Thursday, 2 September 2021
Statements by Members
Tokyo Paralympic Games
I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Australian Paralympic athletes on their outstanding achievements. From my own electorate of Cowper we have four remarkable men and women who are proudly representing our country. Ryley Batt from Port Macquarie, captain of the Australian wheelchair rugby team and widely regarded as the greatest wheelchair rugby player the world has ever seen, narrowly missed out on a bronze after defeat by the host nation, Japan. Bill Latham from Coffs Harbour, an integral member of the Australian wheelchair basketball team, made it to the quarterfinals last night against Japan. Paige Leonhardt from Port Macquarie, who competed in the SM14 swimming category, is now bringing home a silver medal after a spectacular performance in the 100-metre butterfly. Maddie McTernan, who found her love of swimming at Coffs Harbour Nippers, is also bringing home a silver medal from the electrifying mixed 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay.
However, with up to $20,000 cash from the Australian Olympic Committee for able-bodied podium finishes, to learn that absolutely no financial award is provided to their Paralympic counterparts was very disappointing. I think we can all agree that something needs to be done about this disparity. Thank you Ryley, Bill, Paige and Maddie; you've done Cowper and this country proud.