Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has called on the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)to come to an agreement which would allow the Northern Pride to play a home game preliminary-final.
Mr Pitt said that twice in the past Northern Pride has had to move a home preliminary-final to the south east corner because the ABC refuses to broadcast a game played in regional Queensland.
“I don’t believe that television rights should dictate where the games are to be played,” Mr Pitt said.
“There is a possibility this season that if the Pride finish second they will have a home semi-final on Saturday 10th September.
“Should they win that game they earn the right to host the preliminary final on Saturday 17th September to go into the grand final the following week.
“I am right behind CEO Chris Sheppard and the Pride players – they have fought hard all season and earned the right to host this game.
“The last time I checked, the Pride play in a state wide competition called the Queensland Cup, not the Brisbane Cup.
“The Club, the sponsors and supporters should not be denied an opportunity to see a game live because we don’t live in Brisbane.
“Souths Logan saw fit to play one of their home games in the northern most part of Australia – that goes to show that we can have big time matches in various locations,” Mr Pitt said.
Mr Pitt said QRL had received a quote of $87,000 from ABC TV to broadcast a match from Cairns.
“Whilst I can’t verify the ABC’s price tag for broadcasting from Cairns, what I do know is that we already have the people, equipment and expertise in Cairns.
“So if the ABC is willing to outsource there could be an opportunity for locals to provide the vision and sound with the ABC commentators to be flown up to provide the commentary.
“A Cairns game will also provide Cairns with an economic, social and cultural boost attracting a large crowd in excess of 5,000 and would also boost the club’s revenue by about $30,000.”
Mr Pitt appealed to the new QRL General Manager Robert Moore and ABC management to come to an agreement which would see regional clubs treated the same as clubs in the south east corner.