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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1440..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

There is some rugby union played in Adelaide, there is some rugby union played in Victoria. Victoria, because of its venues and because of its tendency to pay for large sporting events and wanting to display its image as a place where things happen, will probably acquire-I will use the term-a series of games. Nevertheless, I am not sure that there will be the same benefit to the sport as if decent games were played here in Canberra and were available to Canberran rugby supporters and supporters in the region. There is no reason why we would not get a lot of people coming down from Sydney if we had decent games as well, because Sydney is not that far away.

For our part, we have, through the Stadiums Authority and through the ACT Rugby Union, made representations that we think are appropriate. We have not charged headlong into a bidding war because we just know that in fact we are not in the million-dollar league for buying games. That is pretty well the way it appears.

These are the words that we have heard, and this might be the downside of it. It may well be that at the end of the day a balanced view will be taken that, of course, the thing must pay for itself, but having paid for itself then the next objective will be to the benefit of the code and as a reward to those people that support and administer the game across Australia.

With the successes we see occurring in the ACT, not only at the Brumbies level but with the Vikings knocking off the Queensland championship, having been drummed out of the New South Wales competition because of fear that the New South Wales rugby union might have to come to Canberra to visit their trophies, it has quite clearly been demonstrated that the ACT is a sound, solid rugby union region and should get some reward in return for that.

MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Stefaniak.

MR STEFANIAK (4.12): Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I was thinking you might not even enter this debate.

MR STEFANIAK: Yes, I am going to, in fact. Might I congratulate Ms MacDonald for bringing this matter of public importance on, and might I also especially congratulate her for her inspired idea of trying to get the Wallabies here. As Ted Quinlan said, those sorts of things do help. Often there is not a hell of a lot that makes even the ARU sit up and take notice, but things like that do certainly help. The only other suggestion I suppose I could make, if Ted Quinlan has not already done so, is perhaps just to go and see the ARU. It may be too late to do so, but if you haven't it is worth a go.

I can recall, probably from the first Assembly, being very keen to get the national teams here to Bruce Stadium. I saw John Quayle and he promised us a rugby league test-he would not give us the State of Origin. I came away from Sydney with a gridiron match and something else, and we got some Gaelic football in the early days. But the first large-scale test matches of any of the major codes were in fact rugby tests. We have had a couple already.


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