$3m Sydney switch shows Beattie means business
RUGBY league's most passionate Queenslander is quitting the Sunshine State to buy a new $3 million home in one of Sydney's trendiest suburbs.
Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie will run rugby league when he takes over as chairman of the independent commission early next year.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Beattie and his wife Heather have taken out a mortgage to buy a house in stylish Balmain East.
It is believed the home cost more than $3 million, showing how serious Beattie is about the move.
It means he will be able to take over as the most powerful figure in the game within the next two months - and have a "hands-on" role in the running of the game.
Beattie will make the Balmain property his principle place of residence, only 11km away from NRL headquarters at Moore Park.
He will commute between Brisbane and Sydney while he completes his role as chairman of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and then move to Sydney permanently.
The move has surprised colleagues because Beattie has always been seen a staunch Queenslander who has lived nearly all his life in Brisbane and served for nearly a decade as premier of the state.
But he has told friends he is determined to work closely and regularly with CEO Todd Greenberg, rather than make occasional visits to Sydney.
The move is in stark contrast to outgoing chairman John Grant, who stays at the flash Intercontinental Hotel when he travels to Sydney in business class.
Some NRL club chairmen believe Beattie should move into the role immediately but Grant is determined to remain as chairman until the NRL's annual general meeting in February.
Beattie would then need to be elected to the top role by his fellow commissioners but this is seen as a formality.
The new-look commission will also have four members nominated by the clubs and states and is expected to function more smoothly than the current commission, which has been in a constant battle with the clubs.
It is understood Beattie chose Balmain because it is the birthplace of the ALP in NSW, and the former home of premier Neville Wran.
Ironically, it is just a good punt kick away from Birchgrove Oval, the birthplace of rugby league in Australia in 1908.
Beattie has demonstrated he is a passionate rugby league fan, travelling extensively to watch games since he was elected to the commission in July.