Tasmanian AFL team one step closer as Prime Minister Albanese announces $240 million for new stadium – but hecklers show not everyone is happy about it
- Anthony Albanese pledges $240 million for Hobart Stadium
- Will help usher in the Tasmanian AFL team as 19th in the league
- Some Tasmanians are objecting based on the state’s homelessness problem
Tasmania appears to have its own AFL team after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese pledged an additional $240 million to the state government to build a new stadium in Hobart – but some Tasmanians have questioned the huge investment.
“What this project will be is a very important project that will elevate Tasmania and elevate this most beautiful city here in Hobart,” the prime minister told reporters on Saturday.
Stadium funding was announced on Saturday for the redevelopment of Hobart’s waterfront, including refreshing crown land from Macquarie Point to Regatta Point, core funding for the stadium, as well as transport infrastructure, harbor upgrades and housing, the government said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announces the Federal Government’s $240 million contribution to the Hobart stadium project alongside Tasmanian Prime Minister Jeremy Rockliff (right)
“This is an exciting project,” said the prime minister.
“The truth is that more should have been done in the last ten years.”
The announcement to build the Macquarie Point sports facility was widely tipped this week after the AFL said Tasmania’s entry into the competition could only happen with the construction of the $715 million stadium.
The additional $375 million will come from the Tasmanian government, $15 million will come from the AFL and a further $85 million will come from commercial land sales.
Artist’s impression of the new Hobart stadium to be built on Macquarie Point in Hobart
Mr Albanese was harassed by some protesters during the announcement.
“We want affordable housing, not a stadium, affordable housing,” one person shouted when Mr. Albanese asked questions from the media pack.
The deal was confirmed by Tasmanian Prime Minister Jeremy Rockliff shortly before his appearance in Hobart with the Prime Minister.
“Like I said, I don’t want to sit back when I’m back at the farm in 10 years and think ‘you know what, if only I had driven that a little bit harder, we might have had that’,” the prime minister said. Saturday in a tweet.
The Albanian government has also pledged $65 million to match government funding for upgrades to Launceston’s UTAS stadium.
Mr Albanese said he had been in favor of getting an AFL team in Tasmania.
“It’s very positive and it’s important that it’s also a team for all of Tasmania,” he told reporters on Friday.
“I encourage the AFL to make a positive announcement.
“There is no reason why the great state of Tasmania should not have the same access and representation as the states in the North Island.”
The redevelopment of the UTAS stadium will provide a new eastern stand, improved playing facilities and an entertainment area.
In a column written for the Nine-Fairfax newspapers, prominent Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan claimed that the stadium proposal was ‘hugely unpopular among many Tasmanians’.
Tasmania has no stadium problem. It has a housing and homelessness problem,” Flanagan wrote.
“Tasmanian rents have risen by 45 per cent over the past five years, the highest increase in the country in the poorest, lowest-income state.”
Flanagan also noted that Tasmania’Australia’s worst public health system and, with 50 per cent illiteracy, a public education problem’.
“And while there seems to be very little public money and political will to address these issues, it doesn’t seem like a problem to rake in hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money for a new stadium.”