Our long-term aim should be for a Tasmanian AFL team
However, in the short-term, we cannot afford to lose Hawthorn
Concern over Labor secrecy on AFL business case
The business case for a Tasmanian AFL team - that the Government did not want made public - shows that the long-term aim of entering the AFL is not beyond us. The business case appears sound, however the main obstacle remains this secretive, bungling Government. They have a history of making a mess of major reforms and projects and now they are blocking taxpayers’ from having basic information about this push.
Just look at water and sewerage reforms, the natural gas roll-out, the TOTE sale, the management of rail to name a few. This is a Government that has a reputation for not delivering.
Already, there are signs that Tasmania’s bid for an AFL team is losing some steam.
For a start, there appears to be no ongoing dialogue with the AFL. Without ongoing discussions with the AFL and the AFL’s CEO, a Tasmanian team will not get past first base.
The lack of transparency from Government on the business case is also not a good sign. If the government wants to bring the people of Tasmania with it on this campaign to secure a Tasmanian AFL team, then it has to be open and honest with taxpayers.
That the Government initially blocked the release of this report is a sign that absolutely nothing has changed about the way Labor does business, after 11 long years of secrecy and backroom deals.
The other concern is that the Government may take its eye off the ball and lose Hawthorn or at the very least damage the current relationship. Our long-term aim should be for a Tasmanian AFL team, but in the short-term we cannot afford to and must not lose Hawthorn. Our partnership with Hawthorn is vital in showing the rest of the country that not only is AFL viable in Tasmania, it is absolutely thriving.
The Government compromised this relationship with the ham-fisted and ill-conceived manner in which the Premier contemplated putting the Hawthorn deal out to tender; only to back down in the face of a furious public reaction.
Labor’s handing of the Hawthorn issue, and its attempts to block the release of the business case for a Tasmanian AFL team, do not inspire confidence about its ability to manage AFL in Tasmania for the future.