A vision for Australia: The rugby league manifesto

As Rampaging Roy Slaven and HG Nelson have famous, there’s been an alarming lack of dialogue about rugby league in the course of the federal election marketing campaign.

Solely two former rugby league gamers, Greg Dowling and Rod Jensen, are within the operating for a seat in Parliament.

The leaders of the 2 main political events are well-known supporters of rugby league groups. Whereas each have confronted scrutiny concerning the particulars of their respective social and financial coverage agendas, neither has been quizzed about their rugby league insurance policies and credentials.

Does Cronulla’s most well-known fan, Scott Morrison, know what the membership’s common residence crowd was throughout their inaugural season in 1967? Does Souths tragic Anthony Albanese know what number of video games Bronko Djura performed for the Rabbitohs within the Eighties?

Extra broadly, what does Greens chief Adam Bandt find out about his constituents, the Melbourne Storm? What’s the place of One Nation chief and former federal member for Oxley in Brisbane’s western suburbs, Pauline Hanson, on the Brisbane Jets enlargement bid?

Will Senator Hanson decide to introducing a Personal Members Invoice legislating the Jets into existence by 2025?

Our leaders could effectively have solutions to those questions, however no one’s asking, and so they haven’t been compelled to stipulate their imaginative and prescient for the way rugby league can handle our largest challenges.

Sadly, it’s fallen to visionaries like Roy, HG and me to stipulate a rugby league manifesto. I problem our leaders to undertake this formidable imaginative and prescient for the way forward for rugby league and our nice nation.

The nationwide rectangular stadium community

In latest weeks, the NRL and the New South Wales Authorities have been butting heads concerning the want for added capital funding in Sydney’s smaller rugby league grounds.

Given the obvious deadlock, federal management is required to kind out the mess in Sydney and guarantee residents in all places can get pleasure from rugby league in an oblong stadium near residence.

Granted, our Nationwide Broadband Community is a dud, however our federal political leaders can redeem themselves by, for a begin, adopting Roy and HG’s tough plan for a community of small-to-medium dimension rectangular stadiums throughout the size and breadth of Australia, all linked by very quick trains.

We want many extra Commbank Stadiums. (Photograph by Mark Kolbe/Getty Pictures)

Then they’ll do even higher. We want a plan that isn’t based mostly on woolly notions of suburban tribalism or harebrained assumptions that individuals gained’t come. Construct them in the best place, get the transport hyperlinks proper and they’re going to come.

We want minimal, measurable requirements. Each Australian dwelling on the mainland and in Tasmania ought to, at a minimal, stay inside a 10-kilometre radius of a 25,000-seat rectangular stadium.

Wouldn’t this imply constructing new stadia at Blackwater and Barcaldine, amongst many different locations, I hear you ask? Sure, sure it will. That is the place the NRL’s program of taking extra video games to regional areas meets the Federal Authorities’s goal of financial transition for regional mining communities in lovely synergy.

Magic spherical at Moranbah. Deliver it on!

Preliminary estimates point out a complete value of at the least $10 trillion. That’s solely about 17 years’ price of federal tax income. It’s known as nation constructing – it will be a cut price at twice the worth.

Rugby league and geopolitics within the Pacific

The election marketing campaign at the moment underway has concerned darkish warnings concerning the declining affect of Australia and its allies within the broader Pacific area, and the rise of a geopolitical rival.

Eager observers know that Chinese language funding and affect are already prevalent in bastions of rugby league like Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, in addition to probably the most fanatical league nation of all, Papua New Guinea.

Naturally, the rugby league nations of the Pacific don’t see eye-to-eye on every thing, however certainly rugby league generally is a uniting drive.

The subsequent Federal Authorities ought to set up a ministerial portfolio particularly accountable for rugby league and worldwide cooperation. The new minister can be charged with convening a summit of political and rugby league leaders to develop a Pan-Pacific Treaty on Safety and Rugby League.

The treaty would set out the shared values of every nation and prescribe a program of worldwide fixtures over the next ten years. Any administrator who reneged on their worldwide commitments, together with Peter V’landys, can be topic to prison proceedings on the Worldwide Court docket of Justice within the Hague.

Focus the nations of the Pacific on what actually issues, get them enjoying rugby league and provides them one thing to defend. The relaxation will deal with itself.

The value of dwelling and rugby league gamers

Many Australians are rightly involved concerning the rising value of important items and companies. However there’s one other inflationary drawback in our midst: the price of rugby league gamers.

Like the price of dwelling, its results are usually not distributed evenly. A single Kalyn Ponga prices Newcastle greater than $1 million every year, whereas Melbourne pays a superior participant, Ryan Papenhuyzen, someplace within the neighborhood of $700,000. David Fifita prices the Gold Coast $1.1 million every year, whereas Cameron Murray prices Souths about $850,000.

Many hard-working Australians have copped a double whammy, being pressured to pay by way of the nostril for petrol and groceries whereas watching the inertia of David Fifita and Kalyn Ponga.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights is tackled during the round six NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium, on April 17, 2022, in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
(Photograph by Mark Evans/Getty Pictures)

The resolution is surprisingly easy. The premises of each NRL membership needs to be excised from Australia’s normal earnings tax zone, with a brand new particular earnings tax space established for rugby league golf equipment.

Particular earnings tax areas typically contain rebates for individuals who spend half their lives dwelling and dealing at, for instance, a analysis station within the Antarctic.

The particular rugby league earnings tax space would contain variable charges linked to the proportion of a crew’s wage cap taken up by each participant and the world-renowned POPE participant score system.

The place a gamers’ POPE score in comparison with his teammates is disproportionate to his share of the crew’s wage cap in a monetary yr, he can be both credited or debited by the Australian Taxation Workplace.

In different phrases, go above and past and get a tax credit score; cling round out extensive chatting to the contact choose and incur a legal responsibility.

The slackers of the rugby league world can be incentivised to drag their fingers out. Gamers like James Tedesco, Payne Haas and Cameron Munster, who’d be doing effectively anyway, can be incentivised to take a contemporary have a look at the advantages of enjoying for the Wests Tigers or Gold Coast Titans for a similar wage.

Rugby league and an Australian republic

Shaking off the yoke of British Monarchy is unlikely to occur within the subsequent time period of Parliament, however the difficulty isn’t going away. Our leaders needs to be fascinated about the long run, and rugby league has a key position to play.

My primary concern with the republican motion is the Constitutional void that can left behind when the vice-regal authority of the Mountbatten-Windsors departs Australian shores.

If it’s not rigorously managed, the void could possibly be crammed by anyone. Are you able to think about the chaos that might be unleashed by President John Eales or President Lance Franklin? The nation wants a agency constitutional hand that may command the respect of residents and the worry of politicians.

The Federal Authorities ought to decide to holding a referendum within the subsequent time period of Parliament about embedding rugby league within the nationwide Structure. When the time for a brand new head of state comes, a former rugby league participant would slide into the house vacated by the Royals.

There are a few varieties this might take. Electors may select a President from a collection of commanding former rugby league gamers with expertise of at the least 150 first grade video games. Our elected representatives would possibly behave themselves a bit higher below the watchful eye of President Gorden Tallis or President Mark Geyer.

We may additionally keep near custom and appoint an incredible rugby league household as hereditary heads of state. I’d he glad to have the fearsome Sims clan and their heirs assenting to the legal guidelines of the land. Likewise, the Trbojevic clan. Whereas they’re Manly-centric, they’ve a lot broader common attraction and would certainly benefit from the consent of residents.

So Roarers, take to social media, ring your native member, put an indication in your entrance garden and advance the rugby league manifesto.

The way forward for our nation depends upon it.

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