CEO of Dunedin Venues Limited, David Davies is content with preparations for the stadium switching into operational as opposed to construction mode, however he’s not so pleased with recent reports that his organisation let a Rod Stewart fall by the wayside.

  9. Peter

    What an odd time to officially open the stadium. On a cold winter’s morning at 7AM? What were they thinking? Or was that the only time Key had in his schedule? If he was smart, he’d sleep in. This stadium will embarrass all those politicians who have endorsed it as the whole caboodle turns inevitably to custard. The latest debacle, on the eve of the opening, is surely an omen if there ever was one. Look out for other omens on the day!

  10. Anonymous

    I note that the ODT is still disappearing posts on the comments page on ODT Online. I got an e-mail update with a post from “russandbev” but it never made the comments page today.

  11. Anonymous

    How very fitting that the stadium was opened to the sounds of Cr Acklin’s band.

  12. Peter

    What was the crowd number? Hard to estimate from the ODT’s photo of the event which I saw online. The photo is directed more at the official party.
    BTW. Never heard Bill Acklin’s band. What kind of music does he play?

    {According to Radio New Zealand News, 300 people attended the dawn ceremony. ODT says there was a crowd of about 500. -Eds}

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    Re comments to oddity online – it pays to go back a page or even 2. Sometimes I’ve found them slotted in among older messages.

  14. Calvin Oaten

    IT”S OPEN!!! And it’s on time and on budget. How do I know that? Malcolm told me, 3,000 times. Repeat a mantra often enough and it becomes dogma, just like the Pope and birth control.

  15. Anonymous

    Well, he played How Great Thou Art and the New Zealand National Anthem, both of which had the crowd on their feet.

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    OK so he can get a crowd on its feet, for his next trick let’s have “I’m a little teapot short and stout, here is my handle…”. It would be in keeping with his mature judgement e.g. how shifting a dollar from one account to another does not make it worth more than (100 x 1) cents, or a fifth of $5.

    • Elizabeth

      ### 5 Aug 2011 at 07:50
      Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
      Dunedin’s new stadium being officially opened today
      The official opening of Dunedin’s new stadium is under way.
      Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (3′21″)


      ### 5 Aug 2011 Updated at 9:05 am
      Dawn ceremony opens new Dunedin stadium
      After years of debate, Dunedin’s new $200 million stadium has been officially opened. About 300 people attended a dawn ceremony on Friday which included a blessing by local iwi Ngai Tahu. Prime Minister John Key opened the venue alongside the mayor and the project’s main backers. The stadium has divided Dunedin residents for the past five years and created an ongoing debt crisis for the council. But the 30,000 seat ground, completed less than a month before the Rugby World Cup begins, is now winning plaudits for its transparent plastic roof and intimate atmosphere. Mayor Dave Cull says the community must put away wrangling over the stadium’s cost and embrace the possibilities the covered stadium will create.
      RNZ News Link

      • Elizabeth

        ### Published: 8:58AM Friday August 05, 2011
        Source: ONE News
        Dunedin’s hi-tech stadium open for business
        Dunedin’s new hi-tech indoor stadium has been officially opened by the Prime Minister this morning. The Forsyth Barr Stadium is the world’s only indoor stadium to boast a natural turf pitch and will replace the city’s Carisbrook Stadium. A ceremony this morning marked its official opening, with the first proper test of the facilities due this weekend when North Otago takes on West Coast. The ceremony included a dawn blessing from local iwi and John Key unveiled a plaque that featured a Maori proverb: “My success is not the success of one but the success of many”.
        Read more
        Video: Opening of Dunedin’s new stadium (2:28)
        Raw Video: Dunedin’s new hi-tech indoor stadium (3:18)


        Mr Key told a crowd of about 500 that turned out for the opening the stadium was “incredibly important” for the city of Dunedin, and for Otago.

        ### ODT Online Fri, 5 Aug 2011
        Forsyth Barr Stadium officially opened
        Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium was officially opened and blessed early this morning, just two years since piles for the building were being driven into the ground by the Otago harbour. Prime Minister John Key travelled to the city to do the honours at a stadium he said would become known as “the house of pain and pleasure”: pain for visiting football teams and pleasure for its users. The service began shortly after 7am, with a mana whenua dawn blessing.

        Mayor Dave Cull said the stadium had been built “pretty much on time and on budget”.

        Read more

        Video: Forsyth Barr Stadium officially opened

        • Elizabeth

          Was the stadium “completed”(?) but gosh darn, then there was a fire…

          ### ODT Online Fri, 5 Aug 2011
          Touch and go as issues ironed out
          By David Loughrey
          An electrical fire at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin has put more pressure on promoters as they prepare for the first “test” game at the venue on Sunday.

          With just two days to go, eftpos at the stadium was still down yesterday, and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) chief executive David Davies implored punters to arrive preferably with tickets, or cash to buy them, and not to turn up 10 minutes before the 2.05pm kick off.

          Read more

  17. Russell Garbutt

    Interesting to hear Cr Neil Collins on radio reporting to Radio Dunedin this morning. He was asked to comment on the crowd numbers – ” a couple of hundred, 500, about a thousand” – as it turns out by other reports about 300 bothered to go. Simply illustrates Cr Collins inability to understand quantities and explains why he has consistently voted to put the City into financial crisis. BTW Cr, I’m sure John Key had picked you out of the multitudes to deliver a personal smile – you are, after all, quite famous.

  18. Amanda kennedy

    I disagree with Mayor Cull’ last statement. It is just a smart political statement to signal to the stadium councillors to keep calm and that Cull will not attack them; if he does they will attack back, but they have Mr Smith on their side. Who would win? Cull does not want to find out. No. We have a very good reason to remember who created this debt in the city; survival. How hard do you think Crs Bezett, Hudson, Brown and mates will fight to not sell our assets if it means more money for the stadium?

  19. Anonymous

    Malcolm Farry looked and sounded so much like Senator Palpatine from Star Wars this morning it wasn’t funny…

    • Elizabeth

      Mr Key expected the stadium to play its part in the delivery of a real New Zealand during the 2011 Rugby World Cup and to provide a legacy well beyond the tournament.

      ### Last updated 12:04 05/08/2011
      Official opening for new stadium
      By Wilma McCorkindale – D Scene
      Dawn in the south has heralded Dunedin as the only city in the world boasting a roofed multi-purpose arena with a natural grass turf. This morning the Forsyth Barr Stadium received an official prime ministerial opening from John Key and an iwi blessing by nga rangatira Kai tahu. Mr Key stepped out into the massive covered Forbar – as it is affectionately referred to – at 7am, which had it been raining would have kept him dry but did not manage to keep out the southern city’s early morning chill. He unveiled the Forsyth Barr Stadium foundation stone, saying today was an important one for the city of Dunedin and for the people of the South Island. The Government had been keen to stump up some funding for the stadium from its inception, Mr Key said. The facility received $15 million towards its $188 million-plus cost.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Well, f*** Mr Keys.

        ### August 5, 2011 – 7:16pm
        Forsyth Barr Stadium officially opened
        John Key officially opened the Forsyth Barr Stadium this morning, and gave his views on the debt situation Dunedin is currently in. The Prime Minister has a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to Dunedin City’s finances now the stadium has been built, and this morning focused more on the benefits he believes the stadium will bring to the city.


        ### August 5, 2011 – 7:27pm
        First unofficial match played at Forsyth Barr Stadium
        Following its official opening this morning the Forsyth Barr Stadium had it’s first unofficial match played on it this afternoon. The game was between Knox and Selwyn College’s, and although the crowd on hand didn’t exactly fill out the Stadium, it certainly sounded like they did.

        • Elizabeth

          How many of those who initially opposed the stadium and REMAIN strongly opposed to the public funding debacle has the reporter spoken with…is there a journalism school in the country worthy of its name ?


          ### Fri, 05 Aug 2011 6:05 pm
          Dunedin’s new stadium looking to win over fans
          By Anna Burns-Francis
          Dunedin’s new $200 million stadium has been opened and already hosted its first sports game.

          Even those initially opposed to the stadium were pleased to be proven wrong.

          Read more
          + Video

  20. Amanda kennedy

    I don’t understand. Is the stadium privately funded? No.

    • Elizabeth

      Not sure how many stories about the stadium ODT has to run before we believe the debt-laden stadium is (was it) open for business. If they tell us fifteen times, will we believe it. Is the disgraceful Malcolm Farry anyone we would want to get into bed with for future projects. Thought not. He doesn’t pay well.


      Mr Key unveiled a plaque that read “My success is not the success of one, but because of the success of many,”: a Maori proverb suggested by Ngai Tahu.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 6 Aug 2011
      Stadium opened amid celebrations
      By David Loughrey
      Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium was officially opened, blessed and made ready for business early yesterday, just two years after piles for the building were driven into the ground beside the Otago harbour. Prime Minister John Key did the honours at a stadium he said would become known as “the house of pain and pleasure”: pain for visiting football teams and pleasure for its users.

      Mr Farry said controversy around the funding issues would be a major focus for the Dunedin City Council, but “it will be said in hindsight this was the wise and correct decision to make”.

      Read more

      First stadium try and goal to Selwyn
      Raw video: First game at Forsyth Barr Stadium

      • Elizabeth

        But tell them about the turf condition, Mr Davies.

        ### ODT Online
        Overseas interest in stadium intellectual property
        By Hamish McNeilly on Sun, 14 Aug 2011
        The intellectual property rights for the Forsyth Barr Stadium could even be a potential revenue earner, with interest in the Dunedin venue coming from as far afield as France and Scandinavia.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Heavens, a new speaking voice for Mr Davies…

          Mr Davies would only say, through DVML’s new communications contractor, a representative from Canberra was in Dunedin last week to visit the stadium.

          ### ODT Online Wed, 7 Mar 2012
          Canberra seeks to copy stadium
          By David Loughrey
          Dunedin’s stadium has gained ultimate approval from overseas, with Canberra set to copy the design for its new stadium. The move follows interest in the design from the Australian Capital Territory last year. Despite the apparently good news, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive David Davies did not return calls on the issue yesterday. Because of that it was unclear if there would be any benefit from intellectual property.
          Read more

  21. Hype O'Thermia

    I was initially opposed to the stadium. The more I’ve found out that my initial assessment of its feasibility, lack of, was out-gloomed by reality the more opposed I became. I’ll change my attitude when I stop having to pay for it. Anyone who wants me to stop moaning and “get in behind it” knows what they can do – raise money and take the burden off me and the others who accurately assessed its oppressive effect on Dunedin for decades to come.

  22. Amanda kennedy

    Who is the ‘my’ in this sentence? Why was a proverb chosen that seems to priveledge one person?

    • Elizabeth

      The ultimate limp biscuit from a bunch of editorial wowsers.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 6 Aug 2011
      Supporting the stadium
      Three basic attitudes have been evident in the years leading up to yesterday’s official opening of Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. First are the strong supporters, those thrilled all along by the prospect of a covered stadium and prepared to pay the cost. Then there are those vehemently opposed, who believe it will be a white elephant which will shackle the city financially and that ongoing expenses will further drain the coffers. Many of these opponents see the stadium as a jack-up for the benefit of rugby, pushed through by obfuscation and misleading information. The third group, perhaps a majority all along, have had mixed feelings. They like the idea of a new waterfront stadium and are excited by the innovative approach, but wonder whether a small city can afford the capital and running costs.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Today, alive on social media networks, we have the vomit inducing pro-new-stadium tossers feeling sad and mourning the loss of Carisbrook.

  23. Who is the ‘my’ in this sentence? Why was a proverb chosen that seems to priveledge one person?
    While interpreting it as ‘my’ has a nice Machiavellian tone, that’s only one interpretation of ‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa taki tini’ and its variants. At least I’m not sure there is any individual ‘behind’ Burwood Hospital. Success is not the only or best translation of ‘toa’ either (Burwood have it as ‘strength’, and Te Puni Kokiri have it all in warriors).

  24. Anonymous

    Dear Malcolm,
    Remember at the “last Test” against Wales, when they took the turf out of the centre of the pitch at Carisbrook and took it away by helicopter?

    a) where did they take it?
    b) is it coming back?

    It isn’t in the pitch at stadium.

    • Elizabeth

      Sent in our What if? R/C chopper, growing in a low planter* on the balcony at Malcolm’s residence. Video footage to come.

      *Later discovered to be a hard hat, inverted.

    • Elizabeth

      Anonymous asked a similar question at What if? No answers yet.

      ### ODT Online Mon, 08/08/2011 – 9:09pm.
      Comment by farsighted on Grass
      The square of turf that was taken from Carisbrook by helicopter after the Welsh test – where is it?

  25. Mike

    So what do people think of Key’s plan to name the stadium after Hilary Calvert’s um enterprise in Queens Gardens?

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    I like it. Synergy, that’s what Malcolm kept tossing… around and it pushed the buttons of many steak-holders.

  27. Amanda kennedy

    Well of course it is only one way of interpreting the proverb, ‘distracted scientist’. I should think that was obvious. You chose how you interpret it and I will chose how I interpret it. Sounds fair enough to me. And since you mention Machiavelli…now he had something to say about powerful individuals and how they get their way; obviously you and I are on the same page.

  28. Anonymous

    You’ve heard of the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon and of course of 2 degrees mobile. I now introduce you to the 4 degrees of Malcolm Farry – that the inside of the stadium would be 4 degrees warmer than the outside.

    I have never been so cold at a rugby game. 4 degrees warmer my arse.

  29. Mike

    Well of course we’ve known it was going to be cold almost from day one that’s what comes from covering it with something that is opaque to infrared – it doesn’t let the heat from the sun through

  30. Mike — What is your source on this? Glass is more opaque to longwave (and in fact most thermal radiation) than ETFE, unless the ETFE has been specifically patterned to block those wavelengths. This means that the stadium should be warmer during the day, but conversely may lose radiant heat overnight, in the same way that clear skies lead to hotter days and colder nights, compared to a cloudy day (the ETFE cushions are very good at reducing conductive heatloss, however).

    • Elizabeth

      Best proof is to be at the stadium in all weathers and let us know the findings – it’s a windy, cold site and the stadium’s a drafty shell. Turf before people. Great.

      • Elizabeth

        “It’s great isn’t it? Superb. Everywhere is great. You need crampons and an ice axe to get to the top [of the north stand] but it’s worth it.” -Graeme Winter

        ### ODT Online Mon, 8 Aug 2011
        Rugby fans full of praise for stadium experience
        By Ellie Constantine
        The seats were comfortable, the hot chips were tasty, the toilets were plentiful, and it was warmer than expected – Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium got the big tick from rugby fans at yesterday’s first official match. As 7500 people streamed into the new waterfront stadium to see North Otago play West Coast, the venue’s first real test began.
        Read more


        This from the turnaround guy. A few weeks ago we read in the print and digital editions of Otago Daily Times that he’d become a convert. Another rugger head without a thought for the financing, effect on residents and ratepayers, and the city council itself.

        ### ODT Online Mon, 8 Aug 2011
        Opinion: This baby makes it all worthwhile
        By Hayden Meikle
        Despite doubts about the project, ODT sports editor Hayden Meikle sees no option now but to embrace Otago’s new stadium. After watching the first major game there yesterday, he offers his thoughts.
        Read more

  31. Amanda kennedy

    Oh so now Meikle has some ‘doubts’ about the stadium. Here we go folks, all those who were dead set on the stadium feel free to air their ‘doubts’ now that they have had their way. How long until we hear Crs Collins, Hudson, Brown and mates also had ‘doubts’ but somehow the stadium just miraculously appeared out of thin air and now we just have to grit out teeth and stoically shuffle on ’cause it’s here now and so we might as well ‘get behind it’.

  32. Amanda kennedy

    Meikle and Stadium councillors chose the debt when they chose the stadium. No getting away from it. That belongs to them; don’t try to drag those who saw the stadium debt as obscene into your morally lukewarm world. Have the decency to at least stand by what you fought for.

  33. Amanda kennedy

    This is about values Mr Meikle sir. You chose your values; a stadium over an economically viable city. Same as Crs Hudson and Brown. Now you want us to share in your values? Never.

  34. Phil

    I would take Hayden’s comments with a grain of salt. His thoroughly informative and insightful (cough cough) investigative journalism article with regard to the international ice hockey match a couple of months back suggests he is under starters orders to follow the company line of sensational journalism in order to increase sales. You can’t read too much into those works of fiction.

  35. Phil

    Speaking of Councillors, has anyone else noticed that Andrew Noone appears to have gone missing in action ? He was a great supporter of all things manly. I suspect he’s taken the Collins advice and bunkered down out of sight until it’s baby kissing time again.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil, I do suppose the chair of Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee has one or two monstrous leaden headaches to treat, all at once. Oh dear.

  36. Russell Garbutt

    Is that the same Collins that sees a couple of hundred and calls it a thousand? Always been inflated.

  37. Anonymous

    Presumable Mr Meikle will be here in 5 minutes or so to defend, like last time…

  38. Peter

    I kind of get the impression that there is real pressure now within the council – led by Dave Cull – and within the media – to pretend the stadium can work… if we try. What’s that about the wish being the father of the thought? Filling the stadium with events with no charge for hiring (a la ODT 150th Birthday Party), nor any other subsidies thrown at the beast, will do it. I’m sure for some time to come the council and DVML will do its best to disguise the losses through creative accounting and we’ll pretend there is nothing wrong. In the end no one will be fooled as the rates take rockets to pay for this tomfoolery.

  39. Peter

    ‘Stadium and intellectual’ is an oxymoron, isn’t it?

  40. Phil

    Why on earth would the Scandivanians be interested? Obviously one gets paid these days just to report the news, and not to investigate it. As has already been pointed out elsewhere, Scandivanian countries play football during the summer months, not the winter months. So the only time they would benefit from a covered natural turf stadium, is the only time that they don’t need one. We wouldn’t have built a covered natural turf stadium either if rugby was played in the summer. There are some dual purpose stadiums in Scandinavia which are covered. And these have an artificial turf. That’s not because they can’t get grass to grow. It’s because no grass in the world, even with a flash type roof, will grow when it’s covered by a 150mm thick ice hockey surface for 6 months. David Davis, you’re going to start losing credibility very quickly if you didn’t know that (from your years of experience in the industry) or that you think the rest of us didn’t know that.

  41. Anonymous

    ITM Cup rugby match between Otago and Manawatu called off tomorrow.
    Due to adverse weather and airport closures.

  42. Phil

    That’s good news for the Otago team. Presumably they will be awarded points for a draw. Any port in a storm.

  43. The game is rescheduled to Tuesday 30 August.

  44. Phil

    Bugger, there goes that cunning plan. Still, they’ll have the best Second Division stadium in the country again next year.

  45. Phil

    Exactly what would be the intellectual property ? A steel frame ? Concrete stands ? EFTE roof panels ? A pretty simple and standard structure borrowed from a number of sources.

    Or maybe they own the rights to : Poor Acoustics, Faulty Clocks, Missing Seating, Wind Tunnels, Insufficient Catering Resources, Lack of Parking.

    No, wait. That’s what it is. We own the rights to: Intergenerational Debt. Canberra, you’re welcome to it.

  46. Ro

    I expect someone hopes to sell the plans, copyright of which, in the days of old, when copyright law wasn’t tortured to maintain Hollywood’s profits, subsisted in the commissioners – us. Canberra may be interested; after all, buying them from us may reduce the cost to them. But we don’t know and what’s the betting we never will?

    • Elizabeth

      Heck, have at least two sheets here, Ro. Everybody working on site will have sets, upgrades and more sheets, if not the online version. The horse that didn’t bolt.

  47. Ro

    I’ll give you 2 bob for em?

  48. Hype O'Thermia

    Nylons! Bubblegum!! Hershey bars!!! And some My Little Pissoir sets….

  49. Peter

    Though it is admittedly many years since I have visited Canberra, feedback I get is that it is still one of the dullest Capital cities in the world. I can’t see this new version of ‘Build It and They Will Come’ adding to the allure of going to Canberra. Even Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have more appeal than a copy cat ‘look at moi’ stadium.

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