The Hobart Mercury today reported that “AFL legend Mick Malthouse on Saturday made an emotional plea to AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon to reconsider that hard-line stance given the certain cost blowout and the Liberal government’s $375 million funding cap on a new stadium.”

On ABC Radio he told Dillon he was “enforcing a billion dollar stadium on people from a small state that doesn’t need it” and putting financial pressure on “every person that lives in Tasmania.”

Spokesperson for Our Place, Mr Roland Browne, today said, “Mick Malthouse is yet again kicking goals, reminding everybody that the AFL is far from united in its cruel and entirely unnecessary demand that no new stadium means no new team.” 

Mr Malthouse’s comments follow on from former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett’s damming criticism of the new Hobart stadium deal, saying it should be dropped as Tasmania couldn’t afford it and that the Tassie team should instead be based out of the existing York Park stadium in Launceston.

Mr Browne said Mr Malthouse’s comments were similar to others that his group are increasingly hearing from an increasing number of high placed AFL club leaders and identities who recognise that the stadium won’t get built but that the Tassie team is now a reality and the two existing Tassie stadia that Tasmania have work well.

The new Hobart stadium was, according to Mr Browne, former CEO Gil MacLachlan’s legacy project, but that doesn’t mean the AFL is united behind the now departed CEO.

“The new billion dollar Hobart stadium meant a lot to a man with an $11 million home. Unfortunately it also will cost those Tasmanians without a home or adequate health care more than they can afford.”

“We are the poorest and smallest state with the biggest problems. The stadium is not a solution but a vanity project that never made any sense and which threatens to bankrupt an already impoverished state with terrible consequences for us all,” said Roland Browne.