THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
Minister for Sport
FIFA World Cup Bid 18 March 2009 E&OE I would like to take this opportunity to update the House on the progress of Australia’s bid to host the largest single-sporting event on the planet – the FIFA World Cup. The Prime Minister indicated our support for an Australian World Cup bid in February of last year in an announcement with Chairman of the FFA, Frank Lowy. At the COAG meeting of March 2008 all Australian States and Territories committed to work cooperatively with Football Federation Australia in support of its bid to host the 2018 World cup. The House may recall that in December 2008 I was pleased to announce the Government was providing $45.6 million to back Australia’s Bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Bid. And whilst we so often in this place focus on that which divides us, I would like to acknowledge the bipartisan support for this funding and the Bid from those opposite, and state that it is important that we do work together on this issue when we know that bipartisan support will play an important role in Australia’s chances of success. Since the announcement of our support for Australia’s 2018 World Cup Bid, FIFA has announced that it will hold a simultaneous bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. In February, Australia subsequently submitted our Expression of Interest to bid for both events. We are still focused on 2018, but of course we welcome the opportunity to bid for the two options. I am pleased to advise the House that in Zurich this week the Football Federation Australia (FFA) formally submitted Australia’s formal Bid Registration to FIFA for both the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups.
In addition to Australia, this week saw confirmation of 11 bids from 13 countries, across three confederations: • Asian Federation o Indonesia o Japan o Korea Republic o Qatar o (and of course, Australia) Europe o Belgium and the Netherlands (joint bid) o England o Russia o Spain and Portugal (joint bid) o North, Central America and Caribbean o USA o Mexico
We take our counterparts seriously, but we know that when it comes to hosting major international events, no one does it better than Australia. Olympics, World Cups, Commonwealth Games – we’ve stunned the world in the past and we know we can do it again. Australia can deliver a World Cup of which the country, the region and the world can be proud. We can deliver a world-class event that can run smoothly, in quality facilities and with Australia’s proven record of welcoming visitors and supporting games. As a member of the Asian Confederation, Australia is well placed to provide an event that the region can support. Growing the game in the region As a member of the Asia region, Australia is well positioned as a candidate. Asia is a major growth area for football and is also the region that had the largest share of the television audience for the 2006 Germany World Cup. Our zone contributed the highest share of the overall cumulative television audience – 8.28 billion in-home viewers (34.2% of the global total). In partnership with the FFA, the Australian Government is working hard to build a world class bid. And just last week the Prime Minister wrote to all Premiers and Chief Ministers seeking COAG's formal confirmation to work cooperatively with the FFA in support of its Bid, to send a further message to the world that Australian Governments at all levels are united in our approach to hosting the FIFA World Cup.
I will now be conducting ongoing cooperation and negotiations with the States and territories to ensure we develop the best possible bid. We will need serious consideration of infrastructure and needs going forward as well as continued cooperation at all levels. The Government will continue to work with them to develop the best possible planning and facilities for the World Cup. What Next When it comes to the next stages of the bid process, let me be clear about Australia’s intentions - We are in this to win it. As FFA Chairman Frank Lowy has said in the past, Football is a world game and we are serious about our efforts to bring the event to Australia. We can bring the World Cup to the Asian region and do us proud. The FFA has established a Bid Team to be Chaired by FFA Chairman, Frank Lowy and led by FFA CEO Ben Buckley. The next timeframe in the bidding process will come in April when FIFA will distribute Bidding Agreement, the Hosting Agreement and other bid and hosting documents which will further clarify the requirements that will be expected of a host for the FIFA World Cup. Bidding parties then have until December this year to submit the signed bidding Agreement and until May 2010 to submit the Bid Book. The decision on who will host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups will be made by the FIFA Executive in December 2010. Benefits to Australia Hosting the FIFA world cup will bring significant economic benefit to Australia including boosts to tourism, infrastructure and jobs around the country. And a successful bid would be an important catalyst for investment in our infrastructure – stadiums, roads, rail, airports. Outcomes from the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany speak for themselves: • 2 million international visitors • 85,000 people employed • More than 3.3 million spectators • Cumulative television audience of 26 billion, broadcast in 214 countries Hosting the FIFA World Cup would also have long term beneficial social and economic benefits. Australians are supporting our bid en masses. Just one small example is the facebook group supporting Australia’s bid, already with 75,000 members.
I encourage all Australians to get behind the bid and bring to our shores the biggest single-sporting event on earth and pledge to continue to work to ensure that the Government adequately supports the Football Federation of Australia to have every opportunity for success and keep the House informed of progress in this exciting venture.