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By July 5, 2018Sport

A Shorten Labor Government will support Tasmania’s next generation of male and female football stars with a grassroots Save our Footy Fund – a $5 million investment in local clubs, local players and building a stronger Tasmanian State League.

Tasmania has already proven it can grow great AFL talent, but it is widely recognised that more investment is needed to provide pathway for aspiring AFL and AFLW talent.

That’s why we will invest $5 million to support Tasmanian state and local competitions, and nurture the development of the next generation of players.

Labor welcomes many of the AFL Tasmania Football Steering Committee Findings – they provide a blueprint for community football in Tasmania.  Labor particularly supports the need to get participation rates up to parity for youth and senior teams to underpin a strong footballing future in Tasmania.

Tasmania’s North-West will be a particular focus – as a region of demonstrated need to improve local footy infrastructure, strengthen grassroots competition and rebuild the TSL competition in the region.

Labor’s funding provides certainty, and we will work with the AFL, AFL Tasmania, State and Local Government to support football in all parts of the State – including funding projects such as the construction of modern and female friendly change rooms, improving the quality of playing surfaces, and new training equipment and facilities.

Importantly, this fund is the first step to building the strong foundations needed for a bright future for Tasmanian football – with the ultimate objective of securing an AFL club licence for the State that can represent all Tasmanians.

The goal of bringing an AFL club to Tassie needs strong community football foundations before it can become a reality.

With women’s football going from strength to strength, supporting female players in Tasmania is particularly important for the sport’s growth in the state – and will be a focus of the funding.

This is an investment in the towns and regions across Tasmania – especially the North-West and West Coasts – and comes on top of our existing $350,000 commitment towards modernising the West Park Sports Facility.

Labor is backing Tasmanians and their future – better schools for kids, better job opportunities through TAFE, and better sporting facilities for Tassie communities. And we can afford to do this because unlike Mr Turnbull and Mr Whiteley, we won’t give a $17 billion handout to the big banks.

Only Bill Shorten and Justine Keay will stand up for a Fair Go for the North West and West Coasts.