Hobartians call on Albanese to invest in healthcare and housing at stadium funding announcement!

Today a number of local members from the Hobart community held a peaceful demonstration calling on the Albanese government to put more funding into the critically under-resourced healthcare and housing sectors in Tasmania rather than wasting it on a new stadium that does not have the support of the majority of Hobartians.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrived in Hobart this morning to announce $240 million in federal funding for a new stadium at Macquarie Point, when he was met with a group of locals calling for that funding to be redirected into healthcare, housing, education, and many other initiatives that would benefit the whole Hobart community rather than just wealthy developers. 

Hobart nurse Bridget Verrier stated that “It is extremely disappointing to see this funding being allocated towards this stadium whilst the hospital that I work at still lacks critical infrastructure, such as the need to address mobile black spots in hospital buildings that restrict healthcare workers from communicating with each other and the need for more trained workers and beds to reduce the issue of ‘ramping’ where ambulances are queuing up because there is not the infrastructure to accommodate more patients”.

Others involved in the demonstration highlighted the issue of housing and how Hobart’s current housing crisis could be alleviated with greater investment in public housing and that land like that around Macquarie Point could be used for community housing instead of a stadium that will be infrequently used. 

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles mentioned on radio last week in response to the Albanese government’s refusal to make increases to the below-poverty-rate Jobseeker allowance that the government is not in a position ‘to fund every good idea’. Well we are simply asking them to at least not invest in bad ideas, such as an additional stadium when Hobart already has the 20,000 capacity Bellerieve oval.

Local footy enthusiast Potto stated that he loves the idea of a Tasmanian getting its first ever AFL football team, but that he’d rather see that funding go towards more immediate concerns of the Hobart community, such as the underfunding of schools and hospitals and addressing the housing crisis and the rising cost of living. “Mr Albanese should stop playing political football with people’s livelihoods and start honouring the election commitments he made to address the cost of living in this country”.