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Victorian Premier vows to fight for every major event ‘worth taking’

Victorian Premier vows to fight for every major event ‘worth taking’
June 17, 2015

The Victoria Government aims to battle other states for every major sporting and cultural event "worth taking" as part of an aggressive events-based economic strategy.

Speaking to the Melbourne Press Club today (Wednesday 17th June), Premier Daniel Andrews explained that Victoria will be relentless in pursuing big events, big projects and big investments.

Speaking in advance of the sold out rugby league State of Origin clash between Queensland and NSW at the MCG, Premier Andrews stated "I issue this warning to every other state: if you have a major event worthy taking, we're coming for it.

"Victoria has been asleep for the past four years, but our state is now waking up."

Major events being targeted by Victorian for the next few months includes Major League Baseball, American NBA basketball, US College Football and major film and state productions.

Premier Andrews will be attending the State of Origin clash along with NSW Premier Mike Baird who is investigating trying to take away Melbourne's hosting of the Formula 1 Grand Prix to a street circuit in Sydney.

Highlighting the State of Origin hosting as an example for Victoria's success hosting major sporting events, Premier Andrews warned that Victoria cannot live on past glories, flagging a significant shake-up of the state's major events strategy, which is now more than 20 years old.

Premier Andrews also announced the appointment of media buyer Harold Mitchell to chair a new jobs and investment panel providing advice on boosting future jobs, investment and business activity.

In March, the Victorian Government announced a review of its major events calendar to be headed by Major Events Company Chairman Sir Rod Eddington and auditing firm KPMG.

The review follows concern Victoria is being left behind by other states, particularly NSW, which has added 110 sporting, cultural and lifestyle events since 2011.

Premier Andrews also used his address to announce a merger of Government agencies Tourism Victoria and the Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC).

Explaining this move, Premier Andrews stated "we can’t have a body responsible for major events – and a separate body responsible for the tourists that attend them.

"We need one body with one mandate … one body, with the independence and prominence it needs to promote our state (to) attract more visitors, attract more events (and) create more jobs."

With Sydney's ANZ Stadium having not sold out for the first State of Origin clash, Premier Andrews concluded "no one does major events like we do, and that’s still the case.

"The Premier of New South Wales still has to travel to Victoria if he wants to know what a sell-out State of Origin crowd looks like."

Image: Daniel Andrews (top) and the MCG, sold out for the State of Origin (below).

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