Harsher penalties have been recommended for NRL players’ misbehaviour after the state’s top cop was knocked back for a role on the ARL Commission.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller had been approached by Australian Rugby league chairman Peter V’landys to join the commission with a focus on player behaviour.
Mr V’landys told The Daily Telegraph players’ poor behaviour had lost the NRL a major sponsor and he was keen to stamp it out.
But the move to appoint Fuller to the ARL Commission board was knocked back on legal advice.
Commissioner Fuller said he was not disappointed he could not join rugby league, due to legal and contractual issues, and that he would continue to advise the sport wherever he could.
“I think player behaviour can be morphed through tougher fines there’s a real balance between the fines and the amount of time they (the players) spend off the field because the game has multiple stakeholder,” he told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
“It is a complex thing but at the end of the day a handful of players get it wrong then everyone gets punished.”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Fuller was not allowed to join the NRL due to a potential conflict of interest.
“The police commissioner is always extremely generous in supporting organisations with advice and that will continue to occur, including the NRL, but that’s very different from being on the board of an organisation,” she said.
“When you are in a role like the police commissioner’s role to join another organisation that’s a private organisation that could create a conflict in the future and I didn’t want us to be in that position.”
Ms Berejiklian spoke with Mr V’landys on Sunday to tell him Fuller could not hold the paid position, regardless of the fact Fuller would donate his $75,000 ARL Commissioner’s salary to Police Legacy.
The move to appoint Fuller to the board was met with significant backlash from some who saw it as a potential conflict of interest.
One example involves the lawyer for Canberra centre Curtis Scott, who is considering legal action against NSW Police over the fallout from his wrongful arrest on Australia Day arrest last year.
Solicitor Sam Macedone said the appointment of the police commissioner to the body could lead to a perception of a conflict of interest.
Commissioner Fuller had been asked to help crackdown on links between gangs and the NRL.
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