Will Peter Malinauskas throw footy fans under the bus?

Tuesday 07 March, 2023

The Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to guarantee it will not cut State Government funding to the free Footy Express service before the 2026 State Election, saving Crows and Power fans from potential price hikes of up to $35.60 per match.

The Opposition is aware of an in-principal agreement to move to a “full cost recovery model” by 2024, which will put more pressure on the clubs to cover the gap, meaning memberships could be increased.

Or, it could be that footy fans are forced to pay when they hop on a bus, tram, or train.

Transport Department chief Jon Whelan told a parliamentary committee that a “user pays” model is preferred and that “we are working with the clubs on it now” and “have spoken with Adelaide Oval about how it will work”.

He also said the State Government wanted the clubs to “fully fund” the service in the future.

If a family with two children was to pay for the service this season, they could be slugged up to an extra $35.60 per match to attend AFL games. A family with two children would fork out $21.80 per game if they have Metrocards.

The Opposition has heard from thousands of South Australians who are in support of keeping the Footy Express service free.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Vincent Tarzia, said Peter Malinauskas must guarantee Labor won’t cut funding to the free service before the 2026 State Election.

“South Australians are battling a cost of living crisis and right now families and those who are doing it tough could take years to recover financially,” Mr Tarzia said.

“We’re glad there will be no change to the arrangement this AFL season, but Peter Malinauskas must guarantee there will be no State Government funding cuts to the free service during Labor’s term.

“We cannot have a situation where, in the future, families will be slugged an extra $35.60 to attend an AFL game on public transport because Peter Malinauskas is forcing AFL clubs to cover the cost.”