The 2015 Koori Knockout will generate more than $6.6 million for the local Dubbo community that will be re-injected back into the pockets of hospitality and retail sectors, transport-operator owners, and the wages of service people, Dubbo City Council estimates.
Local Indigenous tourism will be responsible for a one-off business boom in Dubbo in early October, with the event set to attract between 10,000 and 15,000 tourists.
The annual rugby league 'knockout' is NSW-based but is known as one of the nation’s biggest gatherings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Mayor of Dubbo Matthew Dickerson told NITV that the Koori Knockout would inject an additional $148 per person per night into the area’s economy.
“There’s no doubt that every time we get an event like this, it’s an absolute win for the community in terms of the economic injection and reputation an event of this size brings,” Mr Dickerson said.
“It’s not hard to spend $148 on food, petrol and accommodation a day, and when people are away from home on holiday they shop.”
Based on the council’s per-person daily estimates, the injection will hit around $4.4 million if 10,000 people visit Dubbo for the carnival.
However, if it draws the upper estimate of 15,000 attendees, the Koori Knockout will generate $6.6 million for the local community.
“That’s obviously a fantastic injection for one event alone.”
The council estimates the injection will have a multiplier effect of around two-to-2.5 times the original amount.
“Businesses will get more money and then they can spend that money again.”
“If visitors spend money in the retail sector, more people could get additional work: employees work additional shifts because the sector is busy,” said Mr Dickerson.
“That makes Dubbo more sustainable and that’s all good for Dubbo.”
“The event is Aboriginal-owned and Aboriginal-run, and the economic contribution it delivers to the host city or town flows through to everyone in the community."
The 45th NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout will be held at Caltex Park, Dubbo from Friday 2 to Monday 5 October.
It will be hosted by the 2014 winners, Walgett Aboriginal Connection, in the neighbouring Local Government Area of Dubbo City Council instead of Walgett Shire Council because Dubbo’s sporting facilities are capable of meeting capacity.
Craig Cromelin, chair of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC), said the Koori Knockout – dubbed “the modern day corroboree” – will deliver a valuable investment into NSW’s Indigenous community.
“The event is Aboriginal-owned and Aboriginal-run, and the economic contribution it delivers to the host city or town flows through to everyone in the community,” Mr Cromelin said.
“For a regional centre like Dubbo, hosting this year’s Knockout will generate a lot of economic activity.”
Mr Cromelin said that given the event was held over a long weekend, there was no doubt that Aboriginal people help boost local economies by supporting motels, restaurants, supermarkets, transport operators.
“Significant events like the Koori Knockout also challenge a lot of stereotypes and put the contribution of Aboriginal people into local communities into a realistic perspective.”
- Dubbo City Council recently spent more than $12 million on the footy ground to upgrade stormwater collection facilities and make it ‘world-class’.
- Dubbo is serviced by around 168 flights a week and three major highways.
- Dubbo City Council’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be around $2.2 billion a year, making the one-off Koori Knockout worth around two percent of overall GDP.
- The second biggest employer in the Dubbo local government area is the retail industry, accounting for 14.4 per cent of jobs.
President of the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Matt Wright, said the event would not only generate monetary benefits but build the region’s reputation as a thriving centre and ‘the gateway to the west’.
“We recognise the opportunity presented by the knockout by seeing what it’s done for other areas,” said Mr Wright.
“It’s been around for a good number of years and it provides the benefits, not just to the area’s city centre, but to surrounding locations as well.”
Mr Wright said that to many people, the Koori Knockout was not just a sporting event that rolled into and out of town again.
“The event gets people into Dubbo, possibly for the first time. But that initial visit could get them here a second or third time.
“The knockout is an opportunity to showcase the city to leave a lasting impression on visitors and get them to come back again.”
Mayor of Dubbo, Mr Dickerson said he was pushing for a Dubbo or Walgett team win in the 2015 event this October so that the Koori Knockout could be held in Dubbo in 2016.
“I’d be happy for a Dubbo or Walgett team to win the carnival it and bring it to Dubbo again,” said Mr Dickerson.
“This is a request for any event or winner of a sporting event to come to Dubbo: we are more than happy to host any team again.
“We are great at hosting these events and we would be happy to take any event on.”