LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the signing-off of the funding agreement for the Coalition Government’s $1.5 million election commitment for Cairns Basketball.
The completed funding agreement means that Cairns Basketball will receive the first tranche of funding and works on its $3 million expansion project will start in the coming months.
The project will see the construction of a new court, a specialised sports science building and landscaping.
“Through expanding the facilities, Cairns Basketball will continue to grow the sport at the grassroots level for boys and girls teams, indigenous youth, and disability groups, including reinstating the very successful Midnight Basketball program,” Mr Entsch said.
“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.
“I’d like to congratulate Cairns Basketball, in particular Mark Beecroft, President Cairns Basketball and Cairns Taipans CEO, and Chris Van Dorssen, Vice President Cairns Basketball, for very actively promoting this project – I’m incredibly pleased to have secured this investment and I can’t wait to see the redevelopment come to fruition.”
Cairns Basketball is managing the overall expansion works and Mike Scott, Cairns Basketball General Manager, said the construction of a sports science building would provide the opportunity to partner with a tertiary institution to accommodate a research and teaching space.
“We’re also really happy to be reinstating Midnight Basketball which will provide young people an opportunity to engage in activities and games associated with basketball in a supervised and safe environment,” Mr Scott said.
The redevelopment is expected to be completed by March 2018.