11 December 2008
The Opposition supports the Football Federation Australia’s bid for Australia to host the 2018 Soccer World Cup.
In recent years, Australia has successfully hosted major international events such as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Soccer in Australia has continued to reach new heights since a comprehensive review by David Crawford in 2002/03 and further reforms led by the Australian Sports Commission and former Sports Minister Rod Kemp to put soccer on a more professional footing in Australia.
To even consider placing a bid for the Soccer World Cup is a tremendous achievement for soccer in Australia and an indication of how successful these reforms have been.
The Socceroos qualifying for the 2006 World Cup for the first time since 1974 was a visible sign of the improvement in the standing of soccer.
The growing success of the A League, Adelaide United’s appearance in the Asian Cup final and growing participation at the grassroots level are further indications of the health of soccer in Australia
In 2003 Rod Kemp declared that “Soccer is the sleeping giant of Australian sport”. A successful bid for the World Cup in 2018 would provide an enormous boost to the growth of soccer in Australia.
Shadow Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said a successful bid for Australia to host the 2018 Soccer World Cup would bring tremendous tourism benefits.
“The Soccer World Cup would be the biggest global marketing campaign for Australia since the 2000 Olympics which has been recognised as the most effective marketing campaign this country has ever experienced,” Mr Ciobo said.
“A global event like the Soccer World Cup would bring unprecedented tourism benefits to Australia, and with tourism bodies firmly committed to supporting the bid, there is a united approach to securing the competition in 2018.
“World Cup fever could revitalise the Australian tourism sector which has been hit with unexpected turbulence this year as a result of global economic instability and almost $1 billion of additional tourism taxes, introduced by the Rudd Labor Government.
“I am pleased the Rudd Labor Government has delivered on its commitment to back Australia’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup which, if successful, would bring the biggest single sporting event to our shores.
“However I am disappointed Labor has no plan to address the immediate challenges facing the tourism industry. Labor and Martin Ferguson must outline what they plan to do for the tourism sector now, as opposed to in ten years.”