Media Release 29 February 2024

Our Place – Hobart’s Richard Flanagan calls on the Tasmanian Football Club to not play politics with the launch of Tasmania’s AFL team until after the election

“Club chair Grant O’Brien needs to decide if the Tasmanian AFL team team is going to play in the Tassie green and gold or Liberal Party blue,” Our Place – Hobart’s Richard Flanagan said. “Mr O’Brien has to decide if its going to be a Tassie team or a Liberal team, if its going to be the Tassie devils or the Liberal lap dogs. His job is to build support for a Tassie team not destroy it by giving a massive free kick to the Liberal Party in the hope it helps get the Macquarie Point stadium built. It’s divisive and destructive of the team he’s meant to be building.”

“The reality is Tasmanians desperately need their government to spend the billion dollars plus of our money that the stadium will cost on health, homes and education,” Mr Flanagan said.

Our Place – Hobart’s spokesperson Roland Browne said, “Mr O’Brien once ran Woollies and knows exactly what he’s doing.  Mr O’Brien must stop politicising our AFL Club and get back to the job he is meant to be doing: making this team one of which all Tasmanians can be proud.”

Mr Browne said, “Even the Premier knows it is blatant political bias, which is why he’s trying to have it both ways publicly asking for the launch to be deferred, but no doubt very happy with Mr O’Brien deciding to have it just five days before the election anyway.”

Mr Browne said, “The idea that the contract was brought down by Moses from the mountaintop and cannot be changed is a nonsense – all deals are negotiable and this one has already been broken by placing the AFL high performance centre outside of the Hobart CBD. And what did the AFL say or do? Nothing.”

“And now that the Premier is abandoning the launch, then Mr O’Brien must postpone. Mr O’Brien needs to prepare for the inevitable: a Tasmanian team based out of Launceston, a Tasmanian team for all Tasmanians and not just one party,” Mr Browne said.