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Tuesday, 13 September 1983
Page: 717


Mr IAN CAMERON(10.57) — Early tomorrow morning the race of the century - the America's Cup-commences at Newport, Rhode Island. I believe that this event will be the consensus sporting event of the year. On behalf of all the landlubbers in the electorate of Maranoa in Queensland, Australia, on behalf of all the people who go to sea in boats around the coast of Australia, and I am sure on behalf of all honourable members on both sides of the House, I send our best wishes to the crew of Australia II, with John Bertrand as the captain, and of course to Dennis Connor in Liberty. Obviously the America's Cup races have been a tremendous cost to Alan Bond and to the people who have involved themselves in this competition in the past, including Sir James Hardy and Kerry Packer. Warren Jones, of course, is the Executive Director, and we send our best wishes to John Bertrand and his crew of eleven.

Gretel II, Challenge 12 and Advance competed against Australia II to bring it up to its fine pitch. The race takes four hours and at the end of that time usually only a couple of seconds separate the boats. The British boat Victory has been defeated and we have also sailed against Canada and Italy. We also congratulate Ben Lexcen on the excellent keel he has designed. We have seen all sorts of cartoons about it, depicting it in the shape of a beer bottle, a stubby , you name it. I think this designer certainly deserves the congratulations of all Australians, and here is hoping that his design will come off and that Australia II will win. Even the Australian Telecommunications Commission has got into the act. One can phone Newport on the hot line, on 900 410 1234.

Mr Speaker, I ask on behalf of all members in the House and all those who may have left-I ask those who have left to come in-that you forward a telegram of good will and support from this House to the crew of Australia II, because this race, the first of a possible seven, takes place early tomorrow morning. Let us hope we can make the Yanks walk the plank. After 132 years of competition, the Cup is still stuck in the New York Yacht Club. The British lost the Cup in 1851. All I can say, on behalf of all honourable members here tonight, is that I hope the best yacht wins, but let us hope that the winning yacht is Australia II.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 11 p.m., the debate is interrupted.


Mr Dawkins —Mr Speaker, I require the debate be extended.


Mr SPEAKER —The debate may continue until 11.10 p.m. I call the Minister for Finance.