At the Moreton Bay Region Leaders’ Forum today, Defence Minister Peter Dutton, Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Mayor Peter Flannery signed a declaration of support for the Dolphins’ NRL licence bid alongside every politician, representing the region, from all three levels of government.
The forum was the first of its kind in the region, focusing on the region's growth, infrastructure and opportunities to thrive. A Dolphins NRL team was identified as one of those.
Mayor Peter Flannery says it is an emphatic display of what the region is willing to do to get the Dolphins over the try line. Twenty-six elected representatives are now backing the bid.
“The Dolphins have been dreaming of this day for 70 years and their business case is compelling,” Mayor Peter Flannery says.
“But with ARL Commission Chairman Peter V’Landys announcing Expressions of Interest opening today, we wanted to ensure our bid and the resolve behind it is impossible to ignore.
“We are one of Australia’s great rugby league heartlands, and with the way the Broncos are playing at the moment, locals rightly want to see a competitive team that can take Queensland to the top of the ladder. I’ll back the Dolphins to do that!
“A successful bid would bring huge economic stimulus, including investment from interstate to one of Australia’s fastest growing local government areas and forge a new nationally recognisable identity that everyone in our community can be proud of.
“This is a true coming of age moment for us and a unique chance to put Moreton Bay Region on the map.”
Defence Minister and Federal Member for Dickson Peter Dutton says the bid is compelling and he is proud to support it.
“I want Peter Beattie and I want Kate Jones and others who have influence within the ARL to support this bid,” he says.
“I think it’s incredibly important for local kids to have another club to follow. I’ve always been suspicious of people that change clubs, I was brought up with the Broncos and that won’t change but my No.2 club is the Dolphins but at the moment the No.1 club to bid is the Dolphins. All of us locally will support the Dolphins’ bid.
“This is needed, we need this club and all of us are here to support the Dolphins. Let’s hope that sanity prevails and their successful in their bid.”
Deputy Premier Steven Miles, a Broncos supporter, says Brisbane is big enough for two NRL teams.
“I think it makes a lot of sense to put a new team here in Moreton Bay – the Dolphins – and we’ll be barracking for both them and the Broncos when they play each other, the local derby, it will be huge,” he says.
“I understand that as part of the bidding process, the NRL looks to which bids have the support of local, state and federal representatives. They asked us to tell them that so we thought we could both tell them that and show them that.
“We’ve shown them that today by putting our Dolphins caps on, and Dolphins ties on and we’re backing the Dolphins.”
Dolphins CEO Tony Murphy says he’s humbled by the gesture and strong show of support.
“Just the support, it’s given me a boost. Just to have these guys and ladies come along and say we’re part of the Dolphins bid is so humbling,” he says.
“It puts our bid front and centre of the ARL Commission.”
Read more about the bid here