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  1. #1
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    Default Titans seal new stadium deal. Will stay at Robina

    NRL, AFL and Super Rugby unite to fight soaring rents and levies from Stadiums Queensland
    http://www.couriermail.com.au

    STADIUMS Queensland has been accused of price gouging the state’s top sports clubs and their fans, with calls for board members to be sacked for imposing soaring rents and levies at major sporting venues.
    Southeast Queensland’s NRL, AFL and Super Rugby clubs are so concerned about the fees that they are planning to join together to force a shake-up of the Government body, Stadiums Queensland, The Sunday Mail has learnt.

    They claim they are paying rents and transport levies at Queensland stadiums that are between three and five times greater than other states, forcing some clubs to slash staff and penny pinch just to stay afloat.

    Suns chairman Tony Cochrane has called for the board to be sacked, describing the organisation as “a disgrace’’.
    “They should be sacked and a body put in place that supports sport in this state,’’ he said.
    It is understood Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is contemplating a major shake-up of the board and its structure, with a review underway.

    Stadiums Queensland manages the state’s largest venues, including Suncorp Stadium, The Gabba, the 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville and Metricon Stadium and Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.
    It is run by a board of directors, who report to Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni.

    Confidential financial records obtained by The Sunday Mail reveal millions of sporting dollars are pouring into Government coffers through the Stadium Queensland deals.

    While Queensland’s clubs all face different challenges, they are all stung by the Government levies on policing and transport that runs into the millions across the codes.

    The $1.3 million hiring fee for Cbus Super Stadium was a reason the Gold Coast Titans hit financial woes.
    The NRL has confirmed its Queensland based clubs had the most expensive rental and operating costs in the competition.

    While ANZ Stadium offers sweetheart deals to Sydney clubs, the NRL was forced to save the Titans from bankruptcy in 2012 and last December sold the club to private owners after being crippled by the Government’s annual $1.3 million hiring fee.

    “We are working with the stadiums in Queensland to bring venue hire agreements in line with the rest of the Australian market,” an NRL spokesman said.

    The Titans have refused to sign a contract with Stadiums Queensland since 2016 because they could not achieve a fair deal and instead rent Cbus Stadium on a game by game basis for about a staggering $110,000 per game.

    The situation for the Gold Coast Suns who lose millions every year is even more dire and with the Tasmanian Government circling, the club’s future on the glitter strip cannot be guaranteed.

    Their stadium deal struck by then AFL chief operating officer and now CEO Gillon McLachlan, which runs for 20 years and has no review clause written in, is the worst in Australian sport.

    They pay close to $1 million annually, which increases with inflation, into a sinking fund and must also spend $700,000 annually on maintenance of Metricon Stadium.

    The Cowboys say they would refuse to sign any deal on their new stadium that included such a fee.

    It costs about $4 million per year to operate Metricon Stadium and while the AFL is unlikely to pull out while the people behind the expansion such as McLachlan remain in charge, there are legitimate fears that as power changes hands the league will grow tired of pumping cash into an organisation that is handcuffed to an unsustainable commercial arrangement.

    The Broncos have the best deal from the government with Suncorp Stadium, but are still stung with fees their southern counterparts aren’t charged.

    Even the jewel-in-the-crown Broncos, who have by far the best arrangement with the Government, get slugged with well over $1 million in levies their interstate competitors escape.

    The biggest AFL and NRL clubs in the country don’t pay a public transport levy and the standard contribution to the cost of policing and infrastructure is about $1.20 per ticket.

    Free transport is not included. The Suns pay almost $8 a ticket.

    Stadiums Queensland says taxpayers should not foot the bill for costs associated with hosting sporting events when the Government had made considerable investment in construction of the facilities. Levy prices were fixed by TransLink and Queensland Police.

    “Under this model, the hirer receives the majority of game-day revenue such as ticketing, signage, sponsorship and this means in Queensland, unlike many other states, our clubs have a greater potential to derive revenue from their events,’’ a spokesman said.

    The codes reject that view.

    High fees at the Gabba is stopping the Brisbane Lions from turning a profit.

    The Lions’ inability to post a profit stems from an annual rental at the Gabba of about $1 million a year and an additional $800,000 in transport and police costs.
    The Reds and Roar face the biggest levies of the Brisbane-based clubs.

    The Roar pay a levy on tickets scanned at the gate which means they only pay for fans who attend the matches.
    The QRU is slugged on every ticket issued which means they still incur the levy, believed to be about $4, even when members don’t turn up.

    “The QRU believes there should be equity around transport levies applied to Queensland professional sporting teams and that any levy should be applied against tickets scanned at the gate,’’ a spokesman said.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
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    Star Player Mr Bods's Avatar
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    Gold Coast Titans threaten to leave Cbus Super Stadium as Stadiums Queensland stoush worsens


    THE Titans have sensationally threatened to abandon Cbus Super Stadium as the war between the state’s footy clubs and the Government over price-gouging looks set to spark widespread bloodletting at Stadiums Queensland

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed heads will roll on the Stadiums Queensland board after a special investigation by The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail revealed our elite footy codes were being taxed to the point of bankruptcy.

    STAYING: Green re-signs with Cowboys

    BEAT: Why Green turned down Brisbane

    It can be revealed the Government has already held clandestine meetings with senior business and sporting figures canvassing their interest in joining SQ.


    Could the Titans abandon their home?
    The Premier’s declaration was met by a chorus of support from NRL and AFL clubs and the QRU, who had been planning a joint submission to the Government demanding reform.

    The spat between the Titans, Stadiums Queensland and sports minister Mick de Brenni turned ugly after SQ issued a provocative statement at the weekend suggesting the club had sought Government subsidies to stay afloat.

    The Courier-Mail has learnt that in a tense round of high-level negotiations, the Titans issued the explosive threat to sell home games to other venues both within Queensland and interstate, leaving Cbus Super Stadium as a $160 million white elephant.

    The Titans’ temporary rental agreement at Cbus expires after their next home game against the Sharks on April 28.


    The recent matches in Toowoomba and Gladstone have opened the club’s eyes.
    Titans officials got a taste of life away from the yoke of Stadiums Queensland when they went on the road to Toowoomba and Gladstone recently and were thrilled with the operational ease and commercial success of hosting those matches.

    Sunshine Coast Stadium and Coffs Harbour are two other regional venues understood to be on the Titans’ radar.

    It is understood powerful Titans co-owner Rebecca Frizelle entered the stoush on Monday, and by the close of business an uneasy truce had been struck with shell-shocked de Brenni.

    But de Brenni remains under immense pressure to implement change after the Premier made clear her disapproval of the greedy operating Stadiums Queensland policy.

    “We’re going to be having a really good look at that issue,’’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “I’ve been discussing that with Mick de Brenni and Kate Jones ... there will be a shake-up of the (SQ) board, that’s step No.1.


    Could Cbus Super Stadium be without a tenant?
    “And step No. 2, we will be doing a thorough review, because what we have seen is that the Queensland public want to come out and support our sports in this state.’’

    Titans CEO Graham Annesley said his club welcomed the Premier’s position after a three-year stalemate in negotiations to secure a sustainable hiring arrangement with Stadiums Queensland that would at least compare to that of rivals in other states.

    “Of course, we desperately want to play most of our future games at Cbus in front of our own members and supporters,” Annesley said.

    “We remain ready to discuss a long-term deal with the Government that takes into consideration the specific issues associated with Cbus Stadium as a regional venue with significant transport and access difficulties.”

  3. #3
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    If owning stadiums was a profitable business then people would be queuing-up for them but even running a local leagues club is a poisoned chalice. The government needs to look at this as an investment in the community and not a cash cow ... it's truly disgraceful and the consessionaries need to be pulled in to line.
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

  4. #4
    Star Player Mr Bods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    If owning stadiums was a profitable business then people would be queuing-up for them but even running a local leagues club is a poisoned chalice. The government needs to look at this as an investment in the community and not a cash cow ... it's truly disgraceful and the consessionaries need to be pulled in to line.
    For sure...the events themselves at the stadium bring in enough of a positive economic impact already via tourism, people having entertainment and food in and around the event plus in sports case the promotion of healthy living.
    The mindset needs to change from gouging the community to a not for profit model.

    The medium and long term benefits of successful teams and full stadium will be far more beneficial than destroying sports teams for a few dollars in the short term.

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    I'm all for sticking up for ourselves. But the QLD Government is ultimately responsible for Stadiums QLD and the only way we got games in the regions was through the QLD Government and their funding. But hopefully this shakes it up. GA was very passionate and forthcoming about this topic at last year's Members Forum.

    But aside from Robina, where could we realistically play besides Lang Park? Which is also a Stadiums QLD venue.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
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    Gold Coast Suns admit they will not survive unless Stadium Queensland reduces fees
    http://www.couriermail.com.au

    AFL’s embattled Gold Coast Suns have admitted they will not survive unless the Queensland government slashes the exorbitant stadium fees that are crippling the state’s biggest sporting clubs.

    The Suns’ stunning admission comes as the LNP launched an attack on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, claiming fans were being ripped off and labelling Labor’s treatment of AFL, NRL, A-League and rugby clubs as a “debacle”.

    As revealed by The Courier-Mail, the Gold Coast Titans are weighing-up their long-term tenancy at Robina due to Stadiums Queensland hiring fees which soared to $1.3 million last year.

    The shockwaves have been felt by the Titans’ major competitor on the Gold Coast, with Suns chairman Tony Cochrane conceding for the first time that the cost of playing at Metricon Stadium could bankrupt the club.

    A Sunday Mail and The Courier-Mailinvestigation revealed the Suns’ perilous financial position and Cochrane fears expensive SQ hiring fees could drive the final nail into the club’s coffin.

    “Certainly we as a club take our responsibility to the community seriously and these (stadium) costs are a massive burden to our club which are not sustainable,” Cochrane said.

    “The Gold Coast Suns welcomes the Premier’s initiative to find real solutions to this ongoing issue which is the heart of problems facing professional sport in Queensland.

    “We are very pleased to hear the Premier announce a major shake-up of the SQ Board.”

    The Courier-Mail can reveal Queensland attendances across the major football codes last year was 3.99 million.

    In the LNP’s last full year in power in 2013-14, that figure was 4.46 million.

    It means almost half-a-million fans have collectively deserted Queensland sporting outfits the Broncos, Titans, Cowboys, Lions, Suns, Reds and Roar in the past five years.

    The clubs are particularly concerned at the rising cost of ticket prices because of the Queensland Government imposing a ticketing levy for game-day public transport services.

    Incredibly, Suns research shows almost 50 per cent of their supporters are paying a levy on a government public-transport service they don’t use.

    LNP Leader Deb Frecklington fired a broadside at the Premier and Stadiums Queensland.

    “The Premier and her Ministers are trying to dodge the blame for this debacle. Who are they kidding?” she said.

    “What on Earth has the Sports Minister been discussing with Stadiums Queensland if not this (the hiring-fees issue)?

    “The buck stops with Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Ministers.

    “Queensland fans are paying more for tickets and clubs are being bled dry because of this Government’s negligence.

    “Our stadiums are not fan-friendly and we are falling behind the other states.

    “Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to ensure these stadiums are run more efficiently or we risk losing our major teams and more major sporting fixtures.”

    Palaszczuk on Monday vowed heads would roll on the Stadiums Queensland board.

    “We’re going to be having a really good look at that issue,’’ Palaszczuk she said.

    “I’ve been discussing that with Mick de Brenni and Kate Jones ... there will be a shake-up of the (SQ) board, that’s step No.1.

    “And step No.2, we will be doing a thorough review, because what we have seen is that the Queensland public want to come out and support our sports in this state.’’

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
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  7. #7
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    ^^^ right now the Premier is listening and both the Titans and Suns are on the same page. We have to get change now, this is a big opportunity for Sports on the GC.

  8. #8
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    Weird to see the NSW Premier firing shots at the QLD Premier.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
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  9. #9
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    Stadiums Queensland row: Gold Coast is the home of broken sporting franchises


    Sports Minister’s brutal response to footy clubs
    AFL chair: Stadiums Queensland is a ‘disgrace’
    Palaszczuk has dropped the ball on footy
    THE Gold Coast is a veritable bone yard of broken sporting franchises.

    Bears, Giants, Cougars, Seagulls, Chargers and United have all been buried along the idyllic sandy stretch.

    Weighed down by debt and left to sink by fickle fans whose only allegiance was to success, each team’s dreams of flourishing in Queensland’s second biggest city turned to ash.

    In true Gold Coast style, some of these teams began with white-shoed sugar daddies.

    Corporate crook Christopher Skase dropped $30 million playing the “Bad News Bears” out of Carrara Stadium.

    Skase used to fly in on a helicopter for game day before he shot off to Spain and left an unpaid bill for the venue’s lights.

    Clive Palmer went from football philanthropist to round ball pariah in just a few short years with Gold Coast United.

    He wanted to cap crowds to avoid Government fees at Robina Stadium and the team was eventually kicked out of the A-League.

    Yet the sports codes have all been willing to step over the corpses of others for a slice of the Gold Coast, convinced their product would bring the people and turn a profit.

    The Suns (AFL) and Titans (NRL) are now making the same noises as other Gold Coast sporting teams in their death throes.

    They’re both bemoaning the cost of the fees applied by the Government’s venue manager, Stadiums Queensland, while their results and crowds have been on a downward trajectory.


    The Suns crowd at Metricon Stadium last year. Picture: Jerad Williams
    The Suns say they signed a dud deal at Carrara, now known as Metricon Stadium, that costs them $1 million annually and a further $700,000 in maintenance.

    The Titans haven’t signed a deal to play at Robina, now known as Cbus Stadium, since 2016 and say they’re better off paying $110,000 per game and taking matches elsewhere.

    Cut the fees, they say, and we’ll survive and thrive.

    Yet Stadiums Queensland isn’t a charity.

    And taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to be donors to sporting failures.

    SQ is far from the cash cow like critics have claimed.

    It lost close to $30 million last year as venue hiring revenue shrunk by almost 30 per cent.

    Profit is not the only goal when governments build stadiums, as the venues deliver broader economic and social dividends.

    However, there needs to be a degree of fiscal discipline so they don’t suck cash away from causes more needy than professional sport.

    Let’s not forget both the Suns and Titans started with promises which were much alike.

    If taxpayers covered a fat proportion of their stadium costs the crowds would come and the bill would be repaid.


    Steven Wardill, State Affairs Editor at The Courier-Mail.
    And given the increasingly transactional nature of voters, these codes know politicians see sports stadiums as a way of attracting support.

    The State Government tipped more than $70 million into Metricon’s upgrade for the Suns.

    The Titans were only granted an NRL licence after the Government agreed to tip in $100 million for a rectangle stadium at Robina.

    So it’s a bit rich to put a further pinch on the humble punter.

    Sports Minister Mick De Brenni is right to say that the teams wouldn’t be whinging about fees if they were winning on the field.

    “Ultimately each club is responsible for their own destiny,” he said this week.

    “It is up to the clubs to develop a strong following through marketing … and on-field performances.”

    Yet the clubs aren’t completely to blame.

    Both Carrara and Robina are like islands by the beach with such poor transport links they’re near inaccessible for fans.

    This planning flaw would have saved on upfront costs.

    But there’s a long-term price at the ticket gate because getting to games is a logistical nightmare for families.

    The Government has also failed to attract other tenants and events to the stadiums to spread the costs.

    Three codes play out of Suncorp Stadium, for example, while Cbus has lost a soccer team and the Rugby Sevens tournament.

    What’s occurring on the Gold Coast will repeat in Townsville if the Government doesn’t find alternative uses for the stadium being built for the North Queensland Cowboys.

    Yet while de Brenni can blow hard about on-field performances being the cure-all for fixing each team’s finances, Labor can ill afford for more sporting carcasses to pile up on the coast.

    They’ve tipped significant money into providing the Suns and the Titans with stadiums despite the record of sporting failures.

    So it’s incumbent on them to make the investment pay off. And after the multi-billion dollar spending spree getting the Commonwealth Games to the coast, losing either of the permanent

    sporting teams and being left with white elephant infrastructure would be a poor look.

    Its long irked Labor that all the investment its governments have made on the coast has delivered little love from local electorates.

    But Gold Coasters would turn on Labor, which finally got a seat back on the coast in 2017, if either team folded under their watch.

    The Suns and Titans know this which is why they’ll probably get more taxpayer-funded gratuity in the way of fee relief.

    However, the next time some rent-seeking sports boss walks into a minister’s office wearing white shoes and promising the world, government should consider running in the other direction.


    ^^^^ Courier Mail at it again: as I often say the difference between us and Brisbane is we just want to beat Brisbane in games of footy whereas they simply want us to not exist.

  10. #10

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    I resent the fact that our taxes paid for these stadiums and yet the Government is sending our teams broke by the fees they charge.
    However it's total bs to suggest that the Suns will go broke and leave. I think the AFL supported them to the tune of about $20m last year so what's a little more. However the Govt needs to play their part and if the fees in Qld are higher than other States then questions need to be asked.

  11. #11
    Star Player Mr Bods's Avatar
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    All members just received this from the club via email

    Dear Mr Bods,

    The wonderful success of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast has demonstrated the value that high-profile sport delivers to the community through a variety of beneficial health and social impacts – not just outcomes on the sporting stage. Few could argue the inspiration provided by some of the best athletes in the world over the past few weeks has had a profound influence on motivating all segments of the community to unite together and participate.

    The Government invested heavily in bringing the Games to the Gold Coast to derive the long-term economic and social benefits that will last long into the future by way of legacy. There is now a great opportunity for the momentum generated by the Games to be carried forward by local sporting codes and organisations that provide similar community inspiration and healthy lifestyle benefits on a constant basis.

    The work the Gold Coast Titans undertake in the local community delivers invaluable benefits and social impacts that would otherwise be the responsibility of government agencies. The Titans undertake this work at our own cost as good corporate citizens because we see the difference it makes in the lives of people every day. The community initiatives that the Titans support are across multiple important areas including education, indigenous programs, and grass roots development.

    It is in this context the Titans would like to publicly address a number of inaccuracies and false assertions currently circulating with regards to hiring arrangements at Cbus Super stadium.

    At the outset it is important to note that this club, its owners, and its management enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Queensland Government, and we have always been very cognisant of the government’s responsibility to prudently manage taxpayers funds.

    As such, the Titans have never sought government assistance to underwrite the operating costs of our business as has been insinuated. Our only objective throughout discussions with government stretching over the past 3 years, has been to reach a long-term agreement on fair commercial terms similar to those in place for NRL clubs hiring government owned venues in other states.

    The difference between government charges currently imposed on the Titans and those in place for very similar facilities in NSW is approaching $500k per annum. The inevitable consequence of this type of inequality is that further upward pressure is placed on ticket prices for our loyal members and fans who are also taxpayers contributing to the government for the provision of sporting facilities and other essential infrastructure.

    The Sports Minister's reported public comments are disappointing and are indifferent to the value and contribution of sport to local communities and the overall fabric of society. The inference that only winning clubs have a right to survive goes against every accepted national trait we try to instil in young Australians encouraging participation, sportsmanship, and continuously striving to improve regardless of results.

    The Gold Coast Titans currently run the lowest cost and most efficient operation in the NRL competition, yet the club still operates at a loss. A large component of that loss is the difference between the stadium charges imposed on the Titans and the charges imposed on other interstate clubs. Having recently transitioned from NRL ownership, the structure of the clubs' new private ownership strictly requires any operating surplus to be reinvested in the club, the community, and the further development of the game in our region.

    The Titans seek no recognition or benefit from government for meeting our social responsibilities in the spirit of carrying on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games. We simply seek fair commercial hiring terms for our stadium comparable to government owned venues in other states.

  12. #12
    Star Player Mr Bods's Avatar
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    Gold Coast Suns and Titans fire back at Sports Minister Mick de Brenni


    Complaints sound like clubs on death row
    Titans could abandon Cbus Super Stadium
    AFL chair: Stadiums Queensland is a ‘disgrace’
    Palaszczuk has dropped the ball on footy
    GOLD Coast’s footy clubs have united to slam Labor minister Mick de Brenni’s un-Australian attitude to sport and accuse him of peddling falsehoods about Stadiums Queensland deals.

    The city’s NRL and AFL clubs united after sports minister de Brenni issued a public smackdown of the Titans and Suns claiming their financial woes were the result of poor on-field performances.

    The Titans say they pay about $500,000 more a year in government fees than their NSW rivals while the Suns insist they have made repeat proposals for a better deal for Metricon Stadium that incur “zero costs to Government”.


    Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane was outraged by Sports Minister Mick de Brenni’s comments. Picture: Jerad Williams
    Both clubs say Mr de Brenni is wildly out of touch with Australian values around sporting participation and his comments were an attack on the Gold Coast community.

    Suns chairman Tony Cochrane said Mr de Brenni’s comments were “harmful and disrespectful to the Suns and our community”.

    In a statement to members, the Titans attempt to address “a number of inaccuracies and false assertations” in regard to the hiring arrangements at Cbus Stadium made by Mr de Brenni.

    The club claims it is the most efficient operation in the NRL competition but still operates at a loss because of unfair stadium deals.

    “The Titans have never sought government assistance to underwrite the operating costs of our business as has been insinuated,” the statement said.

    “Our only objective throughout discussions with government, stretching over the past 3 years, has been to reach a long-term agreement on fair commercial terms similar to those in place for NRL clubs hiring government owned venues in other states. The difference between government charges currently imposed on the Titans and those in place for very similar facilities in NSW is approaching $500k per annum.

    “The inference that only winning clubs have a right to survive goes against every accepted national trait we try to instil in young Australians,” the Titans said.

    Insiders from across Queensland’s sporting landscape told The Courier-Mail de Brenni’s stunning claim that “Clubs with a winning formula can make a strong profit utilising our stadiums’’ were a nonsense that ignored the financial woes A League club Queensland Roar battled through a period of dominance when they won three championships in four years.

    It also angered the Titans who believed a Government that only valued winning was out of step with Australian values.


    Sports Minister Mick de Brenni is under fire after his comments in The Courier-Mail. Picture: AAP/Darren England
    “The inference that only winning clubs have a right to survive goes against every accepted national trait we try to instil in young Australians encouraging participation, sportsmanship, and continuously striving to improve regardless of results,” the Titans said.

    The Titans and Suns say they happily provide community services that should be the responsibilities of Governments which save taxpayers millions.

    “The Titans undertake this work at our own cost as good corporate citizens because we see the difference it makes in the lives of people every day. The community initiatives that The Titans support are across multiple important areas including education, indigenous programs, and grassroots development.’’

    Our community values sport, this was on show for everyone to see during the Commonwealth Games and highlights these comments are at odds with how this community feels about sport, and its contribution to our Australian way of life.

    ^^^ this article written by Badel and the Bris Lions Cheerleader Andrew Hamilton. Suns/Titans have united on this and this is massive to us having long term sporting teams on the GC, even beyond the Suns and Titans to maybe an A-League or Big Bash Licence too.
    I encourage all readers to please take a minute to write an email to your local State Member of Parliament to support our clubs. We have to win this battle.
    Last edited by Mr Bods; 19-04-18 at 09:49 PM.

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    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bods View Post
    I encourage all readers to please take a minute to write an email to your local State Member of Parliament to support our clubs. We have to win this battle.
    Maybe time for another campaign.

    Gee Mick de Brenni is a numbskull, those comments are outrageous and out of touch. Really pissed off about them. Wholeheartedly agree with how the Titans hit back.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
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    At this point DieHard it appears only you, me , Titanic and MT are showing interest. To me this issue is way more important than our squad or onfield results.
    We need to see people giving a toss before firing up a petition or something.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bods View Post
    At this point DieHard it appears only you, me , Titanic and MT are showing interest. To me this issue is way more important than our squad or onfield results.
    We need to see people giving a toss before firing up a petition or something.
    I think it's a massive issue and the Govt need to be hammered over it.
    My prediction is that Beattie will cruise in on his white horse, speak to his Labour mates, get the rental reduced, and then be presented as a hero. That's an easy quick win for him.


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