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Perth’s loss could be Betoota’s gain, according to Lord Mayor Keith Carton who today kicked off our town’s official bid to host the Fifth Ashes Test early next year.

Speaking to local media today at the Remienko Cricket Complex in the Old City District, Mayor Carton explained that if places such as Hobart and Canberra are being suggested then Betoota deserves a seat at that table, too.

“Our cricket facilities are better than the facilities at Manuka Oval in Canberra. We have stronger local competition than they do in Canberra and we also have a very strong stance against marijuana, which is something Canberra is also lacking,” he said.

“Just take a look around. The Remienko Cricket Ground can seat a few thousand. We can hire some bleachers and get some food trucks in from our more cosmopolitan neighbours like Windorah and Quilpie,”

“We will create a carnival-like atmosphere that you can only get from a bush event. Any major city can put on a sporting event, it takes a real rural city to make it great.”

The Members Pavilion at The Remienko Cricket Ground is ready for Ashes magic. PHOTO: Supplied.

The Remienko Cricket Ground is well-placed to the Betoota CBD and only steps away from the countless pubs, clubs, wine bars, restaurants and hotels.

It sits in our town’s fabled Old City District, which is still the beating heart of the region’s food and wine scene.

But if the Old City District is the heart, then the French Quarter is the lungs.

Betoota’s French Quarter is only a short trip on the Q-Bahn, the Channel Country’s last remaining suspended railway network, from the Old City and the Cricket Ground.

Once there, the cricket fan and player alike will find alleyways and lanes to get lost in, wine bars and cheese shops. There’s a tobacconist on every corner and it helps to speak a little bit of Betootanese Creole – a French dialect that blends the origins of the New Caledonian immigrants to the region in the early 1860s and the modern-day Australian Central Accent.

A typical French Quarter scene. PHOTO: Supplied.

Travel to and from Betoota is also as easy as it gets. The Remienko Memorial Aerodrome has daily flights to every major capital city except Adelaide – because it is pretty much Wagga Wagga with sandstone.

Queensland is also run by a no-nonsense government that has now agreed to stop closing the border forever, which makes it easy for people to book travel with confidence.

Mayor Carton concedes, however, that there’s one part of the bid where Betoota falls short.

“If Cricket Australia would like to host a day-night game here in Betoota, we do not have floodlights at the Cricket Ground yet,” he said.

“Should we be required to host a day-nighter, then we can arrange to have the car headlights turned on around the boundary fence which should be more than enough to see the ball. They are professionals after all.”

The last remaining example of a suspended railway network in the Channel Country, the Q-Bahn, will help cricket fans travel around Betoota. Here it is travelling over the mighty Diamantina River. PHOTO: Supplied.

Cricket Australia has yet to respond to Councillor Carton’s phone calls and emails but the Mayor remains hopeful that they should get back to him before the end of the week.

“They have to at least consider our application,” he said.

“Legally they have to.”

More to come.


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