AFL Press Conference - Shanghai

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Well, good afternoon. It's terrific to have the opportunity be here representing the Australian Government to this, the second AFL game between Port and the Gold Coast Suns. As Australia's Tourism Minister, I carry a very big burden of sharing with the world the many benefits, highlights, delights, like food, like wine, interesting locations, and most importantly, Australian culture that we encourage people from all around the world to come to visit, to try, and to experience. The links between Australia and China are very strong. Now Chinese, or Mandarin, is the second most spoken language in Australia, and the interests of Australians in China continues to grow significantly, so I can think of no better way to foster the people-to-people links between China and Australia than through an exhibition of one of the most important, if not the most important, cultural event for Australians. To have a sell-out crowd of more than 11,000 people, of which 50 per cent are Chinese nationals, really demonstrates this is, again, continuing to grow to in profile. And I'll just share with you, these two teams are competing on Saturday. I have a slight bias because my hometown is the Gold Coast, so I'm obliged to go with my hometown, the Gold Coast Suns, but if of course, there's a Suns supporter, if of course Port gets up, well then we'll be after tonight sure that I can represent them as Australia's Minister. But either way, it's a win-win outcome, which is good for politics. Can I just applaud the AFL and both teams, can I thank the incredible support we've had from the Chinese Government as well. Both governments working together, the AFL working together, there are major sponsors which are making this happen, all to enrich the experience for Chinese and Australians with each other's cultures, and may the best team win. Thank you.

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