HON. WAYNE SWAN MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR LILLEY
CONSTITUENCY STATEMENT (MATILDAS AND QUEENSLAND FIREBIRDS)
FEDERATION CHAMBER, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 24 JUNE 2015
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Queenslanders love their sport, and this week we have been treated to two of the best sporting moments in our recent history. The first was the victory of the Matildas over Brazil in round 16 at the FIFA Women's World Cup, in Canada. With their victory on Sunday night the women became the first Australian soccer team, men's or women's, to win a knockout stage match at a FIFA World Cup, and they will play either Japan or the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
If the Matildas lose in their World Cup quarterfinal they will leave Canada with just $2,850 in their pay packets. If the Socceroos were to lose the Asian Cup at the same stage they would be paid more than $66,000. FFA gives the Matildas amazing support, but I urge sponsors and TV broadcasters to support our Matildas and give them the backing and recognition they deserve. To the Matildas, regardless of the result in the weekend's quarterfinal in Canada, you have done Australia proud, and we will all be watching and hoping you can go all the way.
The second memorable sporting moment, which also unfolded last Sunday—it was a fantastic day last Sunday—was the Queensland Firebirds' victory over the New South Wales Swifts in the Trans-Tasman ANZ Championship grand final, at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, in Lilley. The Firebirds had reached the grand final in the previous two years, only to fall at the final hurdle. Four goals down with only a few minutes to go and it looked like they would be bridesmaids for the third year in a row. But, in true Queenslander 'never say die' style, the Firebirds staged a remarkable comeback to win by one goal on the bell. Their victory is an inspiration to all the young netballers at the Brisbane Netball Association, in Bradbury Park, and to others all across Queensland.
I think it will go down in history as a truly iconic Queensland sporting moment, comparable to Mark Coyne's miracle try in the 1994 State of Origin. The Firebirds are deserving of a permanent netballing home to call their own, and I encourage both the federal and state governments to come together to see what can be done to achieve that. Congratulations to Laura, Gretel, Romelda, Clare, Beryl, Laura, Amorette, Kimberley, Caitlyn, Verity and Rosalie, and all of their support staff and management team. You have done Queensland proud and shown a lot of people what an exciting game netball truly is. And, of course, we have had the Australian team announced today for the World Cup in August, and Laura is of course the captain of that team. The weekend was capped off by another amazing moment—and of course we have another amazing netballer here in terms of the member for Lalor, who has a pretty good record as well—but the Broncos' win over the Storm last Sunday was truly a spectacular rugby league moment.