Government Support a Further Boost to Dubbo Bid for NRL

The push for an NRL game in Dubbo continues to build momentum with the NSW Government also throwing their support behind Council’s goal to bring a match to Apex Oval in 2021.

Since my Mayoral Minute was endorsed at the May meeting of Council, our staff have been working very hard to see what needs to be done to bring a game here. We have met with Group XI officials and are very grateful for the support they are providing. I think the foundation work towards securing a match has been very positive and I can’t wait to see that continue.

The establishment of an NRL Regional Taskforce by the NSW Government last week will only help us. Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders was named the chairman of the taskforce and has said he is very keen to bring games over the Blue Mountains, including to Dubbo.

Funding is the most important thing this taskforce could provide if it is serious about helping places like Dubbo secure a match. NRL clubs need a financial incentive to move their games away from Sydney and that is how places like Mudgee and Bathurst have been able to secure deals. Without funding, we could still come up empty-handed and that is no good for anyone.

I have to admit that I am disappointed that we had a bells and whistles NRL announcement from the state government last week that didn’t actually include funding.  If the government is serious about helping Dubbo secure an NRL game, they need to put money where their mouth is.

Your Council is acutely aware of the financial setbacks the region have suffered as a result of drought and the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why the recovery is so important and tourism is a large contributor to that.

An NRL game brings a major one-off contribution through the weekend it is being played, but it also promotes our region through television and media coverage, and enhances our reputation on a wider scale over a longer term.

This isn’t the only solution though. Council will be looking at a range of events, not just big ticket events like the NRL and opportunities for live music through the Great Southern Nights program. We will continue to look at opportunities for regional and state sporting carnivals, exhibitions, performances and other events that will support our communities and bring tourists.

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Don’t forget that I am out and about conducting Meet the Mayor engagements around the region again.

Every Wednesday I will be at Wellington. Until further notice I will be at Jespresso on a Wednesday between 9am and 11am so feel free to bring your issues to me there.

Tonight (Wednesday, 15 July) I will be at the Drover’s Dog Tavern at Eumungerie and then I will be at the Ploughman’s Rest at Wongarbon on Thursday, July 16, the Hair of the Dog Inn at Ballimore on Tuesday, July 21 and the Burrendong Inn at Mumbil on Wednesday, July 22. I am at each of these venues between 4pm and 7pm so I would encourage you to come along and talk to me.

Last Edited: 18 Aug 2020

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