With under one week to go in the election, the Liberal Party has produced its own advertising football in an attempt to increase pressure on Labor over its $25 million funding promise to help establish an AFL team in Tasmania.
But Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck refused to answer why the coalition government had, in 2019, provided $15 million each to the Sydney Swans, Adelaide Crows and Brisbane Lions for capital works while at the same time criticising funding for Tasmania.
Labor's Tasmanian funding promise was conditional on a successful business case.
In April, Liberal Party candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma faced a backlash for hosting a funding announcement at the SCG when he was not the local member. The $15 million was for the Swans' Moore Park training centre.
In March, the coalition announced it had funded $15 million for the Adelaide Crows to establish new headquarters in the city centre, while in January the Brisbane Lions was told it would receive $15 million for its training facility at Springfield.
The coalition government also chipped in $15 million for the Princes Park redevelopment in Melbourne, a project that would turn the historic ground into the home of AFLW.
The funding commitments have already been budgeted.
When asked about the funding comparisons, Senator Colbeck said they had other priorities for Tasmania.
"We've clearly demonstrated our priorities here in Tasmania, and our priorities were to invest in health, jobs and the Tasmanian way of life, not an AFL team in Hobart, and certainly not in MONA," he said.
More on the push for an AFL team in Tasmania:
- Caroline Wilson in-depth: Tide turning for Tassie AFL team
- New Football Tasmania board announced as Hawthorn and North Melbourne deals approach renewal
- Legislative Council inquiry into Tasmanian AFL team to proceed
- AFL CEOs discuss standalone Tassie team
- Gillon McLachlan says Tasmania deserves an AFL team
Labor's AFL and MONA funding promises have formed the basis of the Liberal Party pitch to Tasmanian voters ahead of the election.
The Nationals launched a website to gauge community interest in an AFL team for Tasmania at the start of the election campaign.
The Liberal Party's football - adorned with "$25m for health not $25m for Hobart AFL" - was handballed between Senator Colbeck and the candidates for Bass and Braddon during a media event in Kings Meadows on Sunday.
The Liberals met at the Kings Meadows Community Health Centre which was included in the party's $25 million North and North-West health funding package.
When asked if Tasmanians could consider their health system well funded, Senator Colbeck said it was doubtful that Labor could do a better job.
"I think it's disingenuous for Labor to think that they can now see the health system better under them," he said.
"We've brought the budget back to surplus next year and when the budget is strong, the economy is strong, you have the resources to invest in the things that are important to Australians."
Bass Labor MHR Ross Hart said health funding in Tasmania would be lower under the Liberals compared with Labor.