Red letter day for CQ league bid
DENIS Keeffe believes he now has the key to winning Central Queensland an NRL licence.
The CQ NRL Bid chief executive was doing backflips after receiving written confirmation on Friday from Premier Anna Bligh that the Queensland Government would build a stadium if the bid was successful.
“We always had the assurance about a stadium but this letter is the key,” Keeffe said.
“(NRL boss David) Gallop told us to get written confirmation and now we've got that.
“The bid now has real traction and is no longer just a dream – it is happening.
“When we combine the Premier's written comment with the QR National sponsorship, we are building the compelling argument for our own NRL club in CQ.”
In her letter, dated September 17, Ms Bligh said she was “delighted” at the QR National agreement to be a principal sponsor – a deal which is understood to be worth seven figures.
Ms Bligh was in Rockhampton on Friday, where she formally opened the city's historic School of Arts renovation.
She had lunch at Motel 98, and at her table was Motel 98 owner Grant Cassidy, Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten and media representatives.
It was no coincidence that CQ NRL Bid chairman Geoff Murphy also joined them and the CQ bid dominated the conversation.
At the same time, just a stone's throw away, State Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek was dining at The Edge restaurant.
With the following for Mr Langbroek's party growing and Labor on the nose in many quarters, that could be a future stumbling block for the bid.
However Keeffe didn't seem overly fazed on Friday, responding: “He'll believe.”
The dates for NRL boss David Gallop's visit to the region have been confirmed as Tuesday, November 23 and Wednesday, November 24.
Gallop has commitments in Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Emerald and Mackay.