Business sector demands Liberals come clean on major events

SA Gov

Opposition Leader David Speirs must come clean on whether a future Liberal Government would continue Gather Round and LIV Golf, after the Australian Hotels Association called for bipartisan support for the major events.

During the AHA’s Annual General Meeting lunch yesterday, AHA President David Basheer implored the Liberals to get behind the major events, which have proven to be transformational for South Australia’s hotel sector.

David Speirs has created a wedge between his party and the highly successful major events.

Mr Speirs told a podcast he was “very uncomfortable” with taxpayers’ funds being spent on major events like Gather Round, and has taken regular swings at LIV Golf, telling FIVEAA it “doesn’t sit well with me at all.”

LIV pumped nearly $65 million into SA last year and was named the World’s Best Golf Event. While the 2024 economic impact is still being determined, crowds were up significantly.

The inaugural Gather Round injected $83 million into the visitor economy. This year’s event scored a new accommodation record of $3.9 million for the Saturday night – the highest ever revenue for a night in Adelaide.

Overall, the Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of Gather Round saw revenue up 16 per cent on average on the same nights for the event in 2023.

As put by Stephen Mullighan

The AHA is right to call these events transformational.

LIV Golf and Gather Round pump tens of millions of dollars into the economy, they fill our hotel rooms and restaurants, promote our regions and shine an international spotlight on South Australia.

While Liberal MPs have been spotted at both events, David Speirs has been highly critical of both.

The business community is right to question whether a future Liberal Government would support these events continuing to deliver for the South Australian economy, or whether they’d be cut, just like the Marshall Liberal Government did with the Adelaide 500.

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