Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
The Greens have made the difficult decision to withdraw support for the State’s AFL license bid because it is attached to a billion dollar stadium Tasmania doesn’t need and can’t afford.
Jeremy Rockliff might not have the courage to stand up to the AFL, but we do, and we won’t be part of any deal that involves a new stadium at Macquarie Point.
We have today written to the AFL advising Mr McLachlan and Commissioners of our decision to withdraw from the tripartisan push for Tasmania to join the national league. We do this with heavy hearts.
Tasmanian Labor should do the same. They too were misled by the Premier who reassured us the bid was not contingent on a new stadium, when we now know the AFL said it was a prerequisite from day one.
Tasmania has more than earned the right to join the national league, without billion dollar strings attached.
The stadium is a deeply unpopular proposal that was not consulted and has no mandate. Tasmanians overwhelmingly want to see more money invested in affordable housing and health services.
We believe they support a Tasmanian AFL and AFLW teams but not at such a massive cost, particularly when we have two good stadiums in Bellerive and York Park which could be upgraded and fit for purpose.
A new stadium would come with a billion dollar price tag, and leave the State massively in debt.
If Prime Minister Albanese is going to fund any part of Macquarie Point, it should be for something like the vision that was released by former Governor, Kate Warner, and Booker Prize winning author, Richard Flanagan, this week.
Affordable medium density housing, the promised-then-abandoned, Truth and Reconciliation Art Park, public and active transport, Antarctic Science, a relocated, revamped State Library and a public pool are all possible at Macquarie Point and they’d activate the site and the city in a way the stadium simply can’t.
As we informed the AFL Commission in our letter today, should the AFL decouple a new stadium from the license bid, we would gladly rejoin the tripartisan push for a Tasmanian team.