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Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Page: 2164

Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (10:15): Today I am planning to upset both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, but they say that all is fair in love and war. I am sure this year of 2016 is going to be 'the Year of the Panther'. I thought last year was going to be the Year of the Panther, and I must admit I was wrong. I was led down the garden path by Troy Dodds, the editor of The Western Weekender. We had this theory about Chinese New Year, but unfortunately I think we got it wrong. But I am sure this year is going to be the Year of the Panther.

Mrs McNamara: Go the Panthers!

Ms SCOTT: The member for Dobell agrees it is going to be the Year of the Panther! The Prime Minister can support Easts—he can support the 'chickens'—and the Treasurer can continue with the Sharks, but we are going to make short work of both of those teams.

This year is also significant for the Panthers, as the club turns 50 this year. The Penrith Panthers journey started many years ago—in fact my grandfather was one of the people who put in one of the original bonds to bring the Panthers into being as a professional team back in the early sixties. Our team has seen some wonderful successes—people like Tim Sheens, Phil Gould, Mark Geyer, Greg Alexander, Brad Fittler, Royce Simmons, John Farragher, Scott Sattler, Daryl Brohman, Ryan Girdler and many more. Many people will remember that on 22 September 1991 we took down the Canberra Raiders at the Sydney Football Stadium—an amazing day. The last time we cooked the Chooks was 2003, so I would like the Prime Minister to know that we have done it before and we will do it again. Of course there is also poor old Cronulla, who came in in 1967 and have never won anything.

As a club we have had our tough times too but, as a true Panthers supporter, I think one of the most amazing things about the Panthers is what they provide to the entire community. Everyone knows Penrith as a rugby league town, but what the Panthers and the St Mary's Rugby League Club give back to junior sport and junior netball is pretty phenomenal. I would also like to acknowledge the Penrith Panthers netball team, which is joining the Netball Premier League this year. This is an amazing transition for what is the No. 1 participation sport in our country: netball. We are going to see these wonderful women take the court—wonderful women like Paige Hadley, a local junior who went into the state team and then into the Diamonds.

So whether you are playing netball or whether you are playing rugby league, this year is the Year of the Panther. I would like to wish the entire team the very best of luck. Matt Moylan, our new captain, has started the year with an injury—not the best way to start. I hope his injury comes good and that he gets to his feet and is out pulling on the black jersey sooner rather than later. I wish all young participants of sport right across the region the very best—and do you know what? It does not really matter if you win or lose; it is about how you play and your sportsmanship.