24 August 2021: Good luck to our Paralympians

24 August 2021

Senator McCARTHY (Northern Territory—Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (13:53): [by video link]

I want to wish all our Paralympians the best of luck ahead of the Paralympic Games starting tonight. Australia is behind you all the way, and we are so proud of your achievements. In particular, congratulations to our Territory athletes, including Tom O'Neill-Thorne, who will complete in the men's wheelchair basketball team, the Aussie Rollers. I know my son CJ, who's trained with the Australian team, is sending all his love to all his teammates over there, too. The opening ceremony begins at 9 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, and I know I'll be tuning in to watch it.

I also want to congratulate all the athletes who competed in the Tokyo Olympic Games, including our Territorians. How terrific it was to be able to watch the Olympics from here when so much of our country was in lockdown.

I'd like to mention NT brothers Jeremy and Leon Hayward, who both made it to the Olympics for hockey, competing against each other. Jeremy played for Australia's Kookaburras, while 31-year-old Leon played in goals for the Black Sticks of New Zealand. Congratulations to Brooke Peris from Darwin, the niece, of course, of Nova, who once stood as a senator in this place. Brooke competed for the Hockeyroos and did us so proud. The NT was proud to welcome the athletes to the Howard Strings quarantine centre after the Olympics, and I know we wish the Paralympians well.

As Australia gears up for our Olympics in Brisbane, I call on the Queensland Premier and those who are going to prepare for the Olympics to make sure that this time we can have both the Paralympics and the Olympics all together in Brisbane in 2032.