Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter Beattie says he will again push for constitutional reform within a year, after three clubs voted against making immediate changes to the board.
The Melbourne Storm, Gold Coast Titans and Canterbury Bulldogs turned down the proposed changes, which were set to hand the clubs and state bodies spots on an expanded ARLC board for the first time.
Fifteen of the 16 NRL clubs and the two state bodies needed to approve the proposed reforms if they were to go ahead.
Instead of the proposed 10 seats, which would have included representatives from the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and Queensland Rugby League (QRL), the commission will stay at eight.
What does the ARL do?
- It is the single controlling body for all of Rugby League in Australia
- Funds the game across all levels
- Sets the strategic direction for the game
- Helps to grow the game domestically and internationally
- Organises the NRL competition, State of Origin and Australian representative matches
- Promotes welfare of young people, the Rugby League community and their interests
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys and former Channel Nine managing director Amanda Laing will fill the void left by former chairman John Grant and Catherine Harris.
Former Queensland premier Beattie, who replaced Grant last month, said he would continue to work with clubs and would return to discuss these changes again in the future.
“We’re not dealing with wimps here; we are dealing with intelligent people who have a strong passion for the game,” he said.
“Obviously there were some disagreements about the advancement of constitutional reform. It was a 15-3 vote but the feeling in the room was a positive one.
“You can disagree without it being an ugly fight, and it wasn’t … of course there was some disappointment but it was done with good will.
“We will revisit constitutional reform within a year. I have taken responsibility for initiating some of those discussions, so it’s not dead.”
Supporters of ARLC reform believes it is vital for the future of the game in Australia. (AAP: Dan Moir, File)
Beattie praised the acquisitions of V’landys and Laing, noting that both added “enormous” value to the commission, and they could potentially succeed him in the future.
“The other advantage out of today is this — because they are both appointed as independents, they can at a future occasion, I am not going anywhere just yet — they can be chairs,” Beattie said.
“What a great position for rugby league to be in. We have two people who could be a future chair of the commission.”
Aside from Beattie, V’landys and Laing, the ARLC consists of Megan Davis, Wayne Pearce, Chris Sarra, Gary Weiss and Tony McGrath.
QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher and NSWRL chief financial officer David Nissen have been appointed to the ARLC’s finance and audit committee.