I'm in Cairns on holidays at the moment, this is the headline of the local paper today:
$3m to kickstart Cazalys upgrade
Saturday, July 24, 2010
© The Cairns Post
DEPUTY Prime Minister Wayne Swan will arrive in Cairns today with a $3 million handout to kickstart redevelopment of Cazalys Stadium.
Mr Swan will launch the campaign of Leichhardt MP Jim Turnour with the $3 million pledge to help pay for the first stage of the redevelopment.
AFL Cairns says it is happy with the money it has received for stage one. However, it is still short of the $15 million total the club needs to bring the stadium up to full AFL compliance.
AFL Queensland will contribute up to $1 million on top of the federal handout, towards stage one of the redevelopment.
This will include refurbishing player facilities on the ground floor of the grandstand; constructing a new building to the north of the grandstand for another team and AFL umpires; and the refurbishment of the upper level of the grandstand to service AFL media, coaches and media officials.
Announcing the money yesterday, Mr Turnour said the stadium redevelopment would kick along the local economy, supporting local businesses and provide jobs in Cairns.
"I understand that AFL isn't just an armchair sport here in Cairns," Mr Turnour said.
"We will be able to go out, see it and play it in new and improved facilities."
AFL Cairns president Gary Young welcomed the cash boost, saying it would help get the stadium up to the standard to host elite AFL football in Cairns.
"What we've (currently) got is unacceptable at the elite level, when they've got $7.9 million worth of players running around on the track, everything has to be right for them," Mr Young said.
"They're playing for full premiership points, and it could mean the difference between them making the finals and getting towards that ultimate success of winning the premiership."
The next stage will include a $3 million upgrade of stadium lighting, and an $8 million refurbishment of the grandstand to include more seats.
Mr Young conceded he did not yet know where the rest of the money for the total $15 million needed for the redevelopment would come from.
"We'll be working hard to raise the capital - where that will come from, we don't know," Mr Young said.
"But we want to get lights up so we can have games under lights.
"We've got fantastic lights, but they’re not broadcast quality for elite sporting events."
The cash boost comes after last Saturday's VFL match between the Gold Coast and Bendigo, which drew a crowd of 3500 to Cazalys.
The refurbished facilities will be used by community sporting groups, allowing Cazalys to host curtain-raiser matchers and sporting carnivals on a regular basis.
Mr Young said the redevelopment would also allow the stadium to host large-scale concerts.
While in Cairns, Mr Swan is facing pressure from business groups to give tax breaks to Far Northern companies.http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2010/0 ... -news.html
Have already got some pics of Cairns showground, hope to get some of Cazaly's and Barlow Park while I'm in town.
This is good news for Cairns, which has some cracking venues for a regional centre. Was interested to hear that the Cowboys - for whom 45% of their fanbase is allegedly made up of the city of Cairns - have not played a premiership match in Cairns since 2001 and only sporadically play trials here.
Maybe this will kick the NRL into gear and try and get an upgrade to Barlow Park to make it NRL standard to encourage the Cowboys to bring the occasional game here.