The Honourable Campbell Newman
Premiers unite to save State of Origin
The Queensland and New South Wales Premiers today united in urging the NRL not to sell off iconic State of Origin rugby league games to interstate bidders.
Both Premiers are concerned the NRL is currently considering a $12.5 million bid from the Victorian Government to host one game per series in Melbourne.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said it is outrageous the NRL would even consider sending a game a year outside the states where the games belong.
“State of Origin belongs to the people of Queensland and New South Wales and we shouldn’t be held to ransom over what is our own game,” Mr Newman said.
“Surely the NRL understands that this game is an institution in our states, it’s where legends like Darren Lockyer, Allan Langer and Wally Lewis were made and the meeting place for generations of diehard supporters.
“Just like the determination on the field each game, I’ll be doing everything I can to stop any other state getting the ball over the line.”
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said the NRL needs to think about the fans rather than focusing on making a quick buck.
“NSW and Queensland are the heartland of rugby league, nowhere else should even be considered as a permanent home,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“This sort of talk is akin to auctioning a game per series off on eBay to the highest bidder which clearly is just not on. The independent commission which is looking after this bid would be making a huge mistake if it was to take any more games away from the home teams.
“I urge rugby league fans in both States to make their voices heard and tell the NRL, a permanent match in Melbourne simply isn’t on.”
Melbourne currently has a deal with the NRL to host a game every three years, which will expire after this year’s series. The proposed deal from the Victorian Government would see the NRL paid $2.5 million a game plus a $500,000 grant for junior development.
MEDIA: Mitch Grayson 0408 912 821 (Queensland Premier)
Brad Burden or Cameron Hamilton (02) 9228 5239 (NSW Premier)