THE emerging popularity of women’s AFL has triggered the need for a million-dollar upgrade to one of the city’s most popular sporting facilities.
It is not the only major piece of construction on the books for the Cairns AFL community, with a total of $1.7 million in work planned.
Cairns Regional Council has agreed to give $100,000 to AFL Cairns as a contribution towards a Queensland Government grant application to build new training facilities, change rooms and a public toilet at Tom Murray Park at Mount Sheridan.
If successful, AFL Cairns will receive funds to build a new field dedicated solely to women’s and junior Aussie rules.
“Growth in junior participation which has organically occurred due to population increases in the catchment, coupled with the emergence of women’s AFL as a sport of choice has put further pressure on existing facilities,” a report to the council notes.
The full gamut of works proposed for Tom Murray Park tops $1.3 million.
The council has also approved a $100,000 grant to upgrade lighting at Fretwell Park in Bentley Park, with another $300,000 being sought from the State Government.
Bulldogs’ Adrienne Brim-Verevis lines up a kick in the AFL Cairns Women’s match between the Cairns Saints and the Centrals Trinity Beach Bulldogs, held at Griffiths Park, Manunda. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
“AFL Cairns have signalled the existing lighting system at Fretwell Park is nearing the end of its serviceable life and does not meet current standards,” the report stated.
“Whilst the responsibility of the lessee, the proposed collaboration is considered a sound investment by council to ensure ongoing repair and serviceability of the system.”