The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships have been secured for Queensland with a decade-long deal set to deliver more than $100 million for the Palaszczuk Government’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
It’s a deal with potential to drive tens of thousands of additional visitors to Queensland.
Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Tourism and Events Queensland had secured the agreement in partnership with Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) and Sunshine Coast Council.
“This is a significant deal for Queensland’s economic recovery and locks in eight Australian Surf Life Saving Championship events between 2023 and 2032,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Surf lifesaving is as Queensland as our sandy beaches and has always had the strong support of the Palaszczuk Government.
“Over the years, the championships – affectionately known simply as The Aussies – have become an iconic Queensland event, bringing more than 7,000 competitors annually from more than 315 Australian clubs.
“Competitors come with family and friends, making The Aussies an incredibly important event for tourism operators and our Economic Recovery Plan for the tourism industry.”
This year, the Australian Championships were held on the Sunshine Coast, generating more than 78,000 visitor room nights, and $16 million for local businesses.
“The experience on the Sunshine Coast this year demonstrates the value of this event to our visitor economy, particularly now the championships are locked in for Queensland over the next decade,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We are able to commit to big events like The Aussies and sporting hubs because of the hard work of Queenslanders in managing health impacts of the global pandemic.
“The agreement with the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships is a clear vote of confidence in Queensland’s ability to host major events and our world-class visitor destinations on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
“It’s a win for regional Queensland and a win for surf lifesaving.”
Member for Gaven and Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said Surf Life Saving was a big part of Gold Coast culture.
“The Gold Coast’s beaches and the culture surrounding them are famous world-wide.” Ms Scanlon said.
“Having the iconic Australian Surf Life Saving Championships locked in for another decade is fantastic news for Gold Coast tourism operators and our reputation as the nation’s favourite beach holiday destination.”
Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said Australian Surf Life Saving Championships events from 2023 to 2032 would be shared between the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.
“We saw how important this year’s Aussies were for the Sunshine Coast’s Economic Recovery Plan with $16 million added to our visitor economy,” Mr Hunt said.
“I would like to think the Sunshine Coast will be a strong contender for the 2024 championships to mark the Alexandra Headland surf club’s centenary celebrations.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the Aussies would again be embraced by the city.
“Our city is famous for its hospitality, amazing weather and golden sands so it is only fitting that the Aussies will be back again,” Cr Tate said.
“These titles boost our national reputation as a safe and welcoming host destination and will showcase everything great about the Goldie. Bring it on.”
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was delighted to have certainty that the national surf lifesaving championships will be returning to Sunshine Coast beaches again after outstanding events in 2016 and 2021.
“This new deal reinforces and helps to cement our long-standing reputation as a great location for surf lifesaving events as well as providing an opportunity for visitors from across the nation to experience everything our region has to offer,” he said.
“Surf lifesaving is part of the DNA of the Sunshine Coast and we know our region, our clubs and our community welcome the prospect of again hosting the national titles.”.
Surf Life Saving Australia President John Baker ESM said he is looking forward to the eight editions of The Aussies in Queensland from 2023 to 2032.
“We are deeply grateful to our major sponsors in Tourism and Events Queensland who, without their support, an event the size of The Aussies simply can’t go ahead,” Mr Baker said.
“To be able to lock in eight editions of The Aussies, our membership will be looking forward to returning to the sunny beaches of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Queensland again.”