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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12904


Mr FORREST (10:49 PM) —Thank you for an opportunity to place on the public record a tribute to the Australian speedway world cup team. Speedway is motorcycle racing, which is very popular in the Riverland and, Mr Speaker, as I know, in Waikerie as well. But its birthplace I lay claim to as being Mildura. The speedway world cup team is made up of riders who have all had their origins in Mildura: Leigh Adams, whom I have a photograph of in my office here in Parliament House when he won the 1994 world championship; Jason Lyons; Jason Crump and Ryan Sullivan—all of them youngsters who grew up and obtained their motorcycle experience in Mildura. Mildura is so chuffed and pleased about their success on 3 October in Czechoslovakia that the Mayor of the Mildura City Council, Councillor Howard Crothers, is having a very special civic acknowledgment for the team as they arrive back in Mildura early in the new year.

Leigh Adams is the Mildura international speedway rider and Australian test team captain. His success in the Czech Republic on 3 October earned him the Czech Golden Helmet individual event, and the Australians won the team cup in a very convincing fashion with a splendid team effort to score 51 points over second place home team, Czech Republic, with 35 points. A run-off race was required to decide third place, which went to the United States, over fourth place to England—both had finished on 29 points. My constituents who originate from Mildura are very pleased to be ahead of the United States team and particularly the British team. It is always good to beat the English team.

The first pair, Crump and Lyons, scored 23 points out of a possible 30, which is a brilliant score. If you know anything about this particular game, it is very high risk. It involves a 500cc-motorcycle, which I would not ride, on a compacted sand track, reaching speeds of up to 150 kilometres an hour. So anybody who rides in this particular sport has my respect, and I am looking forward to adding to the photograph that I have already of Leigh Adams a photograph of the whole team, which I would be proud on any occasion to show off to members of this place.

We often go on about the big sports. The Prime Minister is off tonight with our cricket team, and we have heralded our successful ladies' basketball teams and others who come back with big ticket sports. Here is a world renowned sport with Australian champions that originate in Mallee, and we down there are very proud of them. I am very pleased tonight to have an opportunity to place that sense of pride on the public record in this place. I commend each of the young men involved. They have my respect, admiration, support and encouragement. I will be looking forward to taking part with the rest of the Sunraysia community around Mildura in supporting the mayor, Councillor Howard Crothers, in giving them a civic acknowledgment of that respect.