Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has labelled New South Wales “whingers” following the decision to host next week’s State of Origin decider in Townsville.
League bosses admit they had little choice but to move the game from the MCG because of Melbourne’s COVID outbreak.
But other cities including Perth, Adelaide and Canberra were overlooked in favour of Townsville.
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That’s despite Queensland Country Bank Stadium having a capacity of less than 28,000.
Ms Palaszczuk has refused to say how much Queensland stumped up to secure the game for Townsville, citing commercial-in-confidence.
But she insists the state is getting “value for money.”
“We are going to see people come and celebrate that historic State of Origin game next Wednesday from Mt Isa, Cairns, The Torres Strait, Mackay, Townsville, all across regional Queensland will come and celebrate this State of Origin,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The benefits it will bring to the local economy is going to be flowing endlessly.”
It’s reported Queensland has paid in excess of $8 million to secure the game, a figure that’s been slammed by the New South Wales government.
New South Wales Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres described the amount as “truly silly money” after the state refused to get into a bidding war.
But the Premier is not phased by the criticism.
“I understand New South Wales are whinging and you’d expect that from New South Wales,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“They’re good at whinging and all I ever hear is whinge, whinge, whinge from New South Wales.”