CORPORATES HAVE STOLEN GAME
THE AFL has taken their eye off the ball.
Look at their language. It's not a game, it's a product. It's not a sport, it's an industry.
Fair enough at the elite and commercial level, use those terms by all means.
At the grassroots and country/suburban club level, it's still a game. Our game.
Those who run it are all volunteers, mums and dads and many others in their 50s, 60s and 70s. They don't wear suits.
They wear their hearts on their sleeves and are industrious to a fault.
Here in the traditional heartland, they love to see a young champion succeed.
At the elite level that seems to be the primary focus. Get a player drafted and suddenly the health of the game is in great shape. Well, it's not. Far from it.
We want to invest money into stadiums and sporting precincts that the average player will never set foot on. York Park is a classic.
It's our stadium but don't dare seek to play on it. The MCG averages two to three games a week during the footy season.
York Park might average that over two months.
The corporates have stolen our game. Yes, it's entertaining but ultimately something is rotten in footy land.
We are being kept at arm's length by an industry that despite COVID-19 is flooded with money.
It's as if the incessant noise you hear at a game during breaks is designed to overwhelm us, dare we, the punters, take a little time and space to reflect.
Heaven forbid that we are allowed to be anything other than consumers.
Tony Newport, Hillwood.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO CASH
TWENTY-SEVEN years ago I had a bet with a mate that Tasmania wouldn't have a team in the AFL by the year 2000.
I wish I had refreshed the bet every year since. I'd be drinking free beer forever.
Tassie will never have a team in the AFL for one simple reason: money.
We're too small a market.
That's why they're investing millions every year in the Gold Coast - the population is all that matters.
The only hope we have is if they decide on a two-tier competition, with annual two club relegation and promotion.
That would involve the poorest performing four clubs being joined in a second-tier by Tasmania, NT, ACT and New Zealand.
But can you imagine an AFL board ever relegating four clubs to a second-tier competition? I can't.
Gary Bakker, Upper Rosevears.
NORTHERN PRISON IMPACTS
THE recent report by national property analysts is of interest and sheds light on the view held by some that economic growth in Westbury is due to the impending arrival of the Northern Regional Prison.
On the contrary, Westbury is not even on the list of the top 33 best performing town property markets while 19-kilometres west, Deloraine holds the position of the second-fastest growing township in Tasmania.
Could it possibly be that people aren't buying in Westbury due to the prison?
Anna Hunt, Westbury.
MISPLACED SPENDING PRIORITIES
THE LNP government is vexing over where it will find the $500 million needed to conduct a complete overhaul of the aged care system as recommended by the most recent royal commission.
No problems were voiced concerning an equivalent $500 million that has been spent updating the Australian War Memorial in Canberra let alone the blow out $90 billion to be spent on futuristic submarines.
Surely our elderly and their families deserve priority over jingoistic displays of nationalism and defence procurement that lies in an ever-changing political and technological future.
Rod Fenner, East Launceston.
RESPECT FOR OTHERS' CHOICES
THANK you to Sarah Courtney for the great job she is doing in the debate on the End of Life Choices (VAD) Bill.
She is showing her compassion and respect for the end of life choices of people and their doctors and other health practitioners.
So are the great majority of MPs in the House of Assembly in the same way as all legislative councillors.
Michael Ferguson has made no statement of respect for individuals' choices.
Instead, in the debate on March 2, he showed concern for the tiny group of doctors in the AMA who want to be given a greater say than anyone else and to be given power over the choices of patients and other doctors.
Thank you to the MPs who are showing respect for people's choices to request or provide voluntary assisted dying.
Margaret Sing, West Hobart.
CITY'S HEART AND SOUL
THE heart and soul of proud and progressive Launceston is the Tamar River.
I've been a regular visitor for over 30 years and am horrified to see the neglect of this beautiful asset.
The mud at low tide is such an eyesore.
Does this affect the tourist cruises, the private boats, the rowers?
I see "fix the mud" signs everywhere.
Launceston, what is stopping you?
My husband and I drove to Beaconsfield and took in that lovely road through Rosevears along the river.
A local showed us the rice grass which is choking the river, not a native grass and one in which water birds cannot nest.
Launceston, I'm told there is a solution.
Rice grass cannot live in freshwater.
On our last day walking the boardwalk in the early morning there were obvious signs of sewerage in the river.
Words fail me.
For the sake of your grandchildren and future generations please save your beautiful Tamar River.