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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11724

Address at the Prime Minister's XI Luncheon

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 07/12/2000

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 11724

Subjects: Prime Minister's XI

E&OE..................

Well thank you very much Gary. To Gary Humphries the Chief Minister of the ACT; Mr Kim Beazley, the Leader of the Federal Opposition; Senator Margaret Reid, the President of the Senate; Malcolm Speed, Chief Executive of the Australian Cricket Board and very importantly of course Adam Gilchrist and Jimmy Adams representing the two teams taking place in what is I think is the twenty-fifth Prime Minister's XI against the touring team.

These new facilities are fantastic and it is a great pleasure to be here, it is always a pleasure to be here but the change that has been brought about on this ground by these new facilities it has really made them into, not only a classy sporty arena by Australian standards but a very classy sporting arena by world standards. And the combination of cricket and Australian Rules that is going to use these magnificent facilities I think will bring enormous credit to the ACT Cricket Association, great benefits to the people of Canberra and great enjoyment to spectators of both cricket and Australian Rules. And I do want to pay tribute to the work of the ACT Government, both Kate Carnell and Gary Humphries, the contribution the ACT Government made I think of $8 million towards this with the Federal Government contributing an additional $1 million out of Federation Funding and my colleague Margaret Reid worked tirelessly as an advocate for the development of these new facilities.

The Prime Minister's XI is one of the highlights of the political calendar as far as I am concerned anyway. And it's a very pleasant way to end the year. This is the last parliamentary sitting day I hope, that's the intention anyway that we don't sit beyond today or perhaps the wee hours of tomorrow morning. But it's a wonderful way to end the year and it's always a great pleasure to have our friends from the West Indies here, it really is. And the way the match is shaping . . . the very first Prime Minister's XI match was against the West Indies in 1951 and the tradition that's gone on since then with some interruption after Sir Robert Menzies went and then to his great credit Bob Hawke bought the tradition back in 1983 and it's been carried on ever since. And I am sure that there's bipartisan support for the makings of a very, very fine tradition of a Prime Minister's XI.

So ladies and gentlemen, I simply want to say to you Adam thank you very much for being Captain of the Prime Minister's XI. You have a great team. It's a great time for Australian cricket, we're very proud of Steve Waugh's mighty team, we're very proud of what they've achieved but we also remember the years when West Indies' teams humbled us match after match and we always remind ourselves that there are ups and downs in life and there are ups and downs in sport. And so it is that we keep that in mind, we always see the West Indies as great competitors, great entertainers and I'm delighted to welcome all of you here today. I thank the ACT Cricket Association for what it is doing for cricket. I thank the Cricket Board for its continued patronage of this game and I also want to particularly thank Hewlett Packard who's the principal sponsor of this game. As Malcolm Speed knows and all the other cricket administrators know these days you can't have these wonderful occasions without sponsors. And I do thank the company as I acknowledge all other great sponsors of Australian sport, they make a huge contribution, they keep it all going. I hope we all have a great afternoon, I'll be back later and I hope by then we're moving towards you know a very exciting climax and I look forward to sharing a drink with both teams after the game is concluded, but I hope you all enjoy yourselves.

Thanks a lot.

[ends]

Transcript 11724