Group 10 chairman Linore Zamparini isn’t surprised clubs voted against Dubbo CYMS entering the competition in 2017 at Wednesday’s special general meeting, but said the fact the potential for change is now on the table is an overwhelming positive for the region.
The vote finished 6-3 against the proposal, officially bringing Fishies’ bid to shift from Group 11 to Group 10 to an end – for next season anyway.
The topsy-turvy nature of the saga – which originally included Country Rugby League (CRL) offering a firm ‘no’ to the proposal, before Group 10 and Western were ultimately given the final say – had many predicting Dubbo would be granted approval to move.
“But over the last week ... we could probably see it going the way it did,” Zamparini said, when asked if his board foresaw a result for the vote.
“All the clubs had their say in the vote.
“More than anything, this whole thing has put change back on the table, which I think is a positive.”
Orange CYMS, Mudgee Dragons and Lithgow Workies all voted in favour of Fishies entering Group 10, while Zamparini explained the budget and time constraints, along with the burden of travel, became the main reasons for the remainder of the clubs vetoing the bid.
“Clubs have set their budgets for the 2017 season and while it may not seem like a huge job to re-budget for an extra two weeks, for small communities like Cowra, Blayney, Oberon it can mean sourcing a substantial amount of extra sponsorship,” he said.
“Our season needs to kick off in April, you know, and this only came across our tables four, maybe five weeks ago.”
The proposal has been the catalyst for CRL’s push for change, with a meeting scheduled for February next year to discuss the different options for developing the game in the Western region.
“Change is a big thing and sometimes people think about it a bit too deep, overcook it, so it’s not something that should be taken lightly,” Zamparini said.
“But the CRL has said change and potential restructures are on their books now, which I think is a positive move.”