Melbourne Could Lose World’s Best Golfers To Sydney
Labor is the only political party that is committed to attracting the world�s best golfers to Melbourne after the Liberal/National Coalition said money should not be spent on securing Tiger Woods� appearance in Melbourne.
Ted Baillieu has said that as the Australian Masters is run by a private company, professional golfers like Tiger Woods should not be paid to come to Melbourne.
”This (the Australian Masters) is a commercial tournament, unlike other major events � and it is not necessary for taxpayers to fund Tiger Woods personally. (Ted Baillieu, The Age, 23/02/10)
Tourism and Major Events Minister Tim Holding said it was only because of the Brumby Labor Government�s contribution that the world�s best golfers like Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Camilo Villegas, Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby have come to the Melbourne.
�Let�s be absolutely clear about this, if the Government wasn�t contributing for Tiger Woods to come to Melbourne, he would not be here,� Mr Holding said.
�For the Opposition to say that they are happy for Tiger Woods to come but don�t think taxpayers should have to pay is complete nonsense.
�A future Labor Government will continue to secure the world�s best golfers to come to Melbourne to boost our economy and keep the jobs coming. Ted Baillieu and the Liberal Party will not.
�The commercial reality is that the world�s best golfers get paid to play at tournaments around the world. If we didn�t provide funding to event organisers we would not be able to attract these players to Melbourne.
�And if they won�t pay Tiger Woods, then they won�t pay any other leading golfer. This would open the door for Sydney to snare Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and other great golfers to instead play at the Australian Open.
�Victoria has the best major events calendar of anywhere in the world because we spend money getting the best events here and attracting the best golfers is no different.
�More than 107,000 people attended the 2010 event and it generated $34 million in economic activity, and beamed Melbourne to a global audience making it the most successful golf tournament ever staged in Australia. �
Mr Baillieu has long been a vocal opponent on Tiger Woods coming to Melbourne.
�It�s [the Australian Masters] not a major international tournament; it�s not like the Grand Prix or the Australian Open.� (Ted Baillieu, Herald Sun, 19/03/09).
�I don�t believe Tiger Woods� attendance will generate anything like the economic benefits claimed by John Brumby�, (Ted Baillieu, Herald Sun, 19/03/09)
�Mr Baillieu was wrong on both fronts. He doesn�t get it that it is because of the Brumby Labor Government�s contribution that the Australian Master�s is successful again.�
Deputy Leader Peter Ryan has also expressed his opposition to paying Tiger Woods to come to Melbourne because of personal issues.
�To be committing to Tiger Woods’ return at this point in time is not the right thing to do, People in the public arena, in whatever form, whether they like it or not, are role models. It applies particularly to the case of Tiger Woods.” (Peter Ryan, The Age, 23/02/10)
“I don�t think we want to be in the business of acting as morality police. We bring sporting champions from all over the world and the last thing we want to do is cross examine them about their personal lives,� Mr Holding said.