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Former premier becomes chair of Venues NSW

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Former premier becomes chair of Venues NSW
A former premier of New South Wales will helm the board of the organisation which oversees some of the state’s largest venues.

Morris Iemma, who was the state’s leader between 2005 and 2008, has been endorsed by the current NSW cabinet as head of Venues NSW.

Iemma’s appointment is a result of an independent EOI process to select the new chairperson, following the resignation of businessman and sports administrator Tony Shepherd as chair in February 2023.

On behalf of the state government, Venues NSW owns and operates several of the largest stadia in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, including the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium at Moore Park and the new CommBank Stadium in Parramatta in Sydney. It owns the 83,500-seat Accor Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park which is operated by VenuesLive on its behalf. In Newcastle, Venues NSW operates the 33,000-seat McDonald Jones Stadium while ASM Global operates the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground on behalf of Venues NSW. In Wollongong, Venues Live owns and operates WIN Sports Stadium and Entertainment Centres.

Iemma is also on the board of Football NSW and was previously on the board of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, before it became part of Venues NSW. Iemma was a commissioner for the Great Sydney Commission – now the Greater Cities Commission – from 2016 to 2019.

“I am looking forward to working collaboratively with Morris Iemma and the entire Venues NSW board to ensure that we can continue our mission to make NSW and our venues the premier destination in the Asia-Pacific region,” said NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper.

“Morris Iemma is an outstanding candidate with a wealth of experience, including as the 40th premier of NSW – and that is something that history shows both sides of politics can agree on.”

Iemma resigned as premier in September 2008 after failing to reach an agreement within his own party for a reshuffle of his cabinet, prompted by the resignation of deputy premier John Watkins.

Secretary for the NSW Department of Customer Service, Emma Hogan, has also been endorsed to join the Venues NSW board. She is currently on the board of Destination NSW.

“Emma Hogan is an incredible leader and public servant,” said Kamper.

“Her work leading Service NSW and the people of NSW throughout COVID-19 was exemplary. She is an outstanding professional who will no doubt bring invaluable customer-focused experience to the board.”

Meanwhile in Tasmania, Premier Jeremy Rockliff has reshuffled his cabinet and taken on the role of minister for hospitality, alongside his existing position of tourism minister.

“I am bringing tourism and hospitality back together, and under a premier again,” said Rockliff in a statement yesterday.

“Tourism and hospitality are major economic powerhouses, especially in our regions. Visitors are travelling to our state in record numbers, and my government is focussed on seizing the opportunities this brings.”

Within his cabinet reshuffle Rockliff has created a new stadia and events portfolio, to be looked after by Nic Street, who was previously the minister for hospitality and events.

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