What the candidates in Bass told Our Place about their voting intentions

Over the past two months people from every corner of the state have taken a pledge to exercise their vote to put the health and welfare of all Tasmanians before the arrogant demands of the AFL.

To help you honour that pledge, we asked every candidate one simple question:

If elected, will you vote for the use of public funds (costing $ hundreds of millions) for construction of a new stadium for AFL in Tasmania?

This is how they responded:

Roshan Dhingra – Labor No I am all for an AFL team, but we as a state do not have the money to justify the current expense while so many Tasmanians rightly have higher priorities. I cannot support this proposal.
Cecily Rosol – Greens No The Tasmanian Greens do not support the investment of many hundreds of millions taxpayer dollars in the construction of a new stadium in Tasmania. Tasmania has several stadiums in which AFL, and other sports, are routinely played. While we strongly support an AFL and ALFW team, we believe they should play in the existing stadiums and be based in Launceston. York Park is one of the best playing surfaces in the country and has hosted AFL games for well over a decade. The Greens support the pledged $130 m upgrade to York Park and have formally proposed it be the ‘Home of football’.
Ivan Davis – Animal Justice Party No I don’t think this is a serious proposal because I understand that the business case does not add up. It is likely the proposal is something to divert our attention from the mismanagement of far more serious issues in the hope the current government can remain in power.
Jack Davenport – Independent No Close Ashley; it costs less, and will save more.
Tim Walker – Independent No The vast majority of Tasmanians passionately support the creation of a Tasmanian AFL team. It is a travesty that this good will and spirit has been co-opted into a divisive plan to drain the government coffers and pit Tasmanian against Tasmanian. As a proud Northern Tasmanian I also have grave concerns for the future of AFL football in Launceston, as we have no guarantees that support will continue once a stadium is built in Hobart. I support a more moderate plan for a Hobart stadium, or perhaps the privatised model, but ideally six games in the North and six in the South.
Rebekah Pentland – Jacqui Lambie Network No I have listened to the people of Bass. If elected, it is my job to act with their best interests at heart. My opinion does not matter, I am to advocate for the people of Bass. In this case, I am lucky that my opinion on the stadium aligns with the majority of the people that live in Bass.
Angela Armstrong – Jacqui Lambie Network No Like the Geelong Cats did with Kardinya Park, making it the best regional stadium in the AFL, York Park in the State’s north could easily and far more cheaply be transformed in the same way.
Ludwig Johnson – Jacqui Lambie Network No I support the establishment of a Tasmanian AFL team, but I don’t agree with the way that the Government has gone about choosing the location for the stadium, or the budget accuracy and who should be footing bill. I believe we have bigger problems that need our attention first. Problems like health, housing and education. The state’s deficit is also continuing to grow and the Government is yet to propose any solutions for how that will be managed. So any investment decisions must be balanced against that backdrop as well.
Mark Brown – Independent No It is wrong to prioritise a potentially billion dollar stadium in the middle of a health, housing and cost of living crisis.

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Some questions you may be pondering:

What if I vote for the Liberal Party?

In your electorate (and in every electorate around the State), every Liberal Party candidate failed to respond. We know the Liberal Party publicly advocates for a stadium at Macquarie Point. For more information on their position, we looked to the Premier’s Media Conference of 15 February and his undertaking to cap stadium spending at $375M. Click below to refresh your memory on our thoughts about that.

What if I vote for the Labor Party?

Across the entire state, only two ALP candidates took the time to respond. One ticked the NO box and one ticked the UNCOMMITTED box – not a reflection of a tightly held party position. Again, we looked to the stated party position – to renegotiate the deal. On 12th March 2024 the Labor leader announced her party would see how the AFL Team went before committing to a stadium. This leaves the door open for a decision to be made in favour of a stadium in Hobart at any point in time the ALP – if in government – decides is the right time. In light of continuing AFL arrogance and intransigence, we wonder whether a vote for Labor might turn out to be a vote for a stadium? 


What if I vote for one of the minor parties?

Minor party candidates were more responsive than either of the majors.

We recommend that, when reading the results for the minor parties, you ensure that the candidate’s comments are consistent with their declared position. And, as with the Labor responses, have an eye to the party’s capacity to hold a consistent line.

Most of the minor parties have websites you can visit that set out policy positions on other issues that are important to you. Beware fake sites – some groups have stooped pretty low in this campaign and created sites in the name of other parties setting out fake policy positions. And while the Our Place campaign is about a stadium, we would not encourage people to vote for NO STADIUM parties that hold other policy positions likely to cause harm to Tasmanian communities or individuals.


What if I vote for an Independent?

It was only amongst the Independents that we found any YES responses.

As with the minor party candidates we recommend that, when reading the results, you ensure that the candidate’s comments are consistent with their declared position (e.g. you decide if a NO sits comfortably with: “I support a more moderate plan for a Hobart stadium, or perhaps the privatised model … ”).

And we recommend that, where you are considering parking your vote with an Independent who will vote NO for a stadium, you take the time to find out more about them. Our campaign is about a stadium but we would not encourage people to vote for NO STADIUM candidates who hold other policy positions likely to cause harm to Tasmanian communities or individuals.

Vote to spend our money on houses and hospitals, not a stadium!