Published: 28 November 2018

Legislative Council Tuesday 20 November, 2018

Ms  FORREST  (Murchison) - Mr President, I reiterate the comments made by the member for Mersey.

When I read this motion initially, I felt the clear question is:  who is this trying to influence?  The Government has clearly said it would back a Tasmanian team.  The Opposition has said that.  The AFL has made it really clear what its views are, and I do not think a rocket is going to change them.  The member for Windermere's contribution on this issue was really emotive and has much value in getting these points across and identifying the challenges, the issues and the fact that so many people back it, which we all know.

Saul Eslake has been out there for a long time.  I have reservations about a Tasmanian team.  I am a Kangaroo supporter and paid-up member and I go to games when I can.  I am also proudly a foundation member of the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos women's team and hopefully I will be going to the two games in February.  I encourage all others to go.

This issue is not a parliamentary inquiry matter.  There is little benefit to be had and, as the member for Mersey said, there are costs associated when potentially the Government cannot really respond.  They can respond and say they agree we should have our own team, and then what?  I accept a lot of taxpayer money is going into football in Tasmania.  The Hawks always get a very good deal; it is a bit of a secret how much the Kangaroos get. 

I have a couple of questions I hope are answered this week.  I sent them in 10, 11 or 12 days ago, and I am sure someone is listening in the Leader's office who might see fit to answer them.  When you read the TT-Line annual report, members will see why I am asking these questions.

There is Consolidated Fund or Public Account money from the taxpayer to Hawthorn, a sponsorship deal through TT-Line with the Kangaroos, different issues, different ways of supporting it.  Even if the direct financial support funding deal with Hawthorn were not renewed by the Government, we could still see TT-Line or another GBE arrange a sponsorship deal with another team.  If you want to sponsor a team to bring people across to Tasmania for games, it makes sense to sponsor a Melbourne team or a team going to have to get across that bit of water one way or another.  Some use the plane, some people use the boat, and they can offer deals in various ways.

I think the issues raised and the contribution made by the member for Windermere is a motion debating why we should have our own Tasmanian team.  In some respects, it pre-empts any findings of the committee, because a decision has already been made by, not just the member for Windermere, but a whole heap of people who are listed, including the Government.  I do not see the value in an inquiry.  I commend the member for putting the information he has on the record.  He could send that to Gill and see what he has to say.  I do not think it is going to change his mind, as much as a committee report with all the time extents and effort that is required to do that - I do not think Gill McLachlan is going to hold that in high regard.

If the Premier cannot convince him, I do not think a parliamentary committee report will have much hope.  The Premier has been very vocal, and I commend him on his actions because he has not been shy in backing away.  Good on him.

I do not think this is the best use of taxpayers' money and resources, because it takes a lot of resourcing from this place to resource committees.  There is certainly value in them, but the benefit from the debate about this issue is as effective as a committee inquiry but it will cost a whole lot more and take up more time and resources of members and staff in this place when a committee's report is to the parliament, not to the AFL.

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