Carter review probes Tassie AFL team merit

·2-min read

Tasmania's bid for an AFL team is nearing a crucial juncture, with a review into the business case for an island state side to be penned in coming weeks.

Former AFL commissioner and one-time Geelong President Colin Carter finished a whirlwind three-day tour of the state on Friday.

Carter has been tasked with assessing the business plan for a 19th side which was presented by the Tasmanian government to the AFL last year.

Carter, who has met with a range of key stakeholders on the trip, said his review would be completed by mid-July.

It will then be considered by the AFL Commission at the end of 2021, when the body expects to have a clearer picture of the ongoing impact of coronavirus.

"This trip has met every expectation I've had. I've been here to listen and learn, people have been very generous with their time," Carter said in Launceston on Friday.

Carter declined to say where he stood on a Tasmanian side but said he left with a "pretty clear understanding" of why people think a team is important.

"My assurance is (that) I'll be taking it very seriously," he said.

Cater appeared alongside Tasmanian Taskforce chairman Brett Godfrey and Premier Peter Gutwein at a press conference at UTAS Stadium.

The Tasmanian government has put contract negotiations with North Melbourne and Hawthorn on hold until the AFL provides a clear picture of where the state stands.

The Hawks have hosted matches in Launceston for 20 years, while the Kangaroos are currently tied to Hobart. Both deals expire at the end of the season.

Gutwein said he would await a copy of Carter's review before addressing what the next steps might be with North Melbourne and Hawthorn.

He said discussions with Carter had left him with "great heart".

"If we're not going to get a team, then tell us. But if there's a pathway, one that we can work towards, then as a state we're prepared to go on the journey."

The Tasmanian Taskforce report found a plan that culminated in a side entering the AFL in 2025 stacked up financially.

"We just want a decision. Let's not kick this can down the road any more," Godfrey said.

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