Ipswich MPs have backed the Brisbane Jets bid to join the National Rugby League (NRL) as the code’s 17th team.
Headed by Ipswich Jets Chairman Steven Johnson, the Western Corridor campaign continues to gain momentum as the league looks to add another South-East Queensland side from season 2023.
Local MPs Jennifer Howard, Jim Madden, Lance McCallum and Charis Mullen have thrown their support behind the bid to bring the NRL to the fastest growing region in Queensland.
“The Western Corridor is being backed by ongoing investment from business, industry and all levels of government,” Ms Howard said.
“We are a proud defence region, Australia’s biggest RAAF base at Amberley employs more than 5,000 people, and the Jets name is already an important part of our community.”
Mr Madden said the Western Corridor had long been considered a league heartland.
“From filling the Australian front row with Dud Beattie, Noel Kelly and Gary Parcell, to unearthing generational talent like Allan Langer, we continue to produce international representative players,” Mr Madden said.
“Just this season we’ve seen local product Sam Walker become the most talked about rookie in the competition, replacing yet another Ipswich-born player, Luke Keary, at the Sydney Roosters.”
Mr McCallum said a Western Corridor NRL team would draw on a supporter base of more than 1.25 million people.
“Last week I wrote to Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys to outline why the west is best,” Mr McCallum said.
“We’re already an incredibly passionate NRL community, we continue to get increased support from businesses, and we have a bid leadership team with a proven record of success.”
Ms Mullen said the team would work with player pathway partners across the region to keep the best home-grown talent in Ipswich.
“By 2026 our local community will be home to about 20,000 rugby league players – almost 30 per cent of the expected 73,000 across the state,” Ms Mullen said.
“That growth will only continue, and we’re perfectly positioned to have South-East Queensland’s next NRL team right here in the Western Corridor.”