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Three new faces on revamped QRU Board

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There are three new faces including a new Chairman on the Board of the Queensland Rugby Union, following elections at the Annual General Meeting at Ballymore today.


Property entrepreneur Peter Lewis is the new Chairman, stockbroker Steven Wilson and accountant Michael Glover join him as new directors, while former director Dick Marks rejoins the board following a 12 month absence.


Serving Board members Will Colwell and Col Harkness were re-elected. Former Chairman Robin Thomson and fellow Board members Murray d’Almeida and Dan Crowley were unsuccessful.


Mr Glover was elected as the new Finance Director, replacing David Usasz who stood down from the position to remain on the Board of the Australian Rugby Union. Another serving Board member, Ross Williams, is not up for re-election until next year.


QRU President David Crombie, who was re-elected unopposed, said the election process had been robust and keenly contested, but now that the outcome is decided he urged all members of the Queensland Rugby fraternity to accept the decision and unite behind the new Board.


Mr Lewis, who was elected unopposed as the new chairman in the first gathering of the new Board, said it was a good blend of business, community and rugby experience, with excellent business contacts.


‘As a group we’re very positive and absolutely determined to work together,’ he said.


In the wake of media speculation over how the reshaped board might affect the appointment of incoming Reds coach Eddie Jones, Mr Lewis said the new Board had already agreed that it would stand fully behind the appointment and give the new coach every opportunity to succeed.


‘We are determined to give Eddie Jones every chance of success and give him the best possible shot at making the QR Queensland Reds great again.’


Mr Lewis said all of those elected today were humbled by the opportunity and would work as a team for the betterment of the game.


‘We’re already rolling up our sleeves and I’ll be meeting with Theo Psaros (QRU CEO) first thing tomorrow to get started,’ he said.


The AGM ran for almost four hours, during which the 14 candidates for six vacant positions were given an opportunity to speak.


Mr Crombie said now that the elections had been decided, Queensland Rugby should unite behind the new team.


‘You’ve had your say, you’ve voted, the whistle’s blown and you accept the decision,’ he told the meeting.


‘It’s important that the Board feels that it has your support.’


In its Annual Report for 2005, the QRU recorded a loss of $195,856 for the 14 months ending December 31. This compared to a profit of $315,843 for 2004.


Finance Director David Usasz said a change to the QRU’s financial reporting period in 2005 meant there was an additional two off-season months where there were normal expenses of approximately $1.2 million but no compensating revenue.


Mr Usasz said an increase of approximately $500,000 in sponsorship income and a reduction in debt meant the cash flow and balance sheet remained strong.


He said had the reporting period been the normal year ending October 31, a profit of approximately $100,000 would have been recorded, despite a continued weakness in corporate sales at Ballymore.


QRU Directors


Newly elected:


Peter Lewis BCom (UQ) (Chairman)


Mr Lewis, 54, is the Managing Director and Founder of the Trinity Consolidated Group Ltd ‘ a $500 million listed property company headquartered in Brisbane. He is also a director of CEC Group Ltd ‘ a $50 million Cairns based listed property company.


Michael Glover (Finance Director)


Mr Glover, 45, is an accountant with steel manufacturer Orrcon. He has been heavily involved in the development of junior rugby in Queensland, across clubs and schools, including as a committee member on the Queensland Junior Rugby Union.


Dick Marks


A former Wallaby, Mr Marks has had a lifelong involvement with Rugby as a coach and coach educator, including 22 years as National Coaching Director. He was formerly a QRU Director from 1996 until 2005.


Steven Wilson BCom, LLB (UQ), Hon PhD (QUT)


Mr Wilson is Executive Chairman of Wilson HTM Investment Group and has extensive other business experience including running a cattle and wine operation in the south Burnett district. He has served on many boards in business and community including Telstra, Queensland Tourism, Salvation Army, City of Brisbane Airport and was Chairman of St John’s Cathedral Completion Fund and South Bank for the last nine years during its formation.


Re-elected:


Will Colwell B.Com (UQ) CA


Mr Colwell, 38, is a Chartered Accountant who was appointed a QRU Director in May 2005. He has been a Partner with Ferrier Hodgson since 2000.


Col Harkness


Appointed last December to fill a casual vacancy, Mr Harkness, 65, is a practicing lawyer who holds a number of Director positions. He is a former President of the Queensland Rugby Union.


Existing:


Ross Williams LLB ArbIAMA, FAIM


Mr Williams, 42, is a Partner of Ebsworth & Ebsworth and has been a QRU Director since November 2002. He is a past President of the Queensland Rugby Union Club

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