Transcript by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

AFL funding in the Kimberley


JENNY MACKLIN: Thanks everyone for being here, and if I could first of all thank everybody from the Hawthorn Football Club. As you’ve just heard, I like someone else, am a Geelong supporter. So, nevertheless, it’s great to be here today, particularly with Lance, and everyone else from the Hawthorn Footy Club.

If I can just say, first of all, congratulations on a great Grand Final win. It was a great win. Very difficult day for us Geelong supporters, but nevertheless, and Lance you played an amazing game.

I am really, really pleased to be able to announce today that we’re partnering with the AFL and the Western Australian Football Commission to add an extra $250,000 to make sure the development of this game continues in the Kimberley.

We know that there are many thousands of Indigenous children and young people playing Australian Rules right across Australia. What we want to do is make sure that those youngsters in the Kimberley get the chance to train, get the chance to really develop as footballers, as Lance had the chance to do and we’re seeing so many other AFL players also really showing what they can do with their talents.

If I can really congratulate the AFL and the Western Australian Football Commission. They too, are doing an outstanding job of leadership, showing Indigenous kids and young people that they can use their sporting talents to become leaders in their own communities and in the broader Australian community.

We understand just how important sport is, for young people’s health, developing their leadership potential. We’ve seen with Kickstart and so many other initiatives of the AFL, that it really does encourage kids to not only go on with their sport, but to stay on at school and to become leaders in their communities. So, I’m very pleased that this additional money will now see the sport go a step ahead in the Kimberley, and I’m really thrilled that we’re doing it here today with Lance’s support as a West Australian.

Thank you.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

JENNY MACKLIN: What it’s going to be used for, you mean?

So it’ll be used to help people become umpires, team managers, coaches, sports administrators in the region. There’s actually money that’s going to be used for employing specific people to do training in Kununurra and in Broome, so that’s what the money will be used for.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

LANCE FRANKLIN: Yeah, obviously being an Indigenous person, the money from the Government’s going to mean a lot to the Indigenous guys. It’s going to obviously give them an opportunity to get an education and a healthy lifestyle.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

JENNY MACKLIN: That was really done with the AFL. We – what we’ve got is different AFL teams working hard with different Indigenous communities in different parts of Australia, so you’d be all be aware, we’re just talking about Hawthorn going up to the Tiwi Islands and of course we know that traditionally Essendon have played a great role in the Tiwi Islands.

My team, Geelong, does a great job in Gove. We’ve got the AFL very active in the [indistinct] APY Lands in South Australia and the South Australian – some of the South Australian teams are very active in other parts of South Australia.

So, it was really recognising that there are a lot of people – young people playing footy in the Kimberley and the AFL, as part of their whole program to continue to develop young people across Australia, young Indigenous people across Australia, they wanted to get this work happening in the Kimberley.

Okay? Done. Fantastic. Well done. Do you want to say anything else? Do you want to say anything to the kids?

QUESTION: There’s been some rumours about you testing positive to drugs recently [indistinct].

MALE SPEAKER: Excuse me guys, there’ll be obviously no questions in regard to that at all. Okay, any other sports questions please, feel free.


QUESTION: Minister, can I ask you, how do you think the Rudd Government’s expected to react to the expected request for private health insurance [indistinct]?

JENNY MACKLIN: We – there’s a proper process that the health insurance – private health insurers go through every year and the Health Minister will make the decisions about those rises once she has all that information in front of her.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

JENNY MACKLIN: Well one of the significant changes that was made in the Council of Australian Government’s meeting at the end of November was a huge boost in funding to hospitals, particularly to our public hospitals. We recognise that our hospitals have been under very significant pressure because of cuts to public hospital funding over the last 10 years, so we certainly know that we have a lot to do in the public hospital system and the Health Minister and the Prime Minister have been involved in significant increases to health funding for the next five years.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

JENNY MACKLIN: Well let’s wait and see what they come forward with.

MALE SPEAKER: Got any football questions, guys?

QUESTION: Just on the foot, after the new year, last year, the 100 goals, the Premiership and so on. How do you feel sort of, I guess, following up on the [indistinct].

LANCE FRANKLIN: Yeah, obviously last year was a big year for us. We won the Premiership, but we’re just putting that behind us now. It’s a new year. We’ve just had a strong pre-season right now and we’re just in that phase of working hard as a team and putting in another good, hard pre-season and hopefully we can put together some good games and see how far we go again.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

LANCE FRANKLIN: Yeah, obviously, we’re going to be hunted this year, and I suppose as a team we would like that too. So, we’re just going to keep playing the football we played last year and hopefully it will take us back to where we were last year.

QUESTION: How’s that body coming on [indistinct]?

JENNY MACKLIN: Looks pretty good to me.

LANCE FRANKLIN: Yeah, the body’s coming along all right. Obviously had surgery on my shoulder and my thumb at the end of the year, but it’s coming along all right. I’m not doing any – I’m doing skills at the moment, but I’m, not doing any touch, so it should be right by round one.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

LANCE FRANKLIN: Yeah, well the last four pre-seasons I’ve basically done nearly everything and this is the first pre-season which I’ve only done probably less than 50 per cent. So, it’s a little bit disappointing, but I’ve just got to keep working in pre-season and just pushing myself and hopefully I get right for round one.

MALE SPEAKER: One last question guys.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

LANCE FRANKLIN: Definitely not, definitely not. I suppose that’s why you have surgery to get the body right, and as long as you don’t do anything wrong with it during pre-season, then I suppose it’s going to be right for round one.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

LANCE FRANKLIN: We’ll just see what happens, just see what happens. If it feels all right, obviously I’ll get out there and play, but if it’s not right at that time, I’ll just leave it and wait for round one.

QUESTION: [Inaudible question]

LANCE FRANKLIN: Probably kick straight I reckon.