Premier Peter Gutwein says he is willing to risk having no AFL games played in Tasmania next year as he seeks commitment to a pathway for a state-based team.
Mr Gutwein on Friday responded to the Carter report on expansion of the league in Tasmania which included three options: a 19th team licence for Tasmania, relocated of a Melbourne club to the state, or for a club to enter into a sharing arrangement with Tasmania.
He said the government's preference was the first option, though it was open to consideration on the second option.
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"Being part of the Tasmanian fabric and the local economy, and providing a pathway for our local competitions and players, that's what we want from our own team," Mr Gutwein said.
"Just like what occurs in every other state around the country."
Mr Gutwein said the third option essentially did not change the arrangement Tasmania already had with Hawthorn and North Melbourne, and as such, was off the table for Tasmania.
"We want to run and operate our own team," he said.
"We don't want to rent one."
AFL head Gillon McLachlan said relocation of an existing team or a joint venture arrangement would produce a more sustainable outcome and should be considered before a 19th licence.
He said the AFL and clubs should not be expected to open up to new financial risks while the industry was under pressure.
The report found a Tasmanian club would be sustainable should it receive $17 million annually from the AFL and funding of between $7 million and $11 million from the state government.
It said the cost of running an AFL club was about $31 million each year, with COVID adding a $3 million to $5 million hit.
Mr Gutwein said it was disappointing that the AFL did not provide a timeline to implement findings of the review.
"Once again they have attempted to kick the can down the road," he said.
Mr Gutwein said the government would not roll over contracts with Hawthorn and North Melbourne for the next 12 months unless the AFL committed to a timeline for a Tasmanian team by the end of the year.
"We will not finalise those contracts, we will not roll them over with Hawthorn and North Melbourne until we have a clear pathway from the AFL - the starting point of which is a decision by them by the end of the year as to whether or not we are going to have our own team," he said.
"If the AFL doesn't meet that timeline and we can't get to a decision by the end of the year, we will not accept any more excuses.
"If that means AFL content is not in Tasmania next year then be it on the AFL's head."
Mr Gutwein said should the AFL not play ball, the government would direct the money to support Hawthorn and North Melbourne towards other sport and events in the state to ensure economic benefits were not lost.
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