$240m Hobart stadium pledge lights AFL dreams
April 28, 2023 / 11:57 pm
Tasmania looks set 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.
“What this project will be is a very significant project that will lift up Tasmania and lift up this most beautiful of cities here in Hobart,” the prime minister told reporters on Saturday.
The stadium funding was announced on Saturday to go towards redeveloping Hobart’s waterfront, including refreshing crown land from Macquarie Point to Regatta Point, core funding for the stadium, as well as transport infrastructure, port upgrades and housing, the government said.
“This is an exciting project,” the prime minister said.
“The truth is that more should have been done over the last decade.”
The announcement to build the Macquarie Point sporting facility had been widely tipped this week, after the AFL said Tasmania’s entry to the competition could only happen with the construction of the $715 million stadium.
The additional $375 million will come from the Tasmanian government, and $15 million will come from the AFL, and another $85 million will come from commercial land sales.
The deal was confirmed by Tasmanian premier Jeremy Rockliff shortly before he appeared with the prime minister in Hobart.
“As I said, I don’t want to sit back in 10 years time when I’m back on the farm, thinking ‘you know what, if only I drove that a bit harder we might’ve got that’,” the premier said in a tweet on Saturday.
The Albanese government has also committed $65 million to match state government funding for upgrades to UTAS stadium in Launceston.
Mr Albanese said he had been a supporter of Tasmania getting an AFL team.
“It’s a very positive thing, and it’s important that it be a team for the whole of Tasmania as well,” he told reporters on Friday.
“I encourage the AFL to make a positive announcement.
“There is no reason whatsoever why the great state of Tasmania shouldn’t have the same access and the same representation as states on the north island.”
The UTAS Stadium redevelopment will deliver a new eastern stand, improved playing facilities and an entertainment precinct.
AAP (C) 2023