CLUB TARGETED: The Wattles Warriors are at the centre of financial drama, after a couple known to the club allegedly took a “substantial” sum of money.
CLUB TARGETED: The Wattles Warriors are at the centre of financial drama, after a couple known to the club allegedly took a “substantial” sum of money.

Wattles band together after theft charges laid

THE Wattles rugby league community is coming to terms with the alleged theft of about $30,000 from the club over a two-year period.

A six-month investigation was instigated when senior members of the club tipped off the Warwick police over concerns about missing money.

A 63-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman have been charged with stealing the money.

Wattles president Amanda O'Halloran said the club was "very happy" the case was going "through the proper legal process".

"Everyone who is involved with the club are volunteers and a lot of hard work goes into raising that money," she said.

"To lose that amount of money, especially at the same time the area was going through drought, was disappointing.

"It was disappointing to have to deal with that extra financial stress."

It is alleged the Headington Hill couple took the money while working in positions of trust at the club during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Mrs O'Halloran said from Toowoomba Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League had also been notified about the investigation.

She said the cancellation of the 2020 TRL season would have had no bearing on the club's ability to play, as the club had secured enough funding for the season.

"We have done a few things ourselves to help prop the club up," she said.

"We had worked hard to make sure we had enough money for insurance and jerseys."

The support of the Allora and Clifton communities through fundraising and sponsorship have helped ensure the security of the club, according to Mrs O'Halloran.

"At the moment, the club are thankful to our sponsors and the local community for supporting us in the past 12 months. Without their support it would have been a difficult time to get through," she said.

"We are looking forward to a positive 2021 season and we will definitely be there."

The couple charged with the theft are due to appear in Warwick Magistrates Court on September 16.



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