Posted on 09. Aug, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has slept through another plum major events opportunity, this time missing out on hosting the major qualifying matches for the Soccer World Cup, Shadow Minister for Major Events Justin Madden said today.

“While NSW and Brisbane have been celebrating after winning the best of the World Cup Qualifying matches, Melbourne have been left to pick up the crumbs,” Mr Madden said.

“NSW has picked up the crucial round three and four games featuring the Socceroos, even boasting in a press release the ‘biggest and best games’ will be held north of the Murray.

“Brisbane is also getting in on the World Cup action, winning the right to host the Socceroos opening qualifier.

“Yet the Baillieu Government seems intent on taking this raid on our world class suite of major events lying down.”

Mr Madden said inaction by the Baillieu Government was the reason Melbourne wasn’t featuring in any of these drawcard games.

“The dithering by Mr Baillieu and his Tourism Minister Louise Asher is the reason Victoria has lost the best games to Sydney and Brisbane,” he said.

“NSW negotiated the deal just days after the draw was announced by FIFA, but it seems the dormant Baillieu Government simply acted too slowly.

“Ms Asher’s eight months in office have seen uncertainty around the Grand Prix, Sydney eyeing off the Brownlow Medal ceremony, and a series of blockbuster soccer games being played elsewhere.

“What will Victoria lose next under the Baillieu Government? Victoria’s reputation as the Major Events capital of Australia is under threat.

“This should be a wake-up call for Ms Asher – either she shapes up, or Victoria’s events will ship off.”

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