CQs NRL petition push
WHEN the bid team for a Gold Coast AFL side went to the league with 42,000 registered supporters, they couldn’t be ignored.
Denis Keeffe says 30,000-plus will be enough to secure Central Queensland an NRL licence.
Speaking after the latest CQ NRL Bid Team board meeting, the chief executive said the push for “e-members” was a top priority.
“We’ve got 17,500 petition signatures, but we really need these people and others to become e-members,” Mr Keeffe said.
Mr Keeffe is well aware of the Gold Coast Football Club’s recipe for meeting the criteria for a 17th AFL team.
“We need to do something similar,” he said.
“If we build our supporter base up to 30,000-plus, that will be an argument that no governing body can refuse.”
The CQ bid has already got a commitment from Premier Anna Bligh to build a stadium in Rocky once the NRL has granted a licence.
Mr Keeffe said he was amazed to see the amount being invested in CQ’s mining and resources sector and that would ultimately be another key to the region’s chances.
“I’m saying to the NRL this (licence) is sustainable. These companies are investing billions here because they have faith in these communities.”
Mr Keeffe said while it was still too early to have signed major sponsors, he had an “interested list” of corporate figures who’d expressed verbal interest.
“We’re talking seven-figure dollars,” he said.
The CQ Bid Team is in the process of setting up supporter networks at centres across the region.
A network has recently been formed at Bundaberg, led by Peter Hamilton, and has the brief of collecting more petition signatures.
Mr Keeffe said he planned to go to Sydney in the next month or so to talk with NRL club CEOs including Canterbury’s Todd Greenberg.
He said he was also in touch regularly with Broncos CEO Bruno Cullen who, along with the Cowboys and Titans, was a strong supporter of the CQ bid.
Mr Keeffe said he had sent NRL boss David Gallop newspaper clippings about Ms Bligh’s commitment, which met with a reply: “Good news, keep up the good work”.
How to become an e-member
1. Go to the website – www.cqnrlbid.com.au
2. Click on the “Join” icon.
3. Fill in your details to become an e-member (it’s quick and free).