Far North Queensland's growing reputation as a sports tourism destination will be supported by a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Team, with the announcement of a $4.25 million commitment for the Cairns Hockey and Cairns Basketball redevelopments and the Wangetti Trail Concept Plan.
Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch MP today joined with stakeholders to make the announcements, which will excite local, national and international sporting communities.
“Under a re-elected Turnbull Government, Cairns Hockey Association (CHA) will receive $2.7 million for a series of planned capital improvements to its facilities,” Mr Entsch said.
The funding will enable the construction of ablutions, dressing rooms and support facilities, the replacement of aged infrastructure on the pitches, and the upgrade of training rooms, helping the young women’s indigenous hockey ‘ASPIRE to be Deadly’ Program to flourish and providing benefits to the broader community.
“These upgrades – identified in Cairns Hockey’s 2020 Vision – will position CHA as a world-class venue to deliver a wide range of local, regional, state, national and international hockey events, competitions and support programs,” Mr Entsch said.
“It’s also about investing in infrastructure that will encourage our young people to get involved in sport, promote a healthy and active lifestyle and meet the needs of adult competitors.”
The second element of today’s announcement is that a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Team will provide $1.5 million towards the $3 million Cairns Basketball facility expansion project. This project will see the construction of a new court and a specialised sports science building, and redevelopment of the existing Court 1 to international competition standard.
Through expanding the facilities, Cairns Basketball will be able to enter a bid for a team in the Women’s National Basketball League, and grow the sport at the grassroots level for boys and girl’s teams, indigenous youth, and disability groups, including reinstating the very successful Midnight Basketball program.
“The opportunity to host eight international teams during the preliminary rounds of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will also bring massive exposure to the region through international broadcasting and economic benefit from visitor spending.
“Right now, the venue isn’t large enough or suitably equipped to cope, and even the community groups and junior and senior teams often have to hire out other venues for training because the court capacity at Cairns Basketball is being exceeded.”
The third element of the announcement is a $50,000 commitment to create the Wangetti Trail Concept Plan. This highly-anticipated ‘hero trail’ between Palm Cove and Port Douglas will be a major attraction for hiking and mountain-biking enthusiasts.
“This is an important first step to recognise the vision of Glen Jacobs, a Cairns local, Director of World Trail and renowned trail design and construction expert,” Mr Entsch said.
The Concept Plan will require significant fieldwork including mapping of the challenging but picturesque terrain between Port Douglas and Palm Cove, and report preparation.
“The completed project will provide a whole range of employment and economic benefits. It also promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for locals and visitors, and is a key recommendation of the Tropical North Queensland Regional Mountain Bike Strategy.”
All three projects align with Cairns business and sporting leaders’ vision for Cairns becoming the fourth city in the world for tropical sports conditioning, after Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
“I’m helping to get this concept off the ground by promoting investment in key pieces of sporting infrastructure – including $4.8 million towards the upgrade of the Tobruk Memorial Pool into a world-class aquatic venue, and $42 million for the establishment of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at JCU,” Mr Entsch said.
“The Turnbull Coalition Team is dedicated to building stronger communities across Australia and it’s projects like these that will help to achieve that goal,” he ended.