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Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Page: 8705

Mr EWEN JONES (Herbert) (13:49): It used to be said that all roads lead to Rome. Well, in 2012, if you are a cricket tragic, all roads lead to Townsville in North Queensland. Townsville is hosting the World Under-19 Cricket Championships, which started last weekend with Australia soundly thrashing the English at Tony Ireland Stadium. Watching these guys from the sidelines were Gregory Stephen Chappell, Stuart Law and Craig McDermott. We were at a function the night before and I did not have the guts to tell Greg Chappell about the magnificent 'four for' I took and 54 runs I scored for Toowoomba Grammar School in 1977 on the flats at Nudgee.

To see these young men stride the national stage, to see people like Courtney Walsh there with the West Indians, to see the magnificent fields that we have provided, should say to everyone how good it is to be in regional Queensland and how good it is to be in regional Australia. To Peter Raffles, the chair and guiding light of this, I say congratulations. To the Townsville City Council, led by Mayor Jenny Hill, I say congratulations. To everyone who has had anything to do with this, including Greg Hallam and the previous chair of Townsville Cricket, Wayne Nicholson, to everyone who has put their hand up for this job, it is going to be a magnificent thing, with the final coming in just a few short weeks. It will mean 2,500 bed nights for North Queensland. Good on North Queensland!