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What happens off the field in Australian Sport


Tasmania AFL updates – Grant O’Brien appointed Chairman, Nominations committee appointments for the Board, Heritage risk. Treasurer has faith


Grant O’Brien, the North-West Coast reared former Woolworths chief executive was announced on Friday June 7th, 2023 as the Tasmanian AFL Club’s inaugural chair, and he says that the announcement represented the “starting gun” on the long road to Round 1, 2028.

“We could not have chosen a better person to lead our AFL team, he is what we need in setting the team up for success. That’s about strong leadership, good governance and strategic oversight. Grant can provide all of that and more,” Mr Rockliff said.

The Tasmanian AFL Club’s inaugural chairman, renowned businessman Grant O’Brien, revealed the identity of the five people tasked with selecting the board.

  • Grant O’Brien in his capacity as chair.
  • Peggy O’Neal: A corporate lawyer and governance expert who is a former president of Richmond Football Club and the current Chancellor of RMIT University.
  • Andrew Dillon: The AFL chief executive elect, who will take over from Mr McLachlan in October.
  • Liz Jack: Former Olympian and director of the Tasmanian Institute of Sport as well as the executive director of government agency Keeping Children Safe.
  • Errol Stewart: Managing director of Tasmanian company JMC Automotive Group Pty Ltd and Tasmanian AFL Taskforce member.

He said it was a sure bet that the inaugural board would feature a strong Tasmanian flavour, although stopped short of committing to all board members being locally based.

On June 6, the ABC reported that a historic goods shed in Hobart that’s in the exact spot of a proposed AFL stadium could soon be given heritage protection — creating a potential headache for the arena project. The circa-1915 wooden-framed railway goods shed was nominated for the state heritage register in 2008, 2013 and 2014, but is yet to be fully assessed.

On July 5, while appearing at a Public Accounts Committee hearing on Wednesday, Michael Ferguson reiterated his faith in Jeremy Rockliff’s handing of the AFL deal. He said the Department of State Growth didn’t need Treasury to “hold its hand” when it came to major projects.

Committee chair Ruth Forrest asked Mr Ferguson if he was worried the Tasmanian team could run into financial trouble and need to be propped up with more public money.

“I don’t hold that concern at all. It’s certainly not a challenge for the budget to be able to do that in future years,” Mr Ferguson said.

Jason Lassey

Ive been collecting and publishing Sports related crowd, financial, and ratings data here and on twitter for about 12 years.

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