The football game has been played at the Queensland Stadium since the 1970s, but the rivalry has taken a turn for the worse this year.
Queensland Football Association president Peter Beardsley has said he is not surprised by the public’s disapproval, but that it is not his place to judge.
“There’s a lot of people who are upset about it, it’s a very sensitive subject, and I’m not going to take that personally,” Mr Beards, who was elected to the WA State Government in the June election, told ABC Radio Brisbane.
Mr Beardson said the game has grown increasingly contentious over the years.
He said the sport was “a very divisive subject”.
“When the Premier of Queensland was appointed by the government to lead the state and I was elected as the State Treasurer, I was also appointed as the state’s premier, I had an appointment from the Premier and I had my deputy as deputy premier,” Mr Boas said.
In the last 10 years, the number of spectators has increased from 300,000 to more than 400,000, and the popularity of the game increased from about 20,000 spectators to more like 200,000.
“The number of people watching the game is just incredible, the excitement of the sport is amazing and I’ve heard from so many people who say the sport has changed their lives,” Mr Bigham said.
“The people who go to games in Townsville and Brisbane are so much more aware of it now.”
Mr Boas has described the public outcry as “unfortunate”.
He wants to know why the game was played at a “time of national crisis” during the state-wide lockout.
His comments come after the NRL announced it was pulling all its 2017 premierships from the Queensland Premier’s office.
The NRL said the move was “an effort to avoid a clash of the titans”.
Queers Against Racism said the Premier’s role in the game had been “totally misconstrued”.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was saddened by the “irresponsible and divisive” nature of the protest, but was confident it would be addressed.
Ms Palasczuk told ABC radio Brisbane the protest was about “taking a stand against racism and sexism”.
But the opposition Labor Party has already launched a legal challenge against the decision to host the match.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews has called for the NRL to cancel the match, while Opposition leader Tim Nicholls said he would support the move if it was “appropriate”.
“I believe it’s the right thing to do,” Mr Nicholls told ABC TV in Brisbane.