Image for Hodgman Liberals Back Football Over Public Services

EDITOR: Of course ... Footy and Forestry ( Peter Gutwein: Forestry Tasmania and *New Matilda: Flying In The Face Of Scientific Advice, Tasmanian Government Abandons Swift Parrot ) are far more important than poncy Baroque Opera for which Liberal petty cash managed an offer of $300,000 this year ( Martyn Goddard: After a big win for Brisbane, Baroque looks at China ) ... Footy is a real man’s game, isn’t it Will? Thousands pour in every Saturday to watch Hawthorn, don’t they Will ... ? ( Tom Ellison, Hawthorn: It’s a con. A fraud )

The Liberals in government are prioritising football over providing essential public services to Tasmanians.

After crying poor as an excuse to slash funding to public health and education they are pouring almost $20 million taxpayer dollars into a wealthy football club (Hawthorn).

Tasmania can and should be attracting AFL games without this massive corporate sponsorship at a time when public services are being hammered by the Liberals.

This decision also weakens the case for a stand-alone Tasmanian AFL team by sending a message to AFL House that Tasmania is happy with fly in teams.

ABC: New $20 million deal locks Hawthorn into playing matches in Tasmania for another five years The Tasmanian Government has struck a new deal with the Hawthorn Football Club, locking state taxpayers into a five-year $20 million contract. Premier Will Hodgman is announcing the deal at a dinner in Hawthorn tonight. The deal secures four fixture matches and one pre-season game at York Park in Launceston each season, between 2017 and 2021. The Government has agreed to pay the team $3.8 million in 2017, and the amount will be adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index each year until 2021. The Premier said it was a good deal for the state …

• Karl Stevens in Comments: Hodgman is paying close to $1 million a game for a suburb of another state to play ‘footbrawl’ in his state? At least Little Willy has redefined ‘rational thought’ for the benefit of the rest of us.

• Ben Cannon, Melbourne, in Comments: Their home ground is in Melbourne, their new headquarters and training ground will be closer to St Kilda, and their main sponsor is Tasmania. What was their name again?

To concur with obvious points, an Australian football league without teams from Tasmania, the NT and the ACT is sort of a joke. Most other sports manage it. Surely a Tasmanian team would be an excellent opportunity for plastering all manner of gbe propaganda onto. They could be called the forestry Tasmania 1080 devils or the tas(mineral)water smoked salmons. Or the whatever the hell that new spirit of Tasmania is maybe it doubles as an international cargo trawling biomass powered submarine.

Will Hodgman: Tasmania, Hawks strike new five-year deal

• Gordon Bradbury in Comments: Bread and circuses for the masses. Worked in ancient Rome, and obviously works just as well in 21st century Tasmania.

Sarah Courtney: Dawkins must stand up to O’Connor on Hawks deal

Cassy O’Connor: Questions to Answer over AFL Sponsorship Deal The Premier needs to explain to Tasmanians whether he sought advice from the tourism industry on the best brand marketing spend to promote Tasmania in light of the $20 million Hawthorn sponsorship deal. It is now clear that almost half the $20million deal is the sponsorship component, which effectively pays to have the word ‘Tasmania’ printed on a footy jumper. Without question, the Tourism Industry Council and its statewide members could have come up with a more effective, creative way to promote the state for almost $10 million over five years. Did the Liberal Government ask Hawthorn negotiators whether the team would still play at Aurora stadium - generating economic activity in Launceston - without the hefty sponsorship fee? Or did it, in its cynical desire to shore up votes in Bass, simply roll over at the negotiating table and give Hawthorn everything they asked for? On behalf of Tasmanian taxpayers and those who’ve lost their jobs or been denied services under this government, we will be asking these questions when Parliament resumes later this month.

• Chris in Comments: Goal posts to be sauced from Forestry Tasmania (fair shake of the bottle) and paid for by Tasnetworks, in voices (pun intended) will be objected to by the pensioners who will wear extra pullover to keep warm and pull the wool within over their eyes.

Paul Harriss:Public submissions on PNFEP review

Bob Brown’s picture of recent logging on Bruny Island

*Thom Mitchell, New Matilda: Flying In The Face Of Scientific Advice, Tasmanian Government Abandons Swift Parrot

The Tasmanian government has again drawn the ire of conservationists after documents obtained by The Wilderness Society ( TT here ) emerged yesterday revealing it had disengaged with the body established to save the endangered Swift Parrot while continuing to log key habitat.

The record-breaking bird flies the farthest of any parrot species for love - migrating as far as southern Queensland before returning to Tasmania each year to breed - but just 2,000 individuals remain.

Scientists estimate that, at current rates, the species’ numbers could suffer a 94 per cent collapse within 16 years if the logging doesn’t end.

But the Liberal government in Tasmania has enthusiastically approved the logging of key habitat, which is the greatest threat to the Swift Parrot’s ongoing survival, while The Wilderness Society has revealed the Hodgman government last year withdrew from recovery efforts.

Draft meeting minutes of the intergovernmental Swift Parrot Recovery Team from May last year, obtained under freedom of information, show that other members of the body have “serious concerns [over the] lack of representation by Tasmanian team members”.

The recovery team was set up to coordinate rescue efforts for the Swift Parrot, which was recently singled out by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt for special additional help after it was referred by scientists at the Australian National University for an escalation in conservation status to critically endangered.

The 2014 meeting minutes note an “urgent need for Tasmania’s environment agency to be actively involved in recovery process,” but the state government is yet to re-engage.

Earlier this year, New Matilda reported on a separate tranche of freedom of information documents which revealed the Tasmanian government had ignored the advice of its own experts and approved extensive logging of key breeding habitat.

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WEDNESDAY, August 5 ...

• Ben Cannon in Comments: Let’s do the math. Presently 5 Teams in the main season come to Tasmania for 4 matches. If we had a team it would be 12 Teams and 12 matches. Surely better for the so called Tourism draw. It would not only draw spectators from the visiting team but probably more from around the state. Also matches could be shared between the north and the south, as they’d need to be to stop any contention over who owns the state team. Any AFL team having national exposure would also be open to extra sponsors but I’m sure a few Tasmanian companies, government or private would at least be running for main sponsorship. And the government could waive the ground hire fees I’m sure as they obviously do now.