90 second statement – National Rugby League Pacific Showcase

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Mr PITT: I am, indeed. I have with me the inaugural NRL Pacific Showcase trophy, from the touch football game on Tuesday! It was played in very good spirits. It will go on to be an annual event. I want to give a shout-out to Jess Goddard from the NRL. It was her birthday on Tuesday and she spent it—before dawn—setting up the Senate oval so we could all have a game. JBR and the team did a fantastic job.

More importantly, it was about the people-to-people links between us and our good friends in the Pacific, and continuing to build on that good faith, by a game of touch football and through sport. So a big shout-out to Petero Civoniceva—whose name I still can’t pronounce correctly. Elsie Albert, who played on one of the sides, is the first Papua New Guinean to play in the NRLW, and she’s a fantastic ambassador for rugby league amongst women across the country. Sia Soliola, from Samoa, is another female athlete playing in the NRLW. It’s great to have her there. She had some serious wheels.

To everyone who played and took part, it was a great event. But a special shout-out to the member for Nicholls, Sam Birrell, who was named player of the match. I could count the number of touch football games on one hand that he’s played: State of Origin, three trials, the Pacific Showcase—I expect he’ll play for Australia next.

In the last couple of seconds, I give a big shout-out to Paul and Ricky, down from Bundaberg, from my electorate. Welcome to the parliament!

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. I’ll let the prop through, on this occasion.

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