BUSINESS AS USUAL: The CQRU has taken the extraordinary step of going into voluntary administration to ensure the Thrifty Cup and all other rugby competitions in the region remain in place.
BUSINESS AS USUAL: The CQRU has taken the extraordinary step of going into voluntary administration to ensure the Thrifty Cup and all other rugby competitions in the region remain in place. Chris Ison Rokcunion

$800,000 loan probe as CQ Rugby goes into receivership

THE Central Queensland Rugby Union (CQRU) has been placed into voluntary administration.

As reported in The Morning Bulletin on Tuesday, September 1, the CQRU had been in emergency talks with the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) after it was revealed it was in dire financial trouble.

It is believed this relates to a series of loans which could be in excess of $800,000.

"Essentially, what occurred was during a recent transition of the CQRU Board a number of financial irregularities were unearthed," CQRU vice-president Glenn Dodds said.

"One of those irregularities was very serious. As such, we began talks with the QRU on how to resolve the issue.

"As part of that ongoing process, the CQRU voted unanimously on Thursday to place the CQRU into voluntary administration.

"The important thing is that this decision ensures all the rugby competitions in the region, both junior and senior, will go ahead without affecting the players and the clubs.

"The plan is, coming out the other end, the CQRU will be handed back control of rugby in the region once these issues are resolved."

During a special general meeting on Thursday the CQRU voted unanimously to formally place the CQRU into voluntary liquidation and the CQRU appointed Ferrier Hodgson as liquidators.

QRU CEO Jim Carmichael and general manager, operations Robert Donaghue met with members of the CQRU Board on two occasions over the past month, not long after the financial irregularities came to light.

And just prior to that, long-serving CQRU president Ian Coombe resigned, citing personal reasons. When approached for comment yesterday, Coombe declined to comment on the grounds he had stepped down from his position as CQRU president a month ago.

A confidential source told The Morning Bulletin yesterday that the financial irregularities relate to a series of loans taken out in the CQRU's name dating back to 2008.

One of these loans is in excess of $400,000 and it is believed the loans in total could top $800,000.

But Ferrier Hodgson has only undertaken a financial forensic audit back to 2008.

It is believed they will continue investigating as far back as 2002.

Yesterday, the QRU issued a statement confirming that the CQRU Board had voted unanimously to place the company into creditors' voluntary liquidation.

The QRU's Carmichael and Donaghue met with the CQRU to provide them with an update on the situation and the legal advice sought by the QRU as to the options available to the CQRU.

"The QRU has been working closely with the CQRU to provide advice and expertise as the CQRU works through this difficult situation," Carmichael said.

"As a result, the QRU has ensured that the playing of rugby in the Central Queensland region continues as normal.

"Also, the National Rugby Championship fixture will go ahead, as this is an important region for rugby in Queensland.

"As this is a serious matter that is now in the hands of external liquidators, the QRU is not able to make any further comment on this matter at this time."


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