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More Questions Than Answers on Stadium

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 24 March 2023

Tags: Stadium, AFL

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

If this morning’s sworn testimony to the Public Accounts Committee of State Growth Secretary, Kim Evans, is true, then the Greens were lied to by Jeremy Rockliff in order to secure our support for the State’s AFL bid.
Mr Evans told PAC that, from day one, it was the AFL’s expectation that a new, greenfields stadium would be a prerequisite of Tasmania being granted an AFL license. Not only that, it now seems the State agreed to this condition long before Premier Jeremy Rockliff sought tri-partisan support for his government’s AFL bid.
In our discussions with the Premier about the Greens joining a tripartisan push for Tasmania to join the national league, we sought an assurance the stadium and the bid were not contingent on each other.
Jeremy Rockliff looked me in the eye in April, and then again in May, last year and said, ‘don’t worry Cass, the stadium is not part of the bid’. 
It was on that basis we agreed to sign on, because we believe Tasmania deserves to be part of the national league, and because the AFL wanted to be sure there was tripartisan support and no sovereign risk to the license in the future.
We would not have signed up to the bid if it we knew a stadium was ‘a prerequisite’ set down by the AFL and Gill McLachlan – especially if we knew it had already been agreed to.
The AFL Taskforce, which handed down its report in December 2019, did not recommend a brand new stadium as a condition of the license.
The new stadium was cooked up between Gill McLachlan and Peter Gutwein, then Jeremy Rockliff, in secret.
The Premier also told Parliament last September the stadium was not part of the bid. Kim Evans indicated today it has been since the beginning.
Who is telling the truth here? Kim Evans in sworn testimony to PAC, or Jeremy Rockliff to Parliament?
The Greens remain fiercely, adamantly opposed to a new billion dollar stadium on nipaluna/Hobart’s waterfront.
Tasmania can’t afford and doesn’t need a new stadium.