In short: Parklands on Hobart’s eastern shore surrounding Rosny College and the Eastlands shopping centre are set to be announced as the locations for a high-performance centre for a new Tasmanian AFL club.
Clarence City Council’s preferred option is for the primary oval to be built at Charles Hand Park and a secondary oval at the Rosny parklands.
What’s next: the new training base is set to be announced by the state government on Friday.
Parklands on Hobart’s eastern shore are set to be announced as the $70 million training base for a Tasmanian AFL club.
The ABC understands Charles Hand Park at Rosny and the former Rosny golf course will be announced by the state government as the site for the new team’s high-performance centre and training base on Friday morning.
Clarence City Council’s plan for the area surrounding the Eastlands shopping centre and Rosny College has long been considered the frontrunner for the high-performance centre.
Kingborough Council lodged a bid to house it at an expanded Twin Ovals site.
The plan submitted to the state government contained two options, with the preferred one identifying Charles Hand Park next to Rosny College as the preferred site for the centre’s primary oval, training and administration buildings, with a second oval located on the former golf course.
Kingborough Mayor Paula Wriedt said she had not heard anything since putting her council’s proposal to the state government last week and was increasingly resigned to the high-performance centre being built on the other side of the river.
“I think realistically we always knew we were going to be up against it because Clarence was always touted as the frontrunner from the start.
“But I felt confident that if we were unable to demonstrate a very solid business case, which we have done, that we might be in with a chance of the Twin Ovals hosting the high-performance centre,” Ms Wriedt said.
“I would be very disappointed for our community if we weren’t selected but let’s just hope it can be built then at Rosny in the time frame that the government needs it to be built.”
Tasmania’s AFL licence is contingent upon a new stadium and a high-performance centre.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)
‘Challenges’ at Rosny site
She said the Rosny site had a “lot of construction challenges”, while Kingborough could easily achieve completion by late 2025.
“I think if you look at a range of factors like the need for rezoning at Rosny as well as the development application process, combined with the challenges of the site that they have at Rosny, they have a number of easements that are over it, they have a lot of vegetation that they have to cut down, they have potentially a skate park they need to remove in order to accommodate an oval across the road,” Ms Wriedt said.
“That’s where we were confident Kingborough had a distinct advantage in terms of being able to deliver what the AFL and state government were able to achieve.
“I’m disappointed that we potentially haven’t managed to secure this, but importantly, I’m disappointed for our community and particularly the sports clubs that already do play in what is regarded as one of the premier sporting precincts in the state.”
Then-AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan announced Tasmania’s AFL licence at North Hobart Oval.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)
New centre’s economic benefits
A report by SGS Economics and Planning found the new centre would generate positive economic impacts during its construction and operation, predicting it would create 255 jobs each year from 2028.
Clarence City Council voted seven votes to five last week to host the high-performance centre.
A recent council survey found 68 per cent of respondents from the Clarence area were supportive of the council becoming the new club’s training base.
The AFL and state government have signed a contract for the new AFL team to start playing matches in 2028 and at a new Macquarie Point roofed stadium in 2029.
The deal is subject to the contentious stadium being built, with the government’s proposal currently being assessed by the state’s planning commission.
Clarence Mayor Brendan Blomeley and the state government declined to comment.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC