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Development spurred on by sport

SPORT has been an enormous boon for development in Australia, says Corrs Chambers Westgarth national chairman of partners Rod McGeogh.

Mr McGeogh, also CEO of Sydney’s successful Olympic Games bid, said preparations for the games had developed in seven years which the New South Wales Government had planned to do in thirty.

“It’s remarkable what has happened in Sydney as a result of these games,” he said.

“It was a $4.2 billion challenge to get the facilities ready.

“Now, when the Olympic stadium holds its capacity of 110,000 people, it becomes the ninth largest city in Australia.”

According to a Federal Government

survey, the Australian spend on sport and recreational goods is $12.5 billion a year which is 1.2 per cent of Australia’s GDP.

The total outlay on sport is $8 million a year – about $6,000 per home.

The WA-hosted Australia versus South Africa rugby union test in 1998 reaped between $8 million and $10 million in

economic benefits.

About 60 per cent of all known sponsorship goes to sport.

Mr McGeogh said extraordinary prices were now being spent on naming rights for stadiums. In the past few years Princess Park has become Optus Oval, Kardinya Park has become Shell Stadium and the Superdrome has become Challenge Stadium.

“How long before schools start giving naming rights sponsorship for their sporting fields,” Mr McGeogh said.

“On pay-TV, at least in the eastern states, we are seeing schoolboy rugby. They have accepted money for games to be telecast.”

Mr McGeogh said Australia had to show it was more than just a sporting haven.

“If we want to become the financial hub of Asia we have to show Australia is more than beaches and sports-mad people,” he said.

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