09 August 2023

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (13:43): Basketball is booming in Ipswich. There has been a 50 per cent increase in participation in the last two years. My congratulations go to the Ipswich Force mighty men's team, who took out the NBL1 North basketball title on Sunday. Inspired by final series MVP and Australian Boomer Nathan Sobey, the Force defeated the Gold Coast Rollers two games to one, all played away from home. Courageous and ever versatile, captain Jason Ralph led the Force men's team from the front as always. Sobey averaged 27 points and five rebounds across three games—a worthy MVP. Deng Deng amazed us with 43 points and 13 rebounds in the decider. I congratulate the team; head coach, Chris Riches; his assistant coaches; IBA president, Toni Caldwell; and the new Ipswich basketball general manager, David Jordan. I also congratulate his predecessor, Brady Walmsley, and say: You shouldn't have gone to the Gold Coast, Brady. You should have stayed in Ipswich. I've been to quite a few games this year, and I also congratulate the Force women's team, ably led by Captain Georgia Ralph.

In the federal budget this year, the Albanese Labor government committed $2 million to upgrade the Ipswich basketball stadium. This is the kind of grassroots community sport investment that we need in Ipswich. Congratulations to our champion teams.