Subjects: Tourism; tennis.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE & TOURISM: I’m Anthony Albanese and I’m the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and the Shadow Minster for Tourism. And today I have a very exciting announcement, an exciting announcement about infrastructure at this facility. A Federal Labor Government will contribute $17.8 million to allow for the upgrade of this facility. We know already it’s used for the Brisbane International and it will increasingly be used with the decision to have the ATP Tournament right here. The Brisbane International alone attracts some 100,000 visitors to Brisbane. We know that tourism is vital and we know that events, such as the Federation Cup today between Australia and Belarus, will mean extra visitors to Brisbane – and they’ll come not just here but hopefully visit other parts of Queensland and indeed the nation. This will create jobs in the short term but will create longer term tourism jobs. So jobs in construction, jobs in tourism. I want to thank Graham Perrett the local MP here for his advocacy for this project and I want to thank the team here for coming out and being part of this announcement. Mark Handley is now going to say some comments as well.
MARK HANDLEY: Hi everyone, my name is Mark Handley, the CEO of Tennis Queensland. Investment in our facilities means that we can keep improving our events and continue to be great hosts. Tennis has proven that having world class facilities is a key factor in attracting top players and events and we’re delighted to continue the upgrade of Pat Rafter Arena and the Queensland Tennis Centre, is a priority in the current election campaign. Thank you to Mr Albanese and to the Honourable Graham Perrett for supporting (inaudible).
DARIA GAVRILOVA: Woohoo!
ALBANESE: Can I thank Daria and Priscilla for that ‘woohoo’ and for being here as part of this exciting announcement.
ALBANESE: I must say the women are punching far above their weight compared with Australian blokes in terms of just great characters for Australian sport. So thank you for what you do for our country.
ALBANESE: Well there are thousands of people coming in here today for the Federation Cup. Tennis is of course an individual sport except for the Federation Cup and the Davis Cup which is about people representing their country. And one of the great things is that Priscilla and Daria are here as well as Sam and Ash today will be representing Australia. And people are coming in there dressed in their green and gold. It’s a fantastic event. The other thing that happens with tennis, including of course the longer tournaments, is that people come for a long period of time. January has become a tennis destination right here in Australia. The Australian Open is the major event on the sporting calendar globally in January. And guess what? People come to Brisbane beforehand, for the tournament, they stay here they then go to Melbourne they stay for a couple of weeks. And people come to Australia for a month, and when they do that they’re creating jobs in accommodation, they’re creating jobs in the facilities and they’re creating jobs when they go and visit other parts of Australia as well. This showcases our country to the world and today this Federation Cup Tie will be shown all around the world and therefore it is an ad for Australia.