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Select Committee on AFL in Tasmania - Final Report consideration & noting

[4.46 p.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I will make a short contribution to the noting of the report. I appreciate hearing from the member for Mersey because it is good to hear a different opinion. Obviously people on the committee will have the right opinion of the findings and recommendations that go through.

I am probably a little bit in the middle. I have never really seen the benefit of a Tasmanian team and I have concerns, but I have spoken to some of the members of the committee and they convinced me somewhat that there certainly is merit. I also take onboard the comment that it is not just who you go for, or whether you go for the team, it is whether you are prepared to put your hand in your pocket and actually be a paying member of that team. It is very important not just that you support them, but that you financially support them.

I think it is questionable whether people in Tasmania would actually change over, as the member for Mersey alluded to - for example, I go for Collingwood and Richmond is my second team, but Hawthorn is my team when they are playing here, so I have a variety. Obviously, if there was a Tasmanian team, well, I would have more teams, but it would not replace my main team. I agree with the member for Mersey there. I have always gone for Collingwood. Since the days when Nathan Buckley played, I was probably someone who was like, 'Okay, I like the players in that team.'. I like Dustin Martin, I think he is a great player as well, and I tend to go for a team with players I actually like watching, those who I think are really skilled and play a good game.

I cannot see that I would - well, I would support a Tasmanian team playing but they would not be my team as such. Would I financially support them by joining up as a member? That is doubtful. I certainly appreciate the comments and the submissions put in by a variety of people and I was also interested in regard to the survey that went out and the number of people who responded. It is a good response in some ways for a survey because many times we are apathetic and people simply do not bother responding. On the other hand, if you look at the number of people in the state, the number of people who responded was not that high.

I appreciate the evidence and the findings we have before us. I appreciate the findings of the committee. I seem to be agreeing with the member for Mersey quite a bit here, but my other concern with committees is the money we spend on them. We know that nothing occurs for free and every committee costs money. When you actually hold a committee, there is a variety of costs across the parliament, and I saw this almost as a repetition of what was happening in another arena. I had concerns about this committee continuing. Obviously the committee has gone some way to putting some evidence together.

As the member for Windermere pointed out, Hobart would be the base. I am always parochial - I make no apology for being parochial - but I understand why the capital city would have to actually be the base for a team.

If you are bringing people in to Tasmania and they are going to stay here, they have to be able to get jobs and they need a base so that it is possibly more attractive to them to relocate . While I am normally parochial, in this case I understand why that is the case.

I appreciate that the games would be split between the north and the south. I understand the member for McIntyre believes Campbell Town would be a good place. I am not sure we could afford to build a stadium there, but at least you would be able to park your car, which is something you cannot do at Bellerive. I have heard on a number of occasions that the real headache at Bellerive is the parking. You can get a bus sometimes. At one stage the bus broke down on the way back. I think it is a nightmare. It is also a nightmare for the people who live near Bellerive. We have to be considerate not just of people who want to go to the football but also the people who live near the stadium on a day an AFL game is played.

I am sure it is not quite the same when cricket is played. Whenever I have watched a cricket game on television, the stands do not look that full so they might not have the same problem with parking for cricket as they do for AFL.

I do not believe we should be spending money on Macquarie Point because I think enough money has been spent on Macquarie Point. I certainly do not believe we should spend money on another football stadium when we have two adequate stadiums in the state even though one has no parking. Perhaps a light train coming from the city to Bellerive would sort out that situation.

I acknowledge and note the report. I thank the committee. I am sure its members put in a lot of hard work. We all know that when you are on a committee, you have briefings and there are submissions and witnesses, and a great deal of work needs to be done. I appreciate the report that has been handed down.

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