LNP to bid for Townsville State of Origin match
STATE Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls will launch a formal bid to host a State of Origin fixture in North Queensland in 2020 or 2021.
The Shadow Minister for Arts and Major Events said the bid would move into full swing should the Liberal National Party win government at the next state election.
Mr Nicholls said rugby league-mad north Queensland not only deserved an Origin encounter, but the economic benefits that would come along with it.
"My pledge is to throw the resources of government behind a North Queensland State of Origin bid,” he said.
"We want to bring this game to the north in 2020 or 2021 at the new Townsville Stadium.
"Within the first 100 days of a Nicholls LNP Government, we will instruct Tourism and Events Queensland to begin negotiations on North Queensland's behalf.
"We know without government backing and support, bringing an Origin to North Queensland would be a tall order as we compete with Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.”
Melbourne will host Game One of the 2018 series at the MCG, and Game Two of the 2019 series will be held at the new Perth stadium.
It's expected Sydney will host two matches in the 2020 series, making a 2021 bid more likely.
Work on the $250 million Townsville stadium is expected to be completed in early 2020.
Mr Nicholls' announcement comes hot on the heels of Gladstone's bid to host an NRL match next season.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett was still working behind the scenes to turn the bid into reality.
"(There are) no further updates as yet, we will know more information in about three to four weeks,” Cr Burnett said.