You are here

AFL Licence - Conditions

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Tags: Stadium, AFL


Repeatedly during your discussions with us over the state's AFL bid and indeed to this parliament, you stated the AFL bid was not contingent on a brand-new stadium. That was the basis on which we, the Greens, signed the tripartisan licence agreement. In the Public Accounts Committee last Friday, State Growth secretary Kim Evans belled the cat big-time. He said the AFL made the new stadium a prerequisite for any licence approval from day one. Why did you not tell us the truth about this billion-dollar nod and a wink between your Government and the AFL?



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for Clark for her question. Our Government is committed to delivering an AFL and an AFLW licence for Tasmania once and for all. Tasmania is the heartland state for AFL and we have been committed to this dream as a state for over three decades. Our bid for the AFL and AFLW licences has not happened overnight. It has taken months and months of negotiations to achieve the best deal for Tasmania and the best deal for the Tasmanian club.

Ms O'Connor - Answer the question. Why did you lie to us?

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I am answering the question. The Tasmanian AFL team task force and the AFL have both made it clear that high-quality infrastructure will be required to support the viability of AFL and AFLW teams in Tasmania.

Ms O'Connor - No, you are misrepresenting the task force report.

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, order!

Mr ROCKLIFF - It also supports our ability to recruit and retain high-quality players, coaches, support staff and administrators.

Ms O'Connor - Why didn't you tell us the truth?

Mr SPEAKER - Order, Ms O'Connor. You will not yell over the top of the Premier. You have asked the question and if you wish to listen to the answer you can stay in your seat. If you yell out across the Chamber again I will ask you to leave.

Mr ROCKLIFF - The subsequent 2021 Carter review reiterated the importance of suitable infrastructure to the success of an AFL club in our state. The review found that a stadium strategy will be needed. The review did not address the stadium in detail, because it was assumed that the state will address the stadium requirements, as other governments have done in every other state.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker. Standing order 45, relevance. I draw your attention to the question. There was one question, which is why did the Premier not tell us the truth? Why did the Premier not tell us the truth?

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, there is no point of order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - As I advised the House of Assembly in September 2022, the bid we put forward to the AFL for an AFL and AFLW team did not include a stadium. However, the Tasmanian Government recognised that a Tasmanian team competing in the AFL and AFLW competitions needed a suitable modern stadium in which to play. I can go into that.

What we have today, though, is Tasmanian businesses leaders in Canberra advocating their support for a Macquarie Point stadium. Travelling to Canberra, they will meet with senior cabinet ministers, as well as the Prime Minister's office, is my understanding. The delegation includes representatives of the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, the Master Builders Tasmania, the Tasmanian Hospitality Association and the Property Council.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order. Mr Speaker, we did not ask about the top end of town in their suits in Canberra. We asked about why we were lied to in order to secure our support for the AFL bid.

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, as you know, it is not an opportunity to stand up and repeat the question or extend the question. The Premier is answering the question, and I take it from the points of order. I have asked you to be quiet and listen to the answer.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Thank you, Mr Speaker. I utterly reject your accusation. We have been fighting for this AFL team for decades and we are passionate about Macquarie Point precinct.

Ms O'Connor - No, you are conflating them.


Member Suspended

Member for Clark - Ms O'Connor

Mr SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, you can leave the Chamber until after Question Time.

Ms O'Connor withdrew.


Mr ROCKLIFF - The member, Mr Speaker, once again reverts to personal attacks of people going to Canberra to advocate for Tasmanians and Tasmanian jobs. Advocating for Tasmanian jobs: our tradies. Funding for the stadium and the Macquarie Point precinct. Those opposite are going to Canberra to argue against funding for Tasmania. I will always stand up for Tasmania. I will always advocate for more funding to come from Tasmania to support jobs and growth and our economy, so we can fund those essential services that Tasmanians talk about.

Dr Woodruff - Stand up for people without a house.

Mr SPEAKER - Member for Franklin, just because your co-worker has been asked to leave the Chamber does not mean that you have to take over the responsibility of continually interjecting on the Premier. Unless you wish to join her, I would not say any more while the Premier is answering the question.

Ms O'BYRNE - Point of order, Mr Speaker. On that ruling. While I do not usually jump to my feet to defend the Member for Franklin, I do not understand why the same rules do not apply to the member for Clark, Ms Archer, who has been yelling for quite some time.

Mr SPEAKER - That is not a point of order. You will sit down. The Premier is answering the question.

Mr ROCKLIFF - Frankly, I am appalled when you have representatives of organisations representing hard-working Tasmanians, going to Canberra, like the Tasmanian Liberal Government does, advocating for more funding for key infrastructure to grow our economy so we can fund those essential services such as health, education, public safety, and housing, we have those opposite going to Canberra to argue against funding for Tasmania.


Opposition members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - We have the Leader of the Opposition saying 'All that $7 billion or $3 billion of government funding can go to Queensland, but we do not want a single dollar here in Tasmania'. Frankly, that is anti-Tasmanian.


Opposition members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - It is un-Tasmanian. Anti-Tasmanian, in fact. Advocating to Canberra for money not to come to Tasmania to secure an AFL team and thousands of jobs for hard-working Tasmanians.