Question - Utas/York Park Contract
Wednesday 26 October 2022, Question without notice
Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
(1) The Launceston City Council has a draft future directions plan for York Park/UTAS Stadium 2021 with a plan to take the seating capacity up to 27 500. Is this still on track to occur?
(2) If a new stadium is constructed in the state's south, will the increased seating capacity for York Park/UTAS Stadium still go ahead?
(3) Will UTAS retain naming rights to the stadium in Launceston?
(4) If so, how long will the university retain naming rights?
(5) If the answers to questions (3) and (4) are yes, has UTAS entered into a contract with the Tasmanian Government and/or paid the amount required to purchase naming rights for a period; and
(6) Furthermore, can you disclose what price the university has paid, or will pay, to purchase naming rights and the term of the contract?
(1) During the 2021 state election, the Government committed to establish Stadiums Tasmania as well as committing funding for the redevelopment of UTAS Stadium.
The Government's election commitment, as it relates to UTAS Stadium, includes: pursuing a major $200 million upgrade of the UTAS Stadium in Launceston, including increased capacity, the establishment of rectangular stadium functionality and an indoor basketball/netball centre, as per the plans that were developed by the City of Launceston Council. Also, stage 1 of the project will deliver major development works at the UTAS Stadium, with the indoor multi‑sports facility to be delivered as a second stage as advised in the 2022 State of the State Address.
Progressing stage 1 of the project has been based on a matched contribution of $65 million from the Australian Government for a total cost of $130 million. Discussions have commenced with the new Australian Government around funding for the project.
The state Government is currently considering options to undertake staged development works at the stadium within the available budget. The Launceston City Council is being consulted on these options which include increasing capacity at the stadium. The Tasmanian Government remains committed to its 2021 election commitment. However, progression of the remaining stage 1 works, beyond the state Government's $65 million, and any further works will require funding from the Australian Government.
(2) The two projects are independent but complementary of each other. Facility upgrades to UTAS Stadium and Dial Park are part of the broader strategy to support an AFL team which complements the proposed arts, entertainment and sporting precinct in the south and will ensure games can be played across the state. The upgrade to UTAS Stadium will support a Tasmanian AFL and AFLW team and provide appropriate player and spectator facilities in the north. The improved facilities will also help ensure Launceston can host more events, whether sporting or otherwise, that can be attracted to the state.
(3) A new naming rights deal has been negotiated between the City of Launceston and the University of Tasmania. The Stadiums Tasmania Amendment (Transfers) Bill 2022 anticipates the novation of contracts, including agreements of this nature.
(4) This question needs to be directed to the City of Launceston as the stadium's owner. The Tasmanian Government is not a party to this agreement. The ownership transfer of the stadium from the City of Launceston to the Tasmanian Government is subject to the passage of the transfers bill and the decision by the City of Launceston and the Tasmanian Government to transfer the stadium.
(5) The naming rights deal has been negotiated between the City of Launceston and the University of Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government is not a party to this deal. However, it is expected that the agreement will be novated on the agreed transfer date.
(6) This question needs to be directed to the City of Launceston as the stadium's owner. The Tasmanian Government is not a party to this agreement.