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Broncos still waiting for Barba release
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Filled in: NRL News | 21/8/2013 at 4:15pm

Reports that Brisbane may need to pay more than $1 million compensation to lure Ben Barba to the NRL club are news to Broncos boss Paul White.

The Brisbane CEO insisted they had only had “preliminary talks” with the Bulldogs over the unsettled fullback and had adopted a wait and see approach.

As Barba sweats on a release from Canterbury on compassionate grounds, reports on Wednesday claimed compensation discussions between the Bulldogs and Brisbane had already begun.

It is understood the Broncos had been willing to pay up to $300,000 for his release along with his salary of around $750,000 a season.

However, White said the Barba matter was out of their hands.

“We have had very preliminary discussions with the Bulldogs,” he said.

“There is no release forthcoming so it is really between Ben and his club.

“I know a lot of players get linked to us and there is a lot of commentary in the media but until players are on the market you are not in the position to do anything.

“It is not something we are in control of.”

White did have something to smile out about though on Wednesday after federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made a surprise visit to Broncos headquarters.

Abbott joined Queensland premier Campbell Newman at an announcement that promised land and money to keep the Broncos at their current Red Hill base.

Newman said the state government had agreed to provide land on a long-term lease to allow the club to build a new training ground and high-performance facility adjacent to its existing field.

And Abbott said a coalition government would give the club $5 million to kick-start the revitalisation of its Red Hill precinct.

White hoped the new facilities would be up and running by the 2016 pre-season.

“It was desperately needed, especially for our need to grow,” White said.

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