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Monday, 12 October 2015
Page: 10743

Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (13:40): I rise to congratulate the North Queensland Cowboys on their first-ever win in the NRL grand final on 4 October. Deputy Speaker Vasta, you might notice that I stand here adorned in a North Queensland Cowboys' scarf as a result of a good natured challenge between me and my parliamentary colleague and ferocious Cowboys supporter Ewen Jones, the member for Herbert. Indeed, such was the quality of the game that the two teams could only be separated by one point at full time. It then took one of the greatest players ever—four-time Dally M winner and Clive Churchill medallist Johnathan Thurston—to break the deadlock with a field goal in extra time.

This grand final is special in many other ways. One is that it was the first time both teams were captained by an Indigenous person. As the member for Herbert will attest, the Cowboys win was not just a win for the team but was a win for the entire North Queensland region. And what a win it was! I also want to congratulate my home team, the Broncos. They were gallant in defeat. To coach Wayne Bennett, captain Justin Hodges and all the players: well done on a fantastic effort! You did us proud.

Finally, I want to mention Broncos CEO Paul White. Paul is a fighter. It was wonderful to see Paul, his wife Ange and his four daughters at the annual Broncos ball last Friday night. Even with his health challenges, the Broncos remain top of Paul's mind. I congratulate the Cowboys, but here's to a Broncos win in 2016!