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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3916 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

The New South Wales Rugby Union did not want to have to come to Canberra to visit their trophies as the Queensland Rugby Union has to do.

We expect substantial further growth over the next year or so, and in 2003 we will see the Brumbies in action again. We will also see the Masters Games come to Canberra and four matches in the world's biggest sporting event for next year, the Rugby World Cup. It makes good sense to integrate a coordinated tourism program around the Super 12, the World Cup and the Masters Games. That will be the case.

There will be opportunities for Canberra and region to sell itself on the basis of events as well as places to visit and see. The brand name is Rugby Celebration Canberra 2003. It sounds pretty startling, but we had to be very careful. The term "World Cup" is owned and unfortunately not transportable to regions such as ours.

We intend to run a concerted campaign. The Australian Rugby Union, in conjunction with the Australian Tourism Commission, expect in the order of 40,000 international visitors to Australia and a global television audience in excess of 1.3 billion in over 130 countries. This is a great opportunity for the ACT. We know that the Welsh are great football followers. We know that they make up a significant, disproportionately high proportion of supporters for the British Lions. We cannot forget what great supporters the British Lion supporters were when they came to Canberra and cheered on their nation. At the same time they also were great tourists and great fun. They added something.

Mr Humphries: You mean great drinkers, don't you?

MR QUINLAN: There ain't nothing wrong with that. They probably know a few old rugby songs that Mr Stefaniak will probably join in with them. We will be making sure that we leverage off the World Cup; that we leverage off the fact that we have Wales, probably Italy and at least one Pacific nation. Those three will probably be domiciled and training in the ACT for an extended period leading up to the World Cup.

Mr Stefaniak: Not to mention the veterans curtain-raiser to the first game, Ted.

MR QUINLAN: Go late, everybody. Get a seat; go away. It is going to make Italy and Wales look good, Bill.

In announcing Rugby Celebration Canberra 2003, I had the great pleasure of anointing Joe Roff as our World Cup ambassador. I mentioned to him that I knew very little about diplomatic protocol, but I did know that ambassadors were entitled to the term "Your Excellency", which Joe seemed to take to with great relish.

Mr Pratt: You could always look to Sir Les Patterson as a role model.

MR QUINLAN: I will tell Joe that you said that, Steve-that you made the comparison. If I were you, I would call him "Your Excellency".

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