Anthony Albanese clashes with heckler during major Hobart stadium announcement


Anthony Albanese has clashed with hecklers who tried to hijack his press conference about his plan to funnel millions into a new stadium in Hobart.

The Prime Minister was at Macquarie Point in the Tasmanian capital to announce the $240m investment into the “one-in-a-generation” urban renewal project, which will pave the way for Tasmania to enter the AFL.

Mr Albanese said the millions would go towards redeveloping the Hobart waterfront location and include a private-public partnership to develop housing along the precinct – including affordable homes for “critical health workers and veterans”.

But it wasn’t long before a small group of protesters, armed with umpire’s whistlers and banners and signs, disrupted proceedings.

“We want affordable housing, not a stadium. Affordable housing!” a man shouted from the crowd.

“Priorities Albo, please,” another woman yelled.

“Any more questions?” Mr Albanese remarked, later adding their appearance at the press conference was as an example of our “great democracy”.

He stressed the government would set aside room in the precinct’s plan to ensure “someone in social and affordable housing have access to this unbelievable view” at Macquarie Point.

AFL Match Centre

As the press conference continued, the hecklers were emboldened. During a question whether the Prime Minister’s would DJ at shock jock Kyle Sandilands’ wedding on Saturday, things came to a head.

“The big picture is housing,” the woman yelled.

An unimpressed Mr Albanese glared at the protester and responded: “I think you’ve had your say”.

“No, I haven’t, you have had your say at the back of the sewerage works when no-one knows what is going on,” she continued.

The Prime Minister ignored her comments, turning his focus back to the reporter to reveal he wouldn’t be spinning the decks, and then promptly ended the press conference.

Camera IconMr Albanese clashed with a protester in Hobart. NCA NewsWire / John Gass Credit: News Corp Australia

The clash comes as a report by Anglicare on Friday revealed rents in Tasmania had risen 10 times faster than income support payments.

While Tasmanians have been broadly supportive of the state joining the AFL, the condition of requiring a new stadium be built has proved to be controversial.

Leaked polling, obtained by The Australian last year, suggested that 67 per cent of Tasmanians opposed plans to build the stadium at Macquarie Point.

The Tasmanian Labor Party has made opposing the stadium a centrepiece of its policy platform and leader Rebecca White was notably absent from the Prime Minister’s public engagements during his visit to the state.

Asked about her absence, while he stood alongside Premier Jeremy Rockliff and a number of other federal and state ministers, he shrugged it off.

“Bec White is a great friend of mine and I spoke to Bec this morning. We’ll continue to engage,” he said.


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