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Sport and Recreation - Southern Soccer Facility

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 26 November 2020

Tags: Sport and Recreation

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, I'm very interested in the future of football. That is soccer. A beautiful game.

I wonder if you have had any conversations abut the establishment of a high-standard soccer facility in the south and whether you have had an opportunity to speak to Ken and/or Vicki Morton from the South Hobart Football Club, who are very passionate about establishing a better facility here for national class games in Tasmania.

Ms HOWLETT - I haven't had the opportunity to meet with Ken and Vicki Morton, but my brother-in-law was their goalie for quite some time.

Ms HOWLETT - As far as stadiums, I guess very soon we will know where we are with the FIFA World Cup bid -

Ms O'BYRNE - If you actually upgrade your park.

Ms HOWLETT - We will have the opportunity to upgrade a few different venues around the state.

Ms O'BYRNE - Unless you commit to upgrading, you won't get it, I think is my point.

Ms HOWLETT - It's a pretty sensitive issue at the moment, Ms O'Byrne, but

Ms O'BYRNE - There's no money in the Budget for it.

Ms HOWLETT - So, we are developing a strategy that will address the broader circumstances around ongoing funding for maintenance, development, operation and venue management and ownership.

Ms O'CONNOR - This would be about the line item in the Budget, which is the sports facilities strategy, is that correct? With the extra funding of $250 000 for the development of a statewide strategy to inform future sport and recreational facility investment decisions.

That's the lens through which I'm putting this question to you about the need for a high standard soccer facility in Tasmania, and the case that's being put by the Mortons, who have decades of experience in soccer and have trained generations of great young soccer players, including my children. That's not a conflict of interest, I don't think, but -

Mr TUCKER - It sure does sound like it, though.

Ms O'CONNOR - At the moment, what happens is that those kids go and play on an old dump, basically, that's been in-filled and it looks like uphill, down dale. That's separate from the question about working towards establishing a high-quality soccer facility, and whether it's something that's entirely state-funded, or there's a public and/or private partnership around. I'd just like to lodge that with you as something that's likely to be required in the future, but also well used.

Ms HOWLETT - I think it will be exceptionally well used, and I think it's required now. That's my personal opinion. As far as that money is concerned, that was through State Growth, but it is allocated in our Budget line.

Ms O'CONNOR - Can I ask, minister, if you would be happy to sit down at some point with Ken and/or Vicki Morton and talk to them about the concept they have of a high-standard shared facility?

Ms HOWLETT - Yes, I'm more than happy to sit down and discuss that.

CHAIR - We would love you to talk to some of the soccer clubs in Franklin, as well as the one in Clark.

Mr TUCKER - And also in the north-east.

Ms HOWLETT - I know, Ms O'Connor, that Football Tasmania is doing a stadium strategy as well at the moment.