To: Martin Ferguson, Minister for Tourism

Australia to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest?

Dear Mr Ferguson

There may be an opportunity for increased tourist traffic into Australia, with relatively low input, if we participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. The 2011 event, which has just finished, was broadcast throughout Australia (one of the conditions for entry) by SBS.

There is no necessity for an entrant to be within Europe -- Israel has participated for many years, and even hosted the 1999 event, and this year's event was won by Azerbaijan, which will therefore host the 2012 session.

It was apparent from this year's broadcast, with many comments favourable to Australia being made by participants, that we are quite popular as a country with Contest participants. Those who follow the voting patterns appreciate that while countries tend to support their close neighbours, these voting blocs tend to cancel out, and a good outsider can gather enough votes from all blocs to win -- as did Azerbaijan.

We might qualify to host a Contest relatively quickly and easily, with the right choice of representative. If we could arrange to participate in 2012, and sent Sarah Blasko to represent us, we should stand a good chance of winning at the first try, gaining the right to host the 2013 Contest.

Sarah Blasko is a unique Australian talent, with not only the ability to win such a contest, but with the individuality of style to mark Australia as the source of a step forward in the music world, just as ABBA did in their early Eurovision win.

If Sarah was to win us the hosting as suggested, some might blanch at the prospect of having to arrange the event with just a year's notice, but of course this is the case with all previous hosts. And Australia certainly has available plenty of venues to at least match anything available next year in Baku, Azerbaijan.

One of the nice things about the Eurovision Song Contest is all the spirit of goodwill evident, there is virtually no political downside. Cost of hosting would not be large, and the event should at the very least pay for itself. SBS has a lot of experience broadcasting the event, and would jump at the world broadcasting rights. Previous hosts would readily advise and assist with an Australian hosting.


David Noel
2011 May 16

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Last update 2011 Jun 20