Qantas First for Melbourne 2006

SYDNEY, 22 December 2003

Qantas was today announced as the first official Sponsor of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games by the Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks.

"I fully endorse this outstanding partnership between Qantas and the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and look forward to working with this great Australian company on Victoria's biggest ever event," Mr Bracks said.

"Australia is the only country to have ever been granted the privilege of hosting the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games in the same decade. Our success will be shared with the community at large and with corporate Australia."

Qantas Chairman, Margaret Jackson, said Qantas had been involved with the Commonwealth and Empire Games for more than 50 years and was a major sponsor of the Games when they were last in Australia, in Brisbane in 1982.

"Qantas is proud to be the inaugural Sponsor of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and we look forward to 'sharing the spirit' of the Games by supporting a wide range of activities, including the Volunteer Program and the Queen's Baton Relay," said Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson joined the Premier and the Chairman of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Ronald Walker, to make the announcement in Melbourne.

Mr Walker described Commonwealth Games sponsorship as one of the most powerful marketing opportunities available to corporate Australia.

"Qantas is one of the world's leading airlines and our Partnership is a reflection of the company's endorsement of the tremendous value the Games will bring to Melbourne and Australia in the years leading up to 2006," said Mr Walker. The partnership between the Games and the global tourism reach of Qantas would ensure Melbourne maximised the marketing potential of the Games, said Mr Walker.

Melbourne, Victoria and Australia will benefit from the 2006 Commonwealth Games with a projected 50,000 national, and many thousands of international visitors arriving to experience the world's best in sport and entertainment.

More than 4,500 athletes will compete in 16 sports and 24 disciplines - fourteen of the sixteen sports will be staged at some of the world's greatest sporting venues within a three-kilometre radius of Melbourne's CBD.

The Games will be held from 15-26 March 2006.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3012)