Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced every team and the entire Suncorp Super Netball season will relocate to Queensland for the duration of 2020.
As part of a deal being finalised by the government, all six interstate teams will start to arrive in Queensland from today and will play up to 60 games including finals at locations throughout Queensland over a condensed season.
“This is another way Queensland can help in the COVID crisis,” the Premier said.
“It can only happen with strict protocols protecting the health of Queenslanders.
“With thousands of fans throughout Australia and New Zealand, hosting the Suncorp Super Netball season in Queensland will pump thousands of dollars back into local businesses and give our tourism industry some great exposure at a time they need it most.”
Plans to relocate teams to Queensland had been approved by Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young.
All Victorian players and staff will be tested on Day 4 and Day 10 of their quarantine.
“My number one priority remains keeping Queenslanders safe during this pandemic,” the Premier said.
“All Victorian players and support staff will have to quarantine for 14 days before they’re allowed to play in Queensland.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the government would provide $2.2 million to support Netball Australia to move players and teams to Queensland.
Ms Jones said the draw for the rest of the season was still being drawn up.
However, Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts were expected to host teams and games in coming weeks.
“This is a dream come true for all Queensland netball fans,” Ms Jones said. “Because Queenslanders have done such a great job fighting COVID-19, we can now start to reap the benefits. “We’ve seen firsthand with the success of the Firebirds and the Lightning the strong following that netball has in Queensland.
“Bringing more players and more teams to Queensland isn’t just great for fans, it’s great for local businesses.”
Suncorp Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said teams would begin to arrive in Queensland from today (Sunday July 19).
“We know that Queenslanders are huge sports fans and fanatical about their netball,” he said.
“Given the way that the Queensland Government has managed the state’s health response to this pandemic, it was the best decision for our league to relocate to the Sunshine State for 2020 and we’re looking forward to getting the season underway,” he said.