Hitting the road for annual Koori Knockout
28 September 2018
The NSW Government today announced the ongoing partnership between Transport for NSW and the 48th Annual NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout – one of Australia’s largest Aboriginal gatherings set to take place at Caltex Park in Dubbo this October long weekend.
Over 150 teams from Aboriginal communities across NSW, some travelling from as far as Broken Hill and Goodooga, will descend on Dubbo for the tournament - all competing for the coveted title and rights to host the 2019 tournament.
Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said the NSW Government has supported the event since 2014 to encourage conversations about road safety among rural and regional communities.
“The Knockout is NSW’s major cultural and sporting event and a really great opportunity for Aboriginal communities to come together for a thrilling three day gala of first-class rugby league.
“Sadly, Aboriginal Australians are still overrepresented in NSW road statistics, which is why we are so eager to play a role at events like the Koori Knockout to deliver important road safety messages,” Mr Carlon said.
In 2017 (preliminary data) at least 16 Aboriginal people lost their lives and 630 were seriously injured on NSW roads – nearly one third of those seriously injured were aged 17-25 years old.
More than 70 per cent of people who die on country roads are country locals. Speed, fatigue and drink and drug driving are the biggest factors.
“We know many of those attending will be travelling on country roads over the busy long weekend. Double demerits will be in place encouraging drivers to say ‘Yeah…NAH’ to taking risks on the road and to instead make safe, positive decisions by staying under the speed limit, avoiding driving tired and not drinking and driving,” Mr Carlon said.
“We’ll also have a Transport for NSW stand at the event so people can find out more about road safety and how they can ‘Bring the Mob Home Safely’ from the Koori Knockout.”