AFL Tasmania boss calls in lawyers over funding hearings
AFL TASMANIA has sought legal advice from AFL House as it awaits a formal request to appear before the public accounts committee examining state government funding of Tasmanian football.
The joint house committee is investigating how the $500,000 granted annually to AFL Tasmania by the State Government is spent.
AFL Tasmania chief executive Scott Wade had previously said his organisation would not front a public hearing but was happy to give evidence in private.
This earned the ire of committee chairman Windermere MLC Ivan Dean, who told the Mercury this week AFL Tasmania risked “extreme measures” if it failed to co-operate with hearings.
“It is not for Scott Wade to call the shots here, it is a parliamentary accounts committee inquiry and we will convene that in the way it should be done and as openly as much as is possible,” Mr Dean said.
AFL Tasmania chairman Dominic Baker was tight-lipped yesterday as the sport’s governing body waited for a request to front the committee.
“At this point we have not formally been advised that we will be required to appear and all our comments will be made at that point,” he said.
Asked if AFL Tasmania would be prepared to appear in front of a public hearing, Mr Baker said: “We are in consultation with the AFL’s legal team on what our requirements will be. We’ll follow their advice.”
It is understood AFL Tasmania believes the hearings have turned into a witch hunt, as witnesses with a personal gripe against the organisation have used it as an opportunity to publicly attack the body.
The committee will meet again on Wednesday where it will decide on calling more witnesses before summoning representatives from AFL Tasmania and the State Government’s Department of Sport and Recreation.
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