June 2021

State of Origin

I want to congratulate the Coach Brad Fittler, a former Rooster; Captain James 'Teddy' Tedescoe, himself a Rooster; and some of the star players in the New South Wales Blues team last week, including Tommy Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell. They played a historic game in Townsville and took the Blues to a victory of 50 points to six, eight tries to one. I particularly want to thank the 27½ thousand fans in Townsville who turned out to welcome the Blues and cheer them on. I know the member for Herbert was there. I saw him myself and spoke to him the next day. I think a few people were in touch with him that night.

As you would be aware, Deputy Speaker O'Brien, game 1 of the State of Origin was originally scheduled to be held in Melbourne, but because of COVID related lockdowns it had to be moved at short notice. I want to place on record here my appreciation for the Queensland Labor government, who not only lobbied to get game 1 moved to Townsville but also contributed $8 million, very generously, to make sure the game could be hosted by Townsville. This is the first time an Origin game has been played outside a state capital city. I think, on the evidence, it's an experiment that we should repeat in future years. My best wishes to both teams for game 2 at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on 27 June. Go the Blues!