Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said he backed AFL Cairns’ plan to add another 2200 undercover seats, corporate boxes, a 250-seat function room and other facilities to the Westcourt sporting centre.
“It’s absolutely brilliant,” he said. “These guys have carried the can on this for a long time and all the work has been done by AFL Cairns.
“It ties in perfectly with making Cairns the tropical sports centre of Australia.”
Mr Entsch said the proposal would open opportunities for Cairns to get a women’s AFL team in the national league.
Successful proponents for the $272.2 million Regional Growth Fund are expected to be announced over the coming months and all projects must be completed within four years.
AFL Cairns will be asking for a contribution of about $13 million from the Federal Government, throwing in its own money and seeking further grants from the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council.
Cairns MP Michael Healy said the State Government was interested to hear more about the scheme.
“In the absence of having regular demand for a rectangular stadium, this is an outstanding solution,” he said.
“The people of the north need to have a good facility and this is a very positive step in the right direction.”
Advance Cairns chairman Trent Twomey said the plan made sense and the city should be focusing on sports “that complement the ones that exist in Townsville”.
“I’d be focusing on the A-League for Cairns FC and investing in rugby union,” he said.