LAUNCESTON Mayor Albert van Zetten has rejected claims that the value of Tasmania's two AFL club deals has dwindled, saying the deal with Hawthorn is worth $58 million a year to the state's economy.
The $15 million, five-year state government sponsorship deal with Hawthorn and the state-owned TT- Line agreement with North Melbourne has been questioned by the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania.
It has called for an independent cost-benefit analysis to be conducted before the new Liberal government enters any new contracts.
Alderman van Zetten said there was no evidence to suggest that the economic boost from games played in Launceston had fallen away.
"While a 2007 report found the Hawthorn deal injected some $7million into the state's economy, there is a September 2010 report prepared for Tourism Tasmania by Price Waterhouse Coopers that takes a very different view," he said.
"That report, finalised in September 2010, found the economic benefit of AFL games in Tasmania was $57.9 million a year.
"I find it troubling that we have a peak tourism body referring to a seven-year-old report when it must be aware of the newer, 2010 report by Price Waterhouse Coopers."
Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said an updated report was being prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers, reviewing the direct and indirect impact of AFL in Tasmania such as employment, tourism, socio-economic costs and benefits. He said the 2010 report showed that a higher proportion of visitors - 39 per cent in 2010 - were spending an average 3.6 nights in the city.
"It is of concern when people who reportedly represent the tourism industry in the state on matters that are of huge strategic and economic performance to Tasmania, to Northern Tasmania, and to the city of Launceston, are quoting figures that are so far out," Mr Dobrzynski said.