Premier Peter Gutwein is expecting a further response next week from AFL boss Gillon McLachlan on Tasmania's ongoing quest for a standalone team in the national competition.
Mr Gutwein told State Parliament today that he had had two "very constructive" conversations with Mr McLachlan in the past week.
This followed the AFL's resolution to establish an independent review into Tasmania's business case for a team - handed to the state government early last year - which would complete its work as late as early 2022. This proposed solution incensed Mr Gutwein, who has threatened not to renew the state's contracts with Hawthorn and North Melbourne if clarity isn't provided by the middle of this year.
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The Premier appears confident that he has made this point clear to Mr McLachlan in their recent conversations.
"Mr McLachlan understands very clearly the need to have the consultants' work on the Tasmanian taskforce report completed by the middle of the year," he said. "And importantly for the consultant to be someone that is seen to be independent and suitable to both the AFL and the state."
"Mr McLachlan has committed to providing an answer by the end of next week and I'll provide a further update next Friday, the 12th of March.
"I fully expect that we'll be able to move forward positively. If the AFL won't work with us, then I'll outline in the coming weeks how we will fill the weekends, both North and South, with content next year if the Hawks and North Melbourne aren't here in Tasmania."
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