A North Queensland has called out the Australian Rugby League Commission for failing grassroots rugby league up north.
Member for Traeger Rob Katter says the ARLC need to get their priorities straight.
“They rejected a funding application from the [Queensland Rugby League] to support one of the longest-running, foundational football competitions in North Queensland, but still found the millions to send teams to Las Vegas.
“Bleeding regional competitions dry while indulging in junkets overseas goes to the heart of a severe cultural problem at the heart of the ARL.
“When I played with Charters Towers as a kid for our little local league side we were constantly outnumbered and outgunned by the big boys from the city.
“But now we’re in a different fight to keep these historic competitions alive in regional Queensland in the face of dwindling support from the guardians of the game based in Sydney,” Mr Katter said.
Representative teams from around North Queensland compete for the Foley Shield while there southern counterparts play in the 47th Battalion competition.
“The Foley Shield was once something every kid who played league aspired to be a part of because it was renowned for being extremely tough and very competitive,” Mr Katter said.
“In starving grassroots competitions of funds the ARL are tearing away at the fabric of football, and demonstrating they have lost sight of why many of us bleed for the game.”
The Queensland Rugby League has been contacted for comment. We’re yet to find contact details for the ARL Commission.