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'I don't want to see the centre in Kingston': Clarence residents voice mixed reactions to Rosny parklands AFL proposal

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Example images show what AFL Tasmania's high-performance centre could look like. Image / Populous

At a passionate community meeting in Clarence where residents overwhelmingly opposed the proposed AFL high performance centre in Rosny’s parklands, there were some voices who expressed support for the project.

While the majority of attendees at the meeting, which was prompted by the ‘Save Rosny’s Parks’ group, raised concerns about the potential loss of green space, lack of community consultation and possible negative impacts of the development, local football veteran Graeme Peck stood in favour of its construction.


A life member of the Clarence Football Club, Peck said he has spent the last two-decades training and mentoring the next generation of young sporting talent on the eastern shore.

He told the crowd he believes the facility needs to be located in the heart of Rosny rather than its outskirts, a stance that was met with jeers from those pushing for an alternative location, such as Cambridge or Geilston Bay.

Graeme Peck spoke in favour of the project at the meeting

“The importance to the business area in Bellerive and in Eastlands will be very important and the customers and the exposure that this particular development will bring us will be a lot more important than some of the concerns that a lot of the people have had here tonight,” Peck said on Wednesday.

“I’ve spent 20 years giving my time for nothing to help children and sport and I’ll continue to do that.”

400 people attended the Wednesday night meeting. Image / Beth Warren

“I don’t want to see it (the sport of AFL) go backwards. I certainly don’t want to see [the centre] down at Kingborough and if you people want that, well you vote the way you are, but it’s not the thing to do.”

Supporting the project, Clarence Mayor Brendan Blomeley said he sees the facility as a “catalytic” force that will turn the former golf course area into something that “will deliver social and economic benefits like our city has never seen before”.


“We can see an enhancement of that area, we can also see improvements, wider usage … We’ve got to be in a position to plan strategically for the future,” he said.

“This can work hand in glove and the economic social benefits will be significant and every, every oval, every other high performance centre across Australia demonstrates that to be a fact.”

“Imagine having athletes … sports men and women walking through Eastlands.”

“Every day … I’m contacted by somebody who has a concern about anti-social behaviour in our city. There are social benefits that will flow and have been proven to flow around the country. That’s fact.”

Terry Polglase from the Save Rosny’s Parks group

Despite the Mayor’s enthusiasm, the ‘Save Rosny’s Parks’ group succeeded in passing six motions, including one that highlighted the council’s perceived lack of transparency in the decision-making process.

They are hopeful the council will reconsider the location of the centre, allowing it to remain in Clarence while preserving the existing parklands.

“Now they know the views of the community, they have to make the right decision about where a high performance centre can go, away from our two parks, so it can stay in Clarence,” spokesperson Terry Polglase said.

“The mood of the majority of the participants was that the parks, Charles Hand and the Rosny Parklands, are to be valued for what they are, green space open to everyone. The ball is now in the councils court.”

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