Black Caviar


Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart) (12:42): I certainly join with the member for Bragg and all others who have spoken here to congratulate Black Caviar, her trainer, Peter Moody, and the team for their continued success and 21st win, which was at Morphettville. Of course, in a team there is a wide range of people, from strappers all the way up to owners. They are quite a formidable team, as has been mentioned. They have got their own website, they have got their own merchandising branded, they are a very, very well oiled machine and so they should be, when they are there to lead and support such a wonderful, wonderful racehorse.

It is not often that we get to see in South Australia an athlete break his or her own world record. That is what we got to see on 12 May this year, following the record-breaking 20th win on 28 April. It was terrific to see some support throughout the state. It was terrific that the AFL and the Crows were able to adjust their match time so that people could enjoy both, whether they were going to try to attend both, listen to both on the radio or watch it on TV—whatever it happened to be.

I remember very fondly my wife Rebecca and I, over the last couple years, driving all over country South Australia on the weekends, hearing Black Caviar's next win and the next win and the next win and the excitement that builds through that. So, when the chance came to come and watch her at Morphettville, of course we could not resist. We were very, very grateful to be invited by the SAJC to a wonderful lunch on the 28th and we returned again on the 12th and just came in through the gates with the rest of the general admission crowd and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves that day as well.

I think it is very important for a minister or a shadow minister to do everything they can to enjoy these events from all different angles. We are very fortunate, as members of parliament, to get invited to a lot of things. I think it is also important to turn up when you are not invited to enjoy the sport and mingle with normal South Australians. We thoroughly enjoyed doing that.

Of course, in this motion it is important to congratulate the SAJC—both for bringing Black Caviar to South Australia but also for running the two events, the two race days, as professionally as they did. They are very, very different things. To get the horse, the owners, the trainer and everybody to agree to come is one thing, but to have run those events with 25,000 to 30,000 people was quite an achievement as well.

Great credit goes to Brenton Wilkinson, the CEO; David Peacock and Tony Newman, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman; the entire committee; and, very importantly, the staff. Running those two race meets meant big, busy days, and I thank them all for everything they did. I also thank the people who turned up. To have 25,000 to 30,000 people at a Saturday race meet a fortnight apart and behave, in the main, in they way they did I think speaks very well of the broader South Australian public, so thank you to them for turning up.

Of course, it was a marvellous event and it has done wonders for racing. Whether people came and watched, listened on the radio, watched on television, or listened in their cars, wherever they might have been, and whether they were seasoned racegoers or newcomers to the sport, the fact that these events were held and that Black Caviar raced at Morphettville has provided a gigantic opportunity for the promotion of the sport of racing and the industry more broadly.

I remember hearing Brenton Wilkinson say that at the first race they had 600 extra staff over and above those they would normally employ for a regular Saturday race meet at Morphettville. That speaks volumes for the SAJC but, probably more importantly, it speaks volumes for the industry. This is an industry with enormous growth potential, and it is one of the largest employers in the nation.

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why this government does not have a minister for racing. We are the only state in Australia without a minister for racing. There is no federal minister for racing, so if we are not looking out for ourselves there is no-one with that broader umbrella who is looking out for us. The fact that Black Caviar has come here and we have had this gigantic opportunity to grow the sport really does ask the question: why do we not have a minister for racing?

I thank the government for providing public transport opportunities. That was a very good and positive thing to do, but the support for this industry cannot just be a one-off. When the SAJC takes the lead and the racing industry has such a day—or two, as we have been so lucky to have—it is good that the government supports it, but it should also provide support year in year out to help this very important industry to grow.

One of the most important ways it can do this is by supporting the racing industry to have the Adelaide Cup public holiday in May when the industry wants it. I think it is extremely arrogant for any government to tell them when they should hold their major event of the year. We in opposition certainly do have a focus on this industry as it is an important sport for tourism and creates very important events, and I encourage the government to join with us in that.

Of course, along with all members of this house, I wish Black Caviar the very best when she goes to Royal Ascot. I am sure all South Australians and all Australians will be listening very closely to see how well she does. I am confident that she will do extremely well. It was interesting to read in a newspaper a few months ago that famous South Australia athlete, Amber Halliday, had written that she was frustrated that the most famous South Australian female athlete was a horse—Black Caviar; nonetheless I think Black Caviar has proven that at the moment she deserves that attention.

I say again that I look forward to following Black Caviar's success. I wish her all the very best. I hope that she will return to Australia, whether as a racer or a breeder, and I hope that the Minister for Recreation and Sport will join with us and speak on this motion.


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