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Regional Queensland rugby league fans are being urged by Sport Minister Andrew Fraser to support a push to have the NRL final restored to its traditional Sunday afternoon timeslot.
Mr Fraser says a petition calling for the Sunday final that he launched with the Brisbane Broncos club ?will get a big kick-along if passionate regional fans support it.?
?Winning the grand final was fantastic for the Broncos, but it would have been even better if the match had been staged on the Sunday afternoon,? Mr Fraser said today.
?That?s why we launched the petition. It?s a Queensland tradition to have a barbie and watch the match in the afternoon and then kick the footy around with the kids in the back yard.
?That tradition shouldn?t be being forsaken just so the match can be televised in a night-time slot because of pure commercial considerations.?
The petition to State Parliament, launched in Brisbane, is rapidly gaining momentum, Mr Fraser said.
?I encourage everyone who has an interest in the game and in this great Sunday afternoon institution to get behind this push and lobby the NRL.
?Next year this might affect the Cowboys, so it?s a great idea for their fans in the North ? as well as regional Broncos fans ? to have their say on this issue.
?If the Cowboys play off in the grand final, their fans who go to Sydney will have to take a day off work on the Monday to get home, unlike Sydney club supporters who have a public holiday that day.
?The petition is an online one that you access through the Queensland Parliament website. The more people who sign, the louder our collective protest will be,? Mr Fraser said.
Launching the petition, Broncos CEO Bruno Cullen said the grand final needed to revert to an afternoon timeslot to allow for family viewing, with an emphasis on children.
Mr Cullen said the current Sunday night final arrangement was hardly family-friendly, because Queenslanders had to go to work the next day, unlike people in New South Wales where there was a public holiday on the Monday.
NRL grand finals have been held on Sunday nights since 2001.
The website address for Parliament petitions is:
http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au (then click on Legislative Assembly and Petitions)