Western Corridor ideal area to achieve NRL goals
A WESTERN Corridor NRL team could be up and running by 2023 if given the green light this year.
That was the confident assurance of bid chief Steve Johnson as the NRL reignite talk about including another Queensland team.
Johnson has achieved major rugby league successes with the Intrust Super Cup and the Ipswich Jets specifically, along with supporting Indigenous talent and grassroots football.
He has been working on an NRL team bid named "Bringing Our Game Home'' since 2009 when former CEO David Gallop showed considerable interest in our region.
"We have always been right to go,'' Johnson said of the long-standing Western Corridor proposal.
With a possible new team to be launched in 2023, Johnson said the time frame to create a new team was ideal.
"In our bid cycle, we've worked off three years anyway,'' the lawyer said.
"It's just a question of raising the capital then.''
He said about $3 million would be needed in the year before you start to secure the players and coaching staff required.
Johnson said a major upgrade of the North Ipswich Reserve was factored into a Western Corridor bid.
He said Queensland's Olympic bid, through the Council of Mayors, would bolster the renovation of facilities such as the Reserve "which would give us a facility that equals Redcliffe''.
The "Bringing Our Game Home'' bid is focused on delivering quality programs and management, enhancing pride and passion and offering opportunities for young people to achieve their dreams and ambitions.
The Ipswich region has 12 of the 17 players named in the Queensland Team of the Century.
The Western Corridor bid mission includes being a club with consistently high performance standards, having transparent best practice governance and management and adopting innovative thinking that engages and involves the community.
The straight-shooting administrator called on the NRL to make a concrete decision after a decade of speculation.
"They have to work out whether or not the game is genuinely going to expand or are they simply creating some excitement around the pending TV rights negotiations,'' he said.
"Hopefully they do intend to expand.''