RUGBY WORLD CUP
Motion for the suspension of standing orders, by leave, by Mr Whelan agreed to:
That Standing Orders be suspended to allow the consideration forthwith of a motion concerning the Australian World Cup Rugby Union team.
Mr WHELAN (Ashfield - Minister for Police) [6.58]: I move:
The World Cup is more than a sporting event. It is the coming together of people of all nations, colours and religions. This World Cup has attracted more entrants than ever before. Thus the melting pot of cultures is more diverse than ever. In the stands at Newland Stadium, Capetown, will be one of the world's great leaders, Nelson Mandela. As our team will compete in front of him on this world stage, it is entirely appropriate that this House wish the Wallabies success as players and as ambassadors of Australia. On a personal note, I convey my best wishes to the Australian reserve hooker, Michael Foley, who played for the St Patrick's College, Strathfield, first 15 as hooker. I wish him and the rest of the team well.
Mr WEST (Orange) [7.01]: I am more than pleased to support the motion moved by the Leader of the House. Though rugby league is going through difficult changes, rugby union is having the greatest possible focus not only in Australia but worldwide. Many people in Australia and throughout the world will be following what is undoubtedly Australia's great challenge to retain the World Cup title. I am sure that everyone wishes them well. It is interesting that those who are prepared to have a little punt - even South Africans - are placing their money on Australia. Australia has a very experienced team, and its players are great ambassadors for our country.
I have watched on the television and read with interest the numerous statements made in the lead-up to the opening game. It is interesting that when the Australians visited South Africa on the first occasion after South Africa was readmitted to the world of rugby union, strong racial tensions were evident. This time the Australian coach, Bob Dwyer, is going overboard to be a master of diplomacy - the Australian team is obviously playing the same game. That attitude will do a great deal for the game of rugby union and for international relations. Rugby has the ability to develop such relations. Every player in the Australian team is playing for himself, his team and for Australia. We wish them well.
Mr WHELAN (Ashfield - Minister for Police) [7.02], in reply: I reply only because this motion has great implications for all. Many young people aspire to play for Australia, and I understand there is one young person playing at Orange, who my spies tell me is very good. Perhaps one day his father might be moving a like motion in this Chamber.
Motion agreed to.
That this House conveys its best wishes to the Australian World Cup Rugby Union team as they defend their World Title in Cape Town, South Africa.
House adjourned at 7.03 p.m.