NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet's telling shot at Karl Stefanovic amid NRL battle

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet and Today host Karl Stefanovic are pictured side by side.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet and Today host Karl Stefanovic's banter about the NRL grand final got slightly personal ahead of the venue announcement. Pictures: Channel Nine

Karl Stefanovic has squared off with NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet over the upcoming announcement of the location for this year's NRL grand final, as Sydney and Brisbane square off for the rugby league showcase.

Though the NSW premier described Sydney's long-term hosting of the NRL grand final as an 'institution in our state', the hugely successful move to Brisbane during last year's COVID-19 impacted season proved a huge success.

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After a lengthy meeting of the ARL Commission on Wednesday evening, the NRL announced a decision would be made early on Thursday afternoon.

In an interview on Channel 9's Today, Stefanovic needled Perrotet over the potential loss of the NRL decider to fierce rivals Queensland.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted her support for the NRL grand final's return to Brisbane on Wednesday, and Stefanovic couldn't help but poke the bear with her NSW counterpart.

“Looks like you're going to be the NSW Premier who lost the grand final to Queensland. I mean how embarrassing Premier,” he quipped, but as the interview wore on it was clear Perrottet's patience was wearing somewhat thin.

Though he initially defending Sydney's longstanding record of hosting the grand final and his confidence that the NRL would retain a marquee event for the state, Stefanovic's subsequent suggestion that he was 'resigned to losing it' elicited a more pointed response.

“You lose the grand final, you've lost everything," Stefanovic said.

“What events are in NSW?”

In response, Perrotet curtly told the Today host exactly what he thought.

“Well Karl, I know you're from Queensland. If you think Queensland is so great, you can go back and live there,” he said.

The exchance comes amid a series of controversies besetting the NSW government, chiefly the inquiry into the manner in which former deputy premier John Barilaro came to be offered a $500k taxpayer funded role in New York shortly after his retirement from politics.

The Premier has also been at odds with ARLC boss Peter V'landys, after sidelining an $800m suburban stadium revitalisation plan in favour of the flood response in northern NSW.

“I might just have to do that,” Stefanovic replied.

“You are having an absolute Barry Crocker at the moment, you and your government.”

NRL set to announce grand final venue amid state rivalry

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo and ARL Commission chair V'landys will front the media at the league's Moore Park headquarters to reveal whether NSW or Queensland will host the event.

Both state governments have submitted their final pitches for the event that will either take place at Accor Stadium in Sydney or Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on October 2.

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet says he expects the NRL grand final to be played in Sydney despite offering less money than Queensland to host the event.

Perrottet conceded on Thursday morning NSW's offer did not match what Queensland were throwing at the league.

But he believes the NRL will stick with tradition and play the match in Sydney, with last year's game only moved to Queensland due to COVID-19.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet is pictured during a press conference.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet is confident Sydney will be selected as the venue for the NRL grand final, despite a lower financial bid. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

"The discussions are commercial in confidence, but (the financial bid) is less than what they're offering in Queensland," Perrottet told Seven's Sunrise program.

"But as premier of the state I have to make decisions in relation to the priorities that we have in front of us.

"We have many people up here in the Northern Rivers that are still not in homes (after the floods).

"But ultimately the NRL grand final has always been in NSW, it's great for people of our state and my expectation is that is where it stay."

The venue of the grand final was first plunged into doubt in April, when the NRL grew concerned a suburban stadiums deal was yet to be put into writing.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys and Perrottet then emerged from meetings confident peace had been brokered, with the match to be played at Accor Stadium.

However that was turned on its head a fortnight ago when the NSW premier confirmed suburban stadium upgrades were no longer a priority, with money to instead go to flood relief efforts.

With AAP

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