THE LAUNCESTON City Council will look to secure Hawthorn's future at Aurora Stadium at Monday's meeting, which will put the council on a collision course with AFL Tasmania.
Mayor Albert van Zetten will move to renew the current deal (which is now in its second year) on ''its expiry'' and put forward a motion to push for a fifth game in Launceston from next season, on the basis of the economic benefits of the Hawks' relationship with the region.
However, five games at Aurora would go against AFL Tasmania's plans for top level football in this state.
''We understand AFL Tasmania has been in negotiations with the AFL, and that AFL Tasmania favours a scenario where North Melbourne Football Club, or another club, would play eight regular season games, spread across Aurora Stadium and Blundstone Arena,'' he said.
''There are major risks for Launceston under this sort of approach. Chief among them is that North Melbourne is unlikely to be able to engender the same sort of popularity among the Tasmanian community that Hawthorn has.
''A major economic benefit of the of the current arrangement has come from a number of interstate Hawthorn fans who are willing to travel to Launceston to support their club.''
Alderman van Zetten said the North Melbourne risk is magnified by its low membership base, with the Kangaroos' low Melbourne crowds likely to be replicated in Launceston.
If the motion is passed on Monday, the council will write to the AFL, AFL Tasmania, Hawthorn, the state government and the Hobart City Council to formally seek their support.
''A state government report into the economic benefits of the Hawthorn arrangement calculated a yield of some $16m per year, injected into the Launceston economy,'' Alderman van Zetten said.
'"Should those Hawthorn games be substituted with North Melbourne games, or another club's games, I believe the economic consequence for Launceston businesses would be significant.
''Substituting one preseason and four home and away Hawthorn matches at Aurora Stadium with four North Melbourne matches would deliver a significant economic loss for Launceston and Northern Tasmania.''