Sustaining Tasmanian sports facilities an 'ongoing issue'

The state government-controlled Silverdome would be one of the venues considered by an audit. Picture: Scott Gelston
The state government-controlled Silverdome would be one of the venues considered by an audit. Picture: Scott Gelston

Tasmania needs a comprehensive audit of its sporting facilities to see if they can be more sustainable, Deputy Opposition Leader Michelle O’Byrne says.

And it could change who foots the bill for venue maintenance costs.

Sustaining sports facilities is an issue both Ms O’Byrne and Premier Will Hodgman have recognised in Tasmania.

Ms O’Byrne said a previous Sport and Recreation Tasmania facilities audit focused on what the state has on offer.

Her proposal was to create an audit into the use of each venue, including how it could be best sustained.

That would mean looking into which level of government maintained or controlled different community facilities. The Silverdome is a state government-controlled venue while aquatic centres are traditionally managed by local councils.

Ms O’Byrne said an audit would investigate whether they would be more sustainable under different management.

“The discussion needs to be had about where does the liability fall for maintenance costs.”

Sporting venues weren’t created to make a profit and it was unrealistic to expect one to be made, she said.

Instead the focus should be on sustaining them for people to be able to use and enjoy as they were important features in a community, Ms O’Byrne said.

Mr Hodgman said he believed sports facilities were the lifeblood of Tasmanian communities.

However, sustaining them was an “ongoing issue” across the state, he said.

If venues were allowed to continue to degenerate, it would create a barrier for people wanting to be involved in more sporting activities, he said.

“It is also less reason for these facilities to be economically and socially viable.”

“The reality is the more people we get participating, the better engagement we get with peak organisations, with councils, with sporting bodies across the state, the more sustainable they will be for the long term,” Mr Hodgman said.

“They are so important for increasing participation and building a healthier lifestyle.”