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Sport and Recreation – Stadium Proposal

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Tags: Stadium, AFL, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, the high-performance centre for the Tasmanian AFL and AFLW teams, it's our understanding that serious consideration was given to locating it in the northern suburbs of Hobart so that the social and economic benefits of Tasmania having that 19th licence could be shared outside the capital city. Then when you look at the papers that have been tabled, but more importantly the agreement that was signed, it's very clear that the northern suburbs has been ditched as a potential location for a high-performance centre.

Were you party to that decision and what's your view on it?

Mr STREET - No decision has been made about the location of the high-performance facility, so no area has been 'ditched'. The AFL and the task force are of the opinion that the high-performance facility needs to be within a certain circumference of the CBD in order to achieve everything that we want it to achieve. As I'm sure you would imagine, as both the Sport and Recreation minister and the Local Government minister, I've had councils writing to me -

Ms O'CONNOR - Begging for it.

Mr STREET - proposing that they have the perfect sporting precinct to host the AFL high-performance facility which I think is an indication that - I've been fortunate to visit a couple of these high-performance facilities in Melbourne. It can be so much more than just a high-performance facility for AFL and AFLW player. I know you know that as well, which is why every municipality is desperate for it for the community use and the engagement that the community can get with that facility is extraordinary. That's something that we'll need to take into account in our discussions with the AFL going forward as well. I don't mind saying at this table as well, that there are certain requirements for the high-performance facility that need to be met for us to be happy as a government, not just for the AFL to be happy with this location for players as well.

Ms O'CONNOR - That's really good to hear and I'm really glad that the northern suburbs has not been ruled out because maybe the AFL views Hobart and Tasmania differently, in fact, I'm sure they do. They treated us so poorly. In a city like Brisbane, for example, a high-performance centre - the CBD of Brisbane is this great sprawling mass but there's no way that you could locate a facility of that scale in or even that close to the Brisbane CBD -

Mr STREET - I haven't had an opportunity to visit the Brisbane Lions' new facility but it's a case in point. They've built it at - I think it's called Springfield - Spring something, which is a reasonable distance outside the Brisbane CBD for that reason. It's been built in a new catchment area and it's being used as an attractor of investment into not just housing but into community and retail facilities as well.

Ms O'CONNOR - What's your involvement in the decision about the high-performance centre and what metric will the Tasmanian government, which will be the funder, apply? I'm sure you're aware of the sensibilities about Cornelian Bay, which is a much-loved public facility. We've got Cricket Tasmania apparently keen to have an involvement with the high-performance centre. What's the metric? How will you decide?

Mr STREET - A place very warm to my heart, Cornelian Bay. I scored my greatest hockey goal ever on those grass grounds at Cornelian Bay.

Ms O'CONNOR - It's a beautiful ground.

Mr STREET - Current community use is something that needs to be taken into account when we're deciding these facilities. Hockey is still played there every weekend. Soccer is played there every weekend. Community cricket is played there every weekend of the summertime. We'll be making sure that the AFL understands that current community use needs to be taken into account when we're making a decision on where we locate this high-performance facility.

You can take a Google Map view of Hobart and say, there's an empty space, there's an empty space but Google Maps doesn't take account of what it's being used for at the minute as well. That's the metric that I'll be bringing to it. As Sport and Recreation minister, I don't want the high-performance facility to be developed somewhere that's going to displace the very people that I'm trying to look after at the community grassroots space. There's no win in that for anybody.

Regarding my involvement in the process, to the extent that it becomes a matter for Cabinet, I'll have involvement it that space but there may be an opportunity for me to feed my thoughts to the Premier as well about the location of the high-performance facility.