Page 814 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2006

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others. If the volume of trade we had at that store was anything to go by, there were thousands and thousands of people there enjoying the carnival atmosphere and my thanks go to everyone involved there.

Tomorrow, a number of tributes will be going out on radio and elsewhere in commemoration of a wonderful event, 25 years in Canberra of one of the great sporting teams, that is, the Raiders. They were not the first Canberra team in a national competition. That went to the Arrows, a soccer team, and the Canberra Cannons. They are certainly the longest serving team in a national competition and I think that they have done a lot to enhance Canberra’s reputation and show that it not just a bland public service city, but a city with a lot of spirit and a lot of soul. I think the Raiders have done a lot for that.

They have also in their short existence, 25 years—probably more so in their first 12 years—achieved very considerable success. In 1987 they made their first grand final appearance. I must say that I was in two minds there. I had some sympathy with Manly simply because I used to coach Michael O’Connor, an ex-Canberra boy who was playing with them at the time. It was fantastic to go to the grand finals in 1989 and 1990, especially the 1989 one against Balmain, when they won their first grand final in extra time. There was a very solid premiership win the next year, 1990. Who can forget the absolute flogging in 1994 of Canterbury. I will always remember Mal Meninga palming off, I think, Jarrod McCracken as if he were a piece of chaff really. That was a fantastic game. I think that it was Mal’s last formal game for the Raiders, but then, of course, he ended up as coach.

The Raiders produced some fantastic players in the early days, such as Ricky Stuart and Bradley Clyde, both local products who have done exceptionally well both as players and as coaches. Of course, some of them have gone into media, such as Laurie Daley, another legend in the game. Some wonderful new players have been coming up in recent years. It is good to see so many locals in the ranks there. They branch out, too. They do a lot in the community. I was very pleased to have young Mark McLinden, a good Belconnen boy, on the youth advisory committee. He was an incredible asset for that committee when I was minister and it was great to see the contribution he made, not just to the Raiders, but also to his local community as a young man. He is now off playing in England.

The Raiders have achieved a pretty good record over 25 years. As an ex-Manly supporter, I know that it took them many years, longer than that, to win a premiership. The Raiders did it basically in seven years of operation and they continue to bring credit and glory to themselves and to Canberra. Happy birthday, Raiders. You have done yourselves proud. You have done Canberra proud. Long may you continue to be one of the flagship sporting teams in the ACT.

Mr Peter Field

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.03): Mr Speaker, last week I had the opportunity to attend the renaming of the bone marrow and transplant unit at the Canberra Hospital. The unit has been renamed the Peter Field Bone Marrow and Aphaeresis Unit. Peter Field was an outstanding Canberran, one of those people that work for the community and its needs. Although I did not have the privilege of meeting Peter Field,

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