Senator Steve Martin has called on the AFL to commission new business plans for the inclusion of Tasmanian teams for men and women in the national league by 2023.
His Notice of Motion garnered the backing of the Australian Senate today. The motion reads that the Senate “expresses its support for the establishment and inclusion of a Tasmanian team in the AFL and AFLW at the soonest feasible opportunity”.
“The Notice of Motion was tabled in the Senate to spark the AFL into action to commission a business plan to have teams in Tasmania by 2023,” Senator Martin said. “The AFL must start listening to true-blue Aussie rules fans to make it a truly national competition. The issue is greater than any political ideology and I welcome the support of my colleagues in the Senate. All Tasmanian Senators backed the motion.”
The Notice of Motion states: “Some 28 years after the creation of the Australian Football League’s national competition, Tasmania remains without a team in either the men’s or women’s competitions.
“Along with Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, Tasmania is an original foundational state for Australian Rules football.
“Australian Rules football remains one of the biggest social institutions in Tasmania, and plays an important role in in the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians, as well as supporting the strength and cohesion of communities throughout the state.
“Tasmania has been a regular and proud source of talent for the AFL and AFLW since their inception.
“Despite three decades of support by the community and many politicians, including the bipartisan recommendations of a Senate Committee, the AFL has not committed to a Tasmanian AFL Team.
“Tasmanian football is at the crossroads and with limited talent pathways there is significant risk to community interest and enthusiasm which is compounded with increasing competition from other sports.”