No doubt what state you're in when you step into Wallangarra

Cockroaches should prepare themselves for a confronting greeting when they venture north, with the official unveiling on Wednesday of a new welcome sign on the New England Highway as you cross from Jennings NSW to Wallangarra Queensland.

State of Origin rugby league player Billy Moore is responsible for the "Queenslander" rally cry, and he was back on home turf to officially unveil the new Queenslander sign, along with Southern Down Regional Council mayor Tracy Dobie.

Ms Dobie said the $142,000 signage, funded under a Works for Queensland grant, came out of community consultations with Wallangarra residents.

"This is one of the things they wanted," she said.

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Wallangarra claims Mr Moore as a local celebrity. He attended the local primary school and then Stanthorpe State High School, but played footy in Tenterfield.

"I played with Wallangarra Rugby League in the under 6s until it shut down with the meatworks," he said.

"Then from the under 8s onwards I played in Tenterfield, where John Munro was my first coach."

He said the two still speak often, the intervals depending on how well the Rabbitohs are doing. He's been back in Tenterfield for the 30-year reunion of the Tigers' under 16 competition-winning team, and again for last year's club centenary.

He said it was a great honour to be invited home for the unveiling.

"One of the most important things at your age is to have a dream," he told the amassed students of the Wallangarra and Jennings schools.

"When I was nine-years-old I had a dream to play for Queensland, and I did.

"Mum worked in the shop over there," he said, pointing to the Wallangarra Store, "Dad frequented that place over there," indicating what was the Wallangarra Hotel.

"My home is around 100 metres that way.

"Twenty-four years ago I screamed that phrase 'Queenslander'. I don't own it, but I am the custodian of it.

"Not that we were counting, but we won that series 3-nil."

He said the sign will welcome Queenslanders home, "and if you're from NSW you can convert if you want."

He said his parents Ron and Joan would have been so proud. A large contingent of Moores remain in Wallangarra, and they were out in force for the occasion.

This story No doubt what state you're in when you step into Wallangarra first appeared on Tenterfield Star.

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