Estimates Committee B
Wednesday 25 June 2008
3.4 Major events support –
Daniel Geale World Title Fight
Mr FINCH - Minister, we talked earlier this week in respect of the Silverdome and the Daniel Geale fight - an IBO world title fight. Daniel Geale is, of course, a Launceston boxer and he was very keen to have his first defence in a world title fight in his home town of Launceston. It seemed to be that the Silverdome would be a perfect venue.
He came down with his promotion company, the Grange boxing school, to carry out an investigation. The quote he got from the Silverdome actually did frighten them off - a quote for approximately $50 000 - so they did not pursue that opportunity in Tasmania. Daniel by the way will fight on Friday night against a European, I believe, in Sydney. I think he was given less of a quote at the Derwent Entertainment Centre to stage the fight there - something like $5 000, but of course I do not know so much about that. It was like the other $50 000 and included a lot of extras that would have gone with the fight.
The point I am making is that there was a golden opportunity for us to encourage a local sportsperson with a boxing fraternity that would travel. That was what I was hoping would be recognised by the Silverdome and by Sport and Recreation. Even if it is just a one off here was an opportunity for the Sydney and Melbourne boxing fraternities to get that trip to Tasmania to see Daniel fight. It would be televised on Friday night fights as it will be this Friday night. It did not come about. I think Events Tasmania did actually have some investigation into it but did not proceed with it.
I was also interested to see that Anthony Mundine, in discussing his future prospects, has also come to Tasmania to investigate an opportunity. I am wondering if there is an opportunity being missed here. Certainly with Daniel Geale I think there was. I wonder whether Events Tasmania could perhaps explore this boxing fraternity that pays big dollars to go to fights and might be attracted - even if it is only a one-off situation or a novel thing - to come to Tasmania to see a world title fight.
Ms WRIEDT - In relation to Daniel Geale one of the difficulties was that there was no approach initially made to Events Tasmania. We only became aware of it after somebody from Michelle O'Bryne's office made us aware. Subsequent to that the promoters were contacted by phone and they did commit to providing a written proposal by the following Monday. By this stage it was very close to when they actually needed an answer on the fight. I do not think that Events Tasmania ever received the full proposal. We can certainly find out and provide something on it if you put that on notice but they did not actually get the information that they needed. I am sure you can appreciate that, whether it is something such as the defence of a boxing title or any other event, we require a certain amount of paperwork and written stuff to be provided to enable a proper analysis. It is my understanding, certainly from the limited information that we have here, that they did not provide that. Sorry April of this year. I can certainly find out.
I am not aware of Anthony Mundine and I do not know where that has come from.
Mr FINCH - That was a newspaper story. He did travel here to look at venue possibilities.
Ms WRIEDT - I guess it is not always obvious how people would get in touch with Events Tasmania if they are just coming over in an individual capacity. Certainly the Director of Events Tasmania would be happy to pursue the possibility of making contact with the boxing associations here in the State so there is awareness at a State level as to what the different programs might be if future opportunities arise.
Mr FINCH - I am not so much concerned about past history as I am about what might happen in the future. I think what disappointed me most was that I did involve the government in those negotiations, so there were two people from government agencies who were in attendance at those discussion earlier in the piece. I would have thought that one of their first ports of call would have been to Events Tasmania, to rope them in and ask how do we tackle this, how do we look at this. I would have thought Events Tasmania might have been brought into the loop straightaway. Somebody from Events Tasmania would have recognised the opportunity more so than somebody trying to crunch the numbers on the rent of the Silverdome.
Ms WRIEDT - There is no doubt about that but we need to know about those things.
Mr FINCH - I am probably alerting you, Minister, to say that other agencies should be aware of the work of Events Tasmania a little bit more.
Ms WRIEDT - I take that on board. It probably gives us an opportunity to perhaps raise the profile of Events Tasmania a little bit within government as well as externally.