With one more sleep until the State Election, it is timely to look back on all the work that has been done by clubs to support Football Federation Tasmania’s Infrastructure Review. The process came from a positive President’s discussion at the 2017 AGM where it was agreed that the development of club infrastructure would now become the number priority going forward.

The Board of FFT was very happy to action the request of Club Presidents and formed an Infrastructure Working Group led by Jim Lange and Daniel Hanna with the support of FFT CEO Mike Palmer. During the middle of 2017 the committee conducted over 50 meetings with clubs, venue operators, councils, government officials and Sport & Recreation. They also consulted with FFA and federal politicians.

The outcome of the meetings was a clear understanding that football required a significant burst of funding to support necessary infrastructure improvements. On that basis, a Five-Year Development Planned was produced including a colourful brochure which was widely distributed. Of course the major recipients of the plan and brochure were politicians from all parties as well as Mayors and key council officials.

None of this would have been possible without the positive contribution from clubs. It is also important to acknowledge the work of Jim and Daniel, as volunteer Board Members, in leading the process to a successful conclusion.

On the back of the report, FFT then proceeded to spend a significant amount of time lobbying politicians in advance of the State Election. This was again supported by the work that many clubs have done in their own electorates. The upshot of this is the following announcements:

Liberal Party – $240,000 contribution to the upgrade of clubrooms at Taroona FC

Liberal Party – $400,000 contribution to an artificial pitch in Launceston to be matched by the City of Launceston

Labor Party – $1,200,000 contribution for the upgrade of facilities at KGV Park

Labor Party – $600,000 contribution to an artificial pitch in Launceston to be matched by the City of Launceston

Labor Party – $500,000 contribution to upgrade of Montello Park Burnie

Labor Party – $240,000 contribution to the upgrade of clubrooms at Taroona FC

Labor Party – $2,000,000 contribution to support projects across 16 additional clubs throughout Tasmania

FFT is incredibly appreciative of the support from both major political parties. Liberal have committed in the order of $640,000 whilst Labors plan is to spend upwards of $4,500,000 million on our sport if elected.

As an amateur sporting body, it is not our position to make any recommendation about how people may wish to vote; we would simply like to thank all politicians for appreciating the significance of football in Tasmania as the State’s number one participation sport.

Finally, it is important to remember that this is a five-year project and we are still in the first year of working towards supporting clubs to improve infrastructure and we thank you for your on-going work in this area.