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Hospitality and Events – Stadium Proposal

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Tags: Stadium, Macquarie Point, AFL, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, do you have a line of sight into the future of Bellerive Oval as a place for hospitality and sporting events? It seems that if the stadium were to go ahead, Bellerive would be a white elephant?

Mr STREET - The land that Bellerive Oval sits on is owned by Clarence Council and Cricket Tasmania has a long-term lease over Blundstone Arena as a facility. That's my line of sight on it as a venue at the minute, bearing in mind that we are about to start negotiating for the transfer of Bellerive Oval, Blundstone Arena, to Stadiums Tasmania as an asset under our management. It would be fair to say that I am very keen to make sure that whatever happens through this AFL process, acknowledging that Cricket Tasmania has its home there at the minute and that we don't end up with a white elephant at Bellerive.

Ms O'CONNOR - The business case for the stadium talks about the best-case scenario of 44 events a year. Of them, from recall - I don't have my folder here now - a number of them are major cricket matches. Bellerive is the home of cricket and that's why I understand Cricket Tasmania would quite like the high-performance centre potentially to be at Bellerive. You haven't heard this?

Mr STREET - Cricket Tasmania would like the AFL high-performance centre at Bellerive?

Ms O'CONNOR - This is what I understand. Connected to Bellerive, rather than building a whole new facility. I know we're going to get into this a bit more in Sport and Recreation as well, but it is about the spaces that we have for hospitality and events.

You can't have major cricket games being played at a Macquarie Point stadium and think that Bellerive can continue to operate as a viable stadium, can you?

Mr STREET - I think they are decisions to be made in the future about what we use Bellerive Oval for when Macquarie Point stadium is built.

Ms O'CONNOR - Do you think it will remain a stadium?

Mr STREET - I'm not certain that would be the case. Like I said, I'm keen to ensure that Bellerive Oval is not a white elephant and that we get maximum use, not just out of the Macquarie Point stadium but out of all of the facilities we have at our disposal at the minute.

Ms O'CONNOR - Has there been a discussion with Cricket Tasmania about the high-performance centre?

Mr STREET - Not at this stage there hasn't, bearing in mind that Cricket Tasmania is doing a body of work around its current location at Bellerive Oval.

Ms O'CONNOR - Correct me if I'm wrong but what I'm hearing is that you're almost flagging a Cricket Tasmania move to Macquarie Point stadium?

Mr STREET - No, I'm not. It would be my expectation that spectator draw in cricket, which would be international cricket or Big Bash, for example, would be played at the new Macquarie Point stadium. Outside of that, cricket's involvement at Bellerive Oval is still up for discussion. That includes domestic cricket, Shield cricket and local cricket. Obviously, we're not going to open the Macquarie Point stadium for a Sheffield Shield match that might attract 150 people to it. In Victoria or New South Wales, they rarely open the SCG or MCG for domestic cricket anymore either.

Ms O'CONNOR - So, you can foresee a future where we have a Macquarie Point stadium for whatever it ends up costing us, inevitably around $1 billion, and Bellerive, and York Pork, and Dial Park and MyState - all of those stadia to stay in the stadia mix? It is your understanding and expectation that Bellerive will continue to function as a stadium?

Mr STREET - It will continue to function as a sporting facility, whether it's as a stadium or not into the future is up for discussion. You would have to envisage that when Macquarie Point stadium is built and is taking the majority of sporting events in the south that require large spectator facilities that Bellerive Oval's use could potentially change.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is the state Government or Stadiums Tasmania going to purchase Bellerive or is it a paper transfer of the title?

Mr STREET - It's a transfer. The finances around such a transfer would be negotiated between Clarence Council, Cricket Tasmania I would imagine as the current lease holders, and Stadiums Tasmania.

Ms O'CONNOR - Just quickly, is there any role for the Valuer-General, for example?

Mr STREET - I would imagine there would be a role for a number of experts outside of just the people at Stadiums Tasmania, Cricket Tasmania and Clarence Council. Just as there will be for the transfer of UTAS stadium in Launceston and Dial Park from Central Coast Council. I am very confident in the expertise that we have put around the board table for Stadiums Tasmania that those transfers will be done professionally and without disadvantage to the state Government.

Ms O'CONNOR - In a way that protects the public interest?

Mr STREET - Exactly right.