Union locked in League battle over venue
UNION: The Queensland Country Championships is confident everything is on track, despite some doubt over the hire of Salter Oval for the event.
The NewsMail can reveal they are still in negotiations with the Bundaberg Rugby League over the use of the venue for the championships.
Set to be held from June 2 to 4, over 180 players and six teams are expected to compete in the biggest union event in the city for years.
But they are also on a collision course with the BRL A-Grade competition.
Round eight of that competition is scheduled to be played at Salter Oval on either Saturday or Sunday when the union is meant to be on.
At this stage they are happy to play elsewhere but only if they are compensated for moving the games away from the venue they lease to other grounds in Bundaberg.
BRL chairman Mike Ireland said it was only fair.
"We're prepared to do it (move) but we need a financial guarantee from them," he said.
"We don't want to be hard on rugby union and we think the price to move for the weekend is fair."
Ireland said that price is $5000 which would help both parties run their competitions.
"We'll provide lights, electricity and groundsmen to make sure the ground is perfect," he said.
"Our canteen revenue for one round is that much so it would cover those cost as well when we move."
"We think it is a fair figure."
Ireland also defended his stance adding the league and cricket pay for the lease to run the venue for 12 months.
Queensland Country Championships organiser Luke McCloskey said talks were continuing and he was hopeful of a positive outcome despite not wanting to get into details.
He said there was no other option for the championships if they can't get the oval.
"Salter Oval is the best facility to host the championships," he said.
"We're confident it should be sorted out soon."
McCloskey said the tournament was looking good despite the hiccup.
"We're very close to securing principal sponsors for the event," he said.
"It's shaping up well."
A decision on the outcome is expected soon as the date draws closer.