CQ NRL Bid CEO Denis Keeffe listens to a question from a reporter at yesterday’s media conference.
CQ NRL Bid CEO Denis Keeffe listens to a question from a reporter at yesterday’s media conference. ALLAN REINIKKA AR

NRL club worth $75 million to CQ

CENTRAL Queenslanders have more than 75 million reasons to get behind the bid to have an NRL club in the region.

The CQ NRL Bid team’s inaugural chief executive officer Denis Keeffe yesterday said having an NRL club here would mean a huge economic coup for Central Queensland with an annual boost of more than $75 million.

Mr Keefe, the former boss of the North Queensland Cowboys, said the biggest hurdle was convincing Central Queenslanders they deserved a team.

“A lot of Central Queenslanders are laid back, not pushy people, and humble,” Mr Keeffe said during a media conference to announce his arrival.

“This is a great place to live, work and do commerce.

“Our biggest hurdle is convincing people here that they deserve a team.

“Central Queenslanders deserve to have their own national sporting team in the near future and at the same time, the NRL needs to understand the opportunities available to them in one of the game’s true heartlands, a region of great wealth, significance and appetite for rugby league.”

He said a lot of his early work would be done “in the (CQ) back yard” with any sort of working model unlikely to go to the NRL until 2011.

Securing an NRL club would be a big boost for the region.

“During my time at the Cowboys, many studies were undertaken in relation to the economic benefit to the local community thanks to the presence of a local NRL team,” he said.

“It was widely accepted the Cowboys annually contributed something like $75 million plus in economic benefit to North Queensland.

“I could see that being replicated and then some here in Central Queensland.”

Meanwhile, Mr Keeffe said moves to decentralise the state were also good news for the bid.

CQ NRL Bid chairman Geoff Murphy said Mr Keeffe would provide the traction for the bid to gain further momentum.

“Denis is in the process of meeting with key stakeholders in the various communities that make up our very large footprint,” Mr Murphy said.



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