Press conference on Australia and New Zealand hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
Marise Payne: Good morning everybody and what a fabulous morning to wake up as a little girl or a young woman in Australia and New Zealand, to know what is coming your way in 2023. This is such a momentous decision for Australia and New Zealand and also for our region, the Asia Pacific — the first time a Women’s World Cup is being held here, the first time a Women's World Cup is being held in the Southern Hemisphere. And for the Matildas and the Football Ferns who are here this morning, this is your hard work, as well as the FFA, as well as all of the Australians and New Zealanders who got behind you.
I've been in touch with the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Winston Peters, this morning. He's observed it's probably going to be quite a cold tournament in New Zealand but he tells me Dunedin has a covered stadium so he's very happy about that.
I think the message that it sends to women and to girls in Australia about their ability to participate is that the world's eyes will be on them now. So, if you’re a little girl in your soccer gear on the side of a footy field in Perth or in Darwin or in Penrith where I live, then the future is yours. It's all in front of you and it's coming here. It's coming to Australia in 2023.
Last year, the Junior Matildas took a tour of the Pacific. I will never forget the conversations I had with the Junior Matildas, the looks on their faces, the workbook they put together of the amazing shots taken of their tour. It was a really powerful demonstration of the power of sport to bring countries together, to encourage the participation of women and girls where otherwise they might not have that opportunity. And then to follow that, just this year, the girls of the Junior Matildas sent the most powerful message to their counterparts in the Pacific who had been so badly impacted by Tropical Cyclone Harold and that really sealed the deal for me. The power of sport is immense. It is so strong between countries in our region. It is so strong between Australia and New Zealand. And this is absolutely the best demonstration of that.
So ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts. 2023 is going to be a really big year for women's football in this country. Thank you.
Journalist: Minister, obviously, relations between Australia and New Zealand, they're at an all time high at the moment, but what about Australia and New Zealand and England?
Marise Payne: Well, countries’ decisions are a matter for them and for their football associations. But I think Minister Colbeck has summed it up when he talked about the level of support that our bid received. And I want to thank those football associations around the world who supported our bid and I look forward to welcoming everyone to Australia in 2023.
Journalist: Have you spoken to George Brandis? Will there be an investigation into this? Is this a breakdown of proportions?
Marise Payne: I’ve certainly spoken to High Commissioner Brandis. We speak often of course. But most importantly, when you look at the offering that Australia has for the world, we will welcome everyone here in 2023 in the spirit of sport.
Journalist: What was the nature of the communication with Mr Greg Clarke from the English Football Association in the last 48 hours?
Marise Payne: You'd have to ask those football association representatives who are communicating with him. That's not my job.