Image for Libs’ footy fight

There are divisions within the Tasmanian Liberal Party over a proposal to play AFL games in Hobart.

Premier David Bartlett met last month with officials from the Richmond Football Club to discuss the possibility of games at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval.

In a statement at the time, Liberal candidate for the north-eastern seat of Bass Steve Titmus said those who want AFL games in Hobart should ‘pull their parochial heads in’.

However Liberals candidate for the southern seat of Franklin Jane Howlett says it is a worthy idea.

“I have to disagree with Steve there; we do have a great home in Bellerive as well for AFL games,” she said.

“My understanding of the proposal was that no games or money are going to be taken away from Launceston, and I absolutely support Launceston keeping all of its AFL commitments.”

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TASMANIA’S southern councils have banded together in support of AFL matches being played at Bellerive Oval.

And they have rubbished suggestions it is a betrayal of deals done by past governments.

The AFL’s decision to look at getting games into Hobart has again polarised the north and south of the state.

Richmond, North Melbourne and Melbourne have registered interest with Cricket Tasmania and Tigers chief executive Brendon Gale recently met Premier David Bartlett.

The State Government will soon begin re-negotiating the $16.4 million deal under which Hawthorn plays four matches each year at Aurora Stadium.

The deal expires at the end of next year but Mr Bartlett has stated the No. 1 priority is securing at least four Hawks games in Launceston.

However, Launceston MLC Don Wing and Aurora Stadium chiefs have labelled the southern push as a betrayal of both the northern half of the state and of former premier Jim Bacon.

Acting Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman yesterday urged his northern counterparts to stop playing the parochialism card and instead unite to ultimately deliver Tasmania more of the AFL product.

Ald Chipman had support from Hobart Lord Mayor Rob Valentine, Huon Valley Mayor Robert Armstrong, Southern Midlands Mayor Tony Bisdee, Brighton general manager Ron Sanderson, Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans and acting Kingborough Mayor Steve Wass.

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