Senate debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Statements by Senators

Tasmania: Australian Football League

1:46 pm

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

Last week the AFL finally announced that Tasmania would get licences for AFL men's and women's teams, but what should have been a day of unity and celebration for our state was tarnished. Instead of being able to celebrate our state finally getting AFL men's and women's licences, we were burdened and saddened with the announcement that we would get, on prime waterfront land in Tasmania, a giant new football stadium that the state does not want and does not need.

The only reason we're getting this stadium is the AFL's blackmail of Tasmania and the craven collapse of Prime Minister Albanese and Premier Rockliff in front of that blackmail. Those two politicians drove past the cars and the tents of homeless Tasmanians to make an announcement that they were going to put a roof over a billion dollar stadium that we do not need rather than spend money putting a roof over the heads of homeless Tasmanians.

To do this in the best of times would have been bad enough, but these are far from the best of times. We are going to see hundreds, potentially thousands, of Tasmanians shiver through a cold winter without a roof over their heads when Prime Minister Albanese and Premier Rockliff are prepared to spend up to a billion dollars building a stadium that Tasmanians do not want or need. It's a betrayal of the highest order.

I've got a warning for the Labor and Liberal parties: the people of Tasmania do not want this stadium, they will not let their money be wasted while there are people going cold and hungry, so they should get ready for a fight, because it's not over yet. (Time expired)


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