Why is Daniel Andrews handing over $225 million from taxpayers so the AFL can build a hotel and ballroom at Etihad, asks Shadow Treasurer, Michael O’Brien.
“Etihad Stadium is owned by the AFL. If the AFL wants to build a 7-star hotel and ballroom, they should do it with their own money, not taxpayers," he said.
“While Labor is giving the AFL money to build ballrooms, they are demanding that community sporting clubs take out loans to fix change rooms. Where’s the fairness in that?
“While Daniel Andrews wants to give $225 million to Etihad Stadium and the AFL, the Liberals and Nationals want to invest that money into grassroots sport.
“The MCG redevelopment won’t happen for a decade. There is nothing in this announcement to bring down prices for footy fans, just a massive handout to a tax-exempt, multimillion dollar business.
“Is Daniel Andrews that desperate to be invited to the Brownlow that he wants to give the AFL nearly a quarter of a billion dollars? Either way, this is a dud deal for community sport and taxpayers.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Sport, Danny O’Brien:
“How is it fair that Daniel Andrews is giving the AFL a $225m free kick, but your local football, netball, cricket or soccer club has to go cap in hand for a loan?
“So while the AFL gets taxpayer money for free, community sporting clubs need to ask the government for a loan.
“Victorians love their footy but there won't be a game in the future if we don't nurture the grassroots clubs and facilities that are so important to suburbs and towns right around the state.
“Redirecting this taxpayer money to grassroots football, netball, cricket, basketball, tennis and soccer clubs will benefit hundreds of thousands of Victorians.
“If Daniel Andrews believes that Victorians want their hard earned money handed to the AFL he should have the courage to put it to Victorians at the next election before signing any contracts.
“I challenge Daniel Andrews to visit local sports clubs all over Victoria and explain why he thinks the AFL deserves this money over grassroots sports.”
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