Lambie urges premier to reject AFL stadium deal as thousands protest against it

Lambie urges premier to reject AFL stadium deal as thousands protest against it

Thousands of people gathered at Hobart’s parliament lawns to protest against the proposed construction of a $715 million AFL stadium at Macquarie Point on the waterfront. The stadium has been a controversial issue since it was proposed last year, with the Tasmanian Labor and Greens parties opposing it due to concerns over the government’s allocation of funds. However, the deal was sealed after the federal government announced that it would contribute $240 million towards the redevelopment of the entire Macquarie Point precinct. The AFL also granted Tasmania the 19th license, with hopes of having a team by 2028.

The controversy surrounding the stadium led to two conservative state Liberal backbenchers quitting the party and sitting on the crossbenches, causing the once majority Liberal government to become a minority government. The Greens leader, Cassy O’Connor, addressed the protesters and stated that the AFL deal had brought the government to its knees. She also announced that when parliament returns on May 23rd, the Greens will move to knock the stadium off and defund any stadium funding in the upcoming state budget.

Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie also spoke at the rally, stating that Tasmania could not afford to build a new stadium when people were waiting for hours in accident and emergency departments and sleeping in tents due to a lack of housing. Author Richard Flanagan also addressed the crowd, stating that the AFL deal had united Tasmanians against the proposed stadium.

Despite the protests, the government has stood by its decision to build the stadium, stating that it is committed to delivering important state-building projects such as this. However, many diehard football fans want a Tasmanian team but not the Mac Point stadium. The controversy surrounding the stadium highlights the ongoing debate over how governments allocate funds and prioritize projects.


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