VIDEO: Mark Speakman leads MPs in singing Up, up Cronulla in State Parliament

Tribute to Sharks: Mark Speakman could barely speak, but still managed to lead members in a chorus of Up, Up Cronulla.
Tribute to Sharks: Mark Speakman could barely speak, but still managed to lead members in a chorus of Up, Up Cronulla.

MPs have joined in singing Up, Up Cronulla in State Parliament, led by a croaky voiced Mark Speakman, wearing a Sharks scarf.

Mr Speakman, the MP for Cronulla and Environment Minister, could barely speak after contracting a virus during a a trip overseas to attend a Cambridge University reunion.

But, that didn’t stop him launching into song, and he was quickly joined by members from both sides who were present for private members statements.

Mr Speakman began with a formal tribute to the Sharks, before concluding, “There is little else I can say to convey the excitement, the relief, and the sheer joy this win has brought to Cronulla's multitudes of league lovers”.

“So instead, I will conclude with some tried-and-tested words,” he said.

He then launched into Up, up Cronulla, and was quickly joined by the other MPs, with the words of the song faithfully recorded in Hansard.

Temporary Speaker Lee Evans, the MP for Heathcote, waited till the end before calling “Order!”

“I remind the member for Cronulla that he should not use props or music,” Mr Evans said, attempting to keep a straight face.

Mr Speakman recalled his inaugural speech in Parliament in 2011, where he told of seeing the the 1978 grand final replay at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but 33 years later the wait for a premiership continued.

“The late Jack Gibson famously said, ‘Waiting for Cronulla to win the premiership is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt’,” he said.

“Well, the wait is now over.

“After Cronulla's thrilling 14-12 win over the Melbourne Storm on Sunday 2 October, households across the shire can now switch off the porch light.”

Mr Speakman spoke of the excitement in the shire.

“Cronulla mall has been a sea of black, white and blue with businesses flying balloons, streamers, flags and displaying posters,” he said.

“Enthusiasts sport their team's colours and logo and the catch-cry, Up, up Cronulla is emblazoned across shop windows, and there are thousands of Sharks supporters with voices as hoarse as mine tonight.

“The shire community is known for its parochialism, its strong sense of character and its passion for the NRL.

“Those attributes were displayed in spades as Cronulla celebrated the Sharks' historic win – their first win in their fiftieth year in the competition.”

Mr Speakman told of how “the long road to the premiership has been plagued with heartache”, and of his “thrill to share in this very proud moment for my community and its iconic club”.

“I congratulate team captain Paul Gallen, who is celebrating his first premiership at age 35; coach Shane Flanagan; second-rower Luke Lewis, recipient of the Clive Churchill medal for best player on the field for the grand final; and all the players who competed for the Sharks throughout the season,” he said.

“This is a tremendous result of which they can all be enormously proud.”


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