Group 2 judiciary chairman resigns
By GREG WHITE
THE Gimbisi Valley 'affair' has collected its first high-profile casualty with the shock resignation of Group 2 judiciary chairman Peter Cutler.
After a decade of service and four years in the top job, Cutler said he'd returned refreshed from an off season family holiday ready to take up the reins once more, before a series of events changed his mind.
"I found in my absence a new system based on the NRL had been implemented and as chairman, I thought I might have at least been consulted," Cutler said.
"Even then I wasn't going to spit the dummy but ease myself in to learning the new way of doing things."
The surprise change prompted Cutler to question himself if sticking around in rugby league was the right thing to do.
Having Gimbisi Valley's appeal against a five-year suspension upheld made his mind up for him.
"Nobody should think I have anything against Gimbisi club," Cutler stressed.
"What I do find appalling is the situation created by Country Rugby League when they upheld the appeal.
"They've set a precedent meaning any time future action is taken for misbehaviour ? against Gimbisi or anybody at all, the ruling body are going to tell us we're a bunch of bloody liars."
Cutler saved plenty of venom for how the evidence of referee Faron Nelson was treated by the CRL.
"Faron, and Rick Purton before him, took great personal risk to make a judgement during a game from what was going on around them," he said.
"Then they backed that up in a hearing where nobody could find fault in their truthfulness.
"But along come the CRL who say what they saw and heard was a pack of lies."
He said he was surprised how well Nelson had taken the rebuff to continue as a first grade referee.
"Faron must have a great love of the game to cop that sort of treatment on the chin and keep going," Cutler said.
"In fact all those blokes ? Skippy, Saus and Jimmy," he said referring to the executive, Greg Mayhew, Peter O'Grady and Jim Anderson.
"They must love this game so much to cop the much publicised 'kick in the arse'.
"Or, they're raving lunatics."
Cutler said he'd been one of many who'd read the story in Saturday's Coffs Coast Advocate under the heading 'the Gimbisi saga: how it unfolded' and had made a prompt re-evaluation of his priorities.
"Judiciary meets Monday nights and I've been putting off a number of courses that will help my business because they're also held on Mondays," he said.
"Now, I've booked a start in the air-conditioning course and that takes care of Monday's for the forseeable future.
"Running a business is stressful enough without the added pressure the CRL's ruling has now placed on volunteers who love the game."