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Stadium Plan Insulting to Tasmanians in Need

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Sunday, 18 September 2022

Tags: AFL, Health, Housing, Cost of Living, Macquarie Point, Stadium

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader 

The Rockliff Government has its priorities all wrong. 

The secretly decided mega-million dollar stadium plan for Macquarie Point is an insult to every Tasmanian who can’t afford their rent or is living in a tent.

It’s an insult to people languishing on the elective surgery waiting list, and those who fear an ambulance won’t arrive in time if they need emergency help.

And it’s completely disingenuous of the Premier to say the $400 million or so the State expects to chip in to the stadium ‘won’t be diverted’ from essential services funding.

If the State can afford a stadium, it can afford to build the homes Tasmanians need and invest in more healthcare workers.

It seems the Premier has been railroaded by the AFL in to building a flash new stadium the State can’t afford, and doesn’t need.

Bellerive and York Park are fantastic facilities that have successfully hosted AFL matches for many years. 

They would do the job of hosting Tasmanian AFL and AFLW games just fine, without breaking the State’s bank. 

The Greens fully support a Tasmanian AFL and AFLW team. For too long, we’ve been sending our best and brightest players to the mainland, while paying for rich Melbourne teams to play here. 

Our support for the State’s AFL bid, however, did not include backing in a new stadium – and it won’t. 

Tasmania has comfortably cleared every hurdle the AFL has thrown up, from overcoming the north south divide to developing a strong business case.

Just as we’re about to cross the finish line Gil McLachlan has come up with a totally unreasonable demand for a $750 million stadium. 

The AFL are forcing Tasmania to choose between an AFL team on one hand, and on the other, decent health and housing systems. 

Jeremy Rockliff and the Liberals have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.