LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has applauded moves by a mountain biking legend to bring the sport’s world championship to Far North Queensland, yet another reason to back the Cairns Business and Sporting Group’s masterplan.
Mr Entsch said the push to secure the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships for Cairns in 2016 was a perfect fit for the Group’s vision to grow sports tourism in Far North Queensland and establish a tropical campus of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
World-renowned mountain biking figure Glen Jacobs believes the event would attract global interest and media attention, with the event set to become a 20-year reunion after the world championships were held in Smithfield in 1996.
“This push for world-class mountain biking event is an absolutely brilliant move and strongly reinforces the need for the entire community and all levels of government to get behind the work of the Cairns Sporting and Business Group,” Mr Entsch said.
“It is very important to diversify our region’s economy, but we must also support and build on our existing tourism industry, and sports tourism is one sector we can achieve significant growth in.
“I will be meeting with the Cairns Business and Sporting Group’s new implementation committee in the next fortnight to put together our demands for the coming state and local government elections.
“This is the first step towards implementing and establishing Far North Queensland as a tropical campus of the AIS.
“We can act on the group’s masterplan in little bites or big bites, but either way we are determined to get it started and make it happen.”
Mr Entsch said he was also supportive of the push by the Cairns Hockey Association to host the Four Nations Men’s Hockey Tournament in June this year.
“Once again, the work being done by the Cairns Hockey Association fits hand in glove with the objectives of the Cairns Business and Sporting Group and provides further evidence of how much potential there is for Far North Queensland to be a national leader in sports tourism,” he said.
“Cairns Hockey general manager Murray Bain serves on the Group’s Regional Masterplan implementation team and is a key driver of sports tourism and infrastructure in this region.”
Mr Entsch said he was aware of other sporting codes such as the AFL, soccer, baseball and rugby union were considering a number of upcoming events for the Cairns region, further strengthening the vision of the Cairns Business and Sporting Group.