Tasmanian government releases details of AFL deal
Under mounting political pressure, the Tasmanian government has released details of its agreement with the AFL to build a controversial new stadium in Hobart.
Premier Jeremy Rockliff's government was forced into minority status earlier this month after Liberal MPs Lara Alexander and John Tucker quit the party over concerns about the planned $715 million arena.
But on Sunday, Rockliff made public the 134-page club funding and development agreement for Tasmania to become the AFL's 19th side.
"We committed to releasing the agreement with as much detail as possible, and that's exactly what we've done," he said.
"The agreement confirms our targeted investment that will not only deliver us our own AFL and AFLW sides, but will create over 4000 jobs and deliver massive returns to our economy - allowing us to reinvest the dividends into the areas that matter to Tasmanians."
Tasmania are set to join the AFL in 2028 and the new club will need to play at least seven home games at the new Hobart stadium, with four others available to be held at UTAS Stadium in Launceston.
The agreement states the planned 23,000-seat stadium will need to be completed by the start of Tasmania's second season in the AFL in 2029.
If the stadium is not ready to host games by then, the Tasmanian government will need to put an extra $4.5 million into an 'Operational Funding Top Up'.
If the project goes over budget then the AFL have declared it will not help out financially to finish off the build of the stadium.
"The Tasmanian government agrees that it is solely responsible for the costs to develop and construct the stadium," the contract states.
The state and federal government are funding most of the proposed Macquarie Point complex, but Rockliff said the AFL would invest $358 million back into Tasmanian football as part of the deal.
Only $15 million of that will go into stadium, but game development in the state will receive a $90 million boost, while the new club can expect $210 million over 10 years.
It comes after Tasmanian opposition leader Rebecca White last week declared Labor would campaign to have the stadium scrapped, and said she expected there would be a state election this year.
Thousands of people protested outside state parliament earlier this month, calling for the stadium to be scrapped.
Tasmania's shadow treasurer Shane Broad labelled it a "dud deal".
"It is no wonder Jeremy Rockliff kept this deal secret for so long, and make no mistake, the only reason he did release it was because his hand was forced," Broad said.
"It took the defection of two of his backbenchers and his government to be plunged into minority for him to release the details of the secret AFL deal."
Outgoing AFL boss Gillon McLachlan remains steadfast the new club "comes with a stadium".
"It's easy to oppose things, it's easy to point to alternate uses of capital," McLachlan said on Tuesday.
"But actually the business case around this is about tourism, construction, economic impact, pride.
"But in the end, I think Tasmania wants an AFL team.
"The deal is funded, and I'll let the politics play out day-to-day."