FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has joined Cairns Basketball officials, Taipans players and CQ University representatives for a formal sod turning to herald the commencement of construction to expand Cairns Basketball.
As part of the Federal Government’s election commitments Cairns Basketball has received $1.5 million in Commonwealth funding to put towards its $3 million project.
Construction will include a new court, a specialised sports science building and landscaping.
Mr Entsch said the expansion is much needed to meet the needs of the CQUniversity Cairns Taipans, junior and senior basketball teams and local community groups. The venue in its current state is not big enough or suitably equipped and teams have to hire other training venues because Cairns Basketball courts have exceeded capacity.
“Expanding Cairns Basketball facilities will help Cairns Basketball officials to grow the sport at a grassroots level for boys and girls teams, indigenous youth, and disability groups including the reinstatement of 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 generate massive exposure for our region through international broadcasts and economic benefits from visitor spending.
“I congratulate Cairns Basketball, in particular President Mark Beecroft and Vice President, Chris Van Dorssen for their vision and work to make this project a reality,” Mr Entsch said.
Cairns Basketball President Mark Beecroft said it takes a lot of work and negotiation behind-the-scenes in order to make these developments happen, and we’re thrilled this expansion has come to fruition.
“This couldn’t have happened without the support of local MP Warren Entsch, the Federal Government and the Cairns Basketball Management Committee and staff.
The wider sporting community in Cairns is looking forward to seeing the upgraded facilities as part of the overall expansion plans for the precinct,” Mr Beecroft said.
Construction is expected to be completed by March 2018.