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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1622

Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:57): I rise today to tell House that I am proud that the Bendigo Spirit, our great basketball team, will again be in the grand final against the Townsville Fire. I have news for the member for Herbert: the Bendigo Spirit will make it three in a row. We will be three times winners of the WNBL championship. It was great to be there at the game yesterday. The House should note that the game was being broadcast on ABC. Fans of Sydney Uni could watch the game live on ABC. This weekend, when the Spirit go up against the member for Herbert's team, Townsville, and when the Spirit are victorious again, we will get to watch the game live on ABC.

Unfortunately, however, it will be the last WNBL game to be broadcast by the ABC. Funding cuts to the ABC mean that the WNBL will not be broadcast for 2015-16, ending a 35-year relationship between the WNBL and the ABC. It is an absolute disgrace that this government has brought about the result of an end of funding to broadcasting women's elite sport. I call on the government this weekend to stand by the WNBL and restore the funding so that next year the member for Herbert can watch the Bendigo Spirit again be victorious over Townsville.