Annastacia Palaszczuk faces a backlash after announcing a stand would be named after a politician. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Annastacia Palaszczuk faces a backlash after announcing a stand would be named after a politician. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Captain’s call flops for grandstanding Premier

FOOTBALL fans and players have derided Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's controversial "captain's call" to name a grandstand at Suncorp Stadium after politician Terry Mackenroth.

But Ms Palaszczuk maintains fans need to appreciate the work the former deputy premier did in building Suncorp Stadium before they question the decision, which did not go to Cabinet.

A poll of more than 2000 couriermail.com.au readers revealed 76 per cent believed a sporting legend should have a stand named after them before a politician, while 50 per cent singled out Maroons legend Wally Lewis as the most suitable candidate.

Annastacia Palaszczuk faces a backlash after announcing a stand would be named after a politician. Picture: Tara Croser
Annastacia Palaszczuk faces a backlash after announcing a stand would be named after a politician. Picture: Tara Croser

Ms Palaszczuk attempted to deflect discussion on the issue by announcing a bronze statue of Allan Langer would be built outside the stadium during a press conference at manufacturing site yesterday.

It comes after the Queensland Rugby League board wrote to the Government to say the former Broncos halfback would be their preference to be immortalised.

Terry Mackenroth was honoured at Suncorp Stadium with a minute’s silence after his death in April.
Terry Mackenroth was honoured at Suncorp Stadium with a minute’s silence after his death in April.

She denied claims from the Opposition that the decision was a "captain's call", claiming it was made in consultation with Sports Minister Mick de Brenni and signed off by the former Stadiums Queensland board - which the Government sensationally replaced last week.

"Honestly, I don't know what all of the fuss is about; honestly, we wouldn't have Suncorp Stadium if it wasn't for Terry," she said.

"Let me make it very clear - my understanding is it is one panel and it will say the Terry Mackenroth stand. It is not a monument, but everyone who attends Suncorp Stadium, in fact Suncorp Stadium would not have been built if it wasn't for Terry. I think it is a fitting tribute, and as I said, I think this is a bit of a storm in a teacup - it is seriously one panel."

Should a stand at Suncorp Stadium be named for politician Terry Mackenroth before a sporting legend?

This poll ended on 04 August 2018.

Current Results

Yes

18%

No

81%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Rugby league players were split on the decision, with Queensland hooker Andrew McCullough, whose family shared a connection with Terry Mackenroth, saying he was pleased to see him honoured at the stadium.

"It's very sad to have lost him but we should celebrate what he did for a lot of people in Queensland - not just in rugby league. If Suncorp want to honour him, that would be great," he said.

Queensland halfback Ben Hunt said he believed the naming of stands should be reserved for greats who have played there.

"If you're going to name a rugby league stadium or a stand after someone, it needs to be after one of the greats who has played there. There have definitely been a lot who have played for the Broncos and Queensland there. I don't see why it shouldn't be one of them," he said.

Queensland Rugby League boss Bruce Hatcher said Mr Mackenroth had masterminded the construction of the modern stadium and deserved the honour.

"Players play the game, that's fantastic, but there's a hell of a lot that goes on behind the scenes," Mr Hatcher said.

"There were a lot of proponents who said that stadium shouldn't be there, it should be demolished and moved.

"For what was created there it's outstanding and why wouldn't you recognise the individual who drove its development?"

Terry Mackenroth runs his eye over progress at the Suncorp Stadium redevelopment site back in December 2002.
Terry Mackenroth runs his eye over progress at the Suncorp Stadium redevelopment site back in December 2002.

 

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander hit out at Ms Palaszczuk's decision to use the opportunity to announce that a statue for Langer had been decided upon.

"I think mentioning Alfie Langer today was incredibly disrespectful of Alf and a classic Labor Party tactic, which is we need a diversion, we need another shiny ball to take the attention away from that," he told 4BC radio.



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