The AFL approved a license for the Tasmanian team after the federal government committed $240 million in the federal budget for the renovation of the Macquarie Point venue on 9 May.
This brought the total funding to $715 million with $15 million from the AFL, $375 million from the state government and $85 million raised from commercial land sales. $130 million has also been committed from state and federal coffers for the stadium in Launceston.
The state government also agreed to underwrite the proposed new AFL team over 12 years at $12 million per year and committed $60 million for a high performance centre. The AFL has committed $360 million to Tasmanian football over the next 10 years.
“We don’t think a stadium is the right priority for Tasmanian taxpayers to fund in a health, housing and cost of living crisis,” White said.
She said that Labor wanted a Tasmanian team in the AFL, but their support was based on the business case outlined in the Tasmanian Labor Group Report led by Brett Godfrey.
“We remain strongly opposed to the stadium,” White said.
He also asked the prime minister to release details of the state’s deal with the AFL to see how the stadium and the licensing deal are linked.
There were protests against the stadium held in Hobart on Saturday.
Rockliff accused White of trying to destroy the Tasmanian AFL team in a statement released on Tuesday.
“You can’t have a Tasmanian AFL team without a new stadium, it’s as simple as that. The AFL have made it clear that we need the stadium to ensure our Tasmanian AFL team is viable in the long term,” Rockliff said.
“Any suggestion that we can have a team without a stadium is just fanciful. That will not happen.
“Without the stadium, the team is dead. As are over 4,000 jobs and billions in our economy.”
Demons face selection debate over Petty’s absence
Melbourne say star midfielder Christian Petracca looks certain to line out against the rising Power in Adelaide on Friday night, but the Demons face a selection debate over who will replace Harrison Petty.
The versatile Petty will miss up to six weeks with a midfoot sprain, giving him a chance to return to key veteran forwards Tom McDonald and Ben Brown and middle forward Jake Melksham.
The second-ranked Demons have had little trouble scoring this season — they’re averaging a competition-high 10 kickers per game — and may even be more potent if Brown or McDonald return.
Trainer Simon Goodwin said Tuesday that Petty’s loss was a blow.
“We’ve been able to play him forward and explore what it looks like to have Harrison in our front half of the field, and we’re very pleased with how that looks. He gives us tremendous flexibility and in the game we can move him back at any stage. That’s something we have to look at on our team,” Goodwin said.
“But it presents another opportunity for a striker to come in and play well, whether it’s Ben Brown, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham. We will sit down… and see what those options are.”
The Demons had a VFL bye last weekend, but Goodwin said coaches “had a bank of evidence over the last month on how the guys are going.”
Petracca hurt his ankle in a win over the Hawks, but he raced on Monday and trained in the wet on Tuesday.
“Will be available. Normally in these short weeks, if there’s a player you’re worried about, you wait until later in the week, but he’s ready to play,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin said Christian Salem (knee) has had a full month of training as part of a mini-pre-season, and is likely to play, but a call has not yet been made as to whether that was through the VFL or AFL.
The Demons were undefeated after 10 rounds last year, but have moved away from that point. Their late-game fitness was an issue, but this year they’re the best fourth-quarter team in the league and haven’t lost a final period yet. Now they face a power unit enjoying a six-game winning streak.
“We feel like we’ve been building for the last month. We’ve been very hard on some of the elements within… our game. We feel like we have most of the elements under control and in balance,” Goodwin said.
“There is no question that when you play a team like Port Adelaide on their home soil, you are going to get an audit on where you sit. We certainly feel like we’re ready for that audit and to give us some great feedback on where we are in our season.”
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