New Zealand and Moreton Bay Region are forging ahead with a unique trans-Tasman business partnership, despite the cancellation of tomorrow’s NRL trial match between Vodafone Warriors and Melbourne Storm due to Victoria’s COVID lockdown.
A special Trade & Investment Queensland (TIQ) breakfast was held today with New Zealand Consul-General, Bill Dobbie and TIQ CEO, Paul Martyn as keynote speakers, a meeting that Mayor Peter Flannery sees as a diplomatic opportunity to push the region’s case for an NRL licence.
“This event is important to show investors and our strategic partners that as the world adjusts to a ‘new normal’, Moreton Bay Region is a place that can be depended on for consistency and resilience on this post-COVID journey,” Mayor Flannery said.
“This is the perfect platform to show our proximity to Brisbane Airport and the Port of Brisbane and the seamless logistical networks we have locally to trade with international markets, especially a close neighbour like New Zealand,” he said.
“Our region is a home away from home for Kiwis, we already have 21,000 New Zealand-born residents living locally, and the Dolphins are a feeder club through to the New Zealand Warriors.
“To shore-up our NRL licence bid we’re already looking internationally, while our rivals are essentially rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic with their recent rebranding exercise.”
He said the move would open the Dolphins club to a whole new market of fans and business opportunities.
“While I’m devastated COVID has cost us the Warriors VS Storm match, we still have the Broncos VS Cowboys trial match to look forward to on Saturday 27 February,” Mayor Flannery said.
“That game alone is expected to bring 2,000 overnight visitors to our region and pump an estimated $400,000 into the local economy over the weekend,” he said.
“And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, we’ll be hosting all the Brisbane Roar’s A-League and W-League home matches here at Moreton Daily Stadium this year.
“If the Dolphins get an NRL licence they would immediately become the richest NRL club upon entry, with more than $100 million worth of assets, including ownership of Moreton Daily Stadium.
“Sport is big business and an important part of our local economy, especially as we enact our newly minted Regional Economic Development Strategy to create a $40 billion economy by 2041 with 100,000 more local jobs.
“While our thoughts are with Victoria right now, my focus each and every day is on the opportunities ahead for #TeamMoretonBay which is why this breakfast is an event not to be missed.”
The TIQ breakfast featured a panel of Dolphins chair Bob Jones, Dolphins NRL bid manager Terry Reader, Sunshine Coast Lightning CEO Danielle Smith and Warriors CEO Cameron George appeared by video.