Rookie roars in the House

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

ROOKIE MP Ewen Jones has been pulling no punches in Fed­eral Par­lia­ment, hav­ing al­ready been booted out last year and warned by t he Speaker ev­ery sitting day over the past two weeks.

But the Her­bert rep­re­sen­ta­tive has worn the ‘‘ rebel with a cause’’ tag as a badge of hon­our, par­tic­u­larly af­ter telling fel­low MPs in par­lia­ment yes­ter­day about his dis­gust over Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia drop­ping the North Queens­land Fury.

Mr Jones used his 90-sec­ond mem­ber’s state­ment lead­ing up to Ques­tion Time to give the FFA a spray over its treat­ment of North Queens­land foot­ball fans, us­ing his young son as an ex­am­ple.

‘‘ My son is a nine-year-old nat­u­ral left footer and goalscor­ing ma­chine for the Saints Sandcrabs,’’ he said.

‘‘ He fully in­tended to spend his win­ters play­ing for the North Queens­land Cow­boys and his sum­mers play­ing for the North Queens­land Fury.

‘ ‘ That dream has been dashed by the cal­lous ac­tions of the Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion of Aus­tralia.’’

Mr Jones said the FFA did not even bother to at­tend the Fury’s launch two years ago, which s et t he gov­ern­ing body’s tone to­wards the club.

‘‘ They were too busy go­ing across to suck up to those Ki­wis in Welling­ton,’’ he said.

‘‘ Since that very first sea­son our play­ing ranks have been ab­so­lutely pil­laged and raped be­cause the foot­ball fed­er­a­tion will not sup­port foot­ball in North Queens­land.

‘‘ Shame on the FFA for do­ing this.

‘‘ No won­der they only got one vote for the World Cup.’’

Mr Jones said the FFA de­served a ‘‘ real good smack in the head’’ over the Fury’s ax­ing when dis­cussing his speech with the Bul­letin and said he hoped his speech did just that.

The for­mer auc­tion­eer said it was the attitude he took with him to par­lia­ment.

‘‘ My big thing down here is, if it per­tains to Townsville I’ve got to have a say,’’ he said.

‘‘ If it looks like ei­ther hurt­ing or help­ing the peo­ple I rep­re­sent, or the peo­ple of North Queens­land in gen­eral, then I’ll be heard.’’

Mr Jones said while he had only been kicked out of par­lia­ment once, he had re­ceived a par­lia­men­tary ‘ ‘ yel­low card’’ ev­ery day for the past two weeks – a record of which he is proud.

‘‘ I don’t make any apolo­gies for that.

‘‘ If I don’t have any­thing to say, I don’t say any­thing, but if I’ve got some­thing to say, I’m not shy in mak­ing a point,’’ he said.

Ewen Jones

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