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Gold Coast look the goods

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The chance of the Gold Coast Football Club being awarded a licence to compete in the AFL from 2011 took a big step forward during the week, with Queensland's Premier, Anna Bligh, committing her government to contribute $60million to an upgrade of Gold Coast Stadium (Carrara).

The global financial crisis has been seen as a major threat to the 17th licence bid, and reported plans for a $300million stadium were shelved. But the announcement from Queensland's Labor government is thought to have all but guaranteed the state will secure its second AFL club. It's believed the AFL will also contribute significantly to the stadium, and hopes to gain Federal government funding as well.

The only concern in that area is that a state election is imminent, and the National-Liberal opposition has not yet matched Bligh's promise - this has reportedly upset local candidates given that the business community is looking forward to the significant money an AFL club would bring to the area. A Queensland study on the economic impact of a Gold Coast-based AFL side found that when the club was up and running at full capacity it would generate more than 400 local jobs and economic activity of $34 million a year – 92 per cent of which would flow to non-AFL businesses.

The tip is that the licence will be awarded to the Gold Coast at the AFL Commission meeting later this month. That would be good news for PNG's Amua Pirika, who is playing with the club as they head into the TAC Cup Under 18 competition.

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Gold Coast look the goods | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gold Coast look the goods
Authored by: Sean Finlayson on Monday, March 16 2009 @ 09:11 am ACDT

Its not all plain sailing like your article makes out. This was just an election promise and conditional on more funding from the Rudd Federal government and local council. The election promise might backfire because Bligh's policies aren't too popular and the move to fund an AFL stadium is seen by many as a waste of money, especially given the economy and massive shortfalls in health. If the Queensland opposition don't match it and Bligh gets voted out then it simply won't happen. Also, Bligh's commitment is for to 2012 which is a year after the AFL's proposed 2011 entry date for GC17. The signs are getting better, but GC17 is still a long way from being done and dusted. I guess we'll know more in a couple of weeks time when the election results come through ... but don't hold your breath on the AFL granting the licence for some time yet.

Gold Coast look the goods
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Monday, March 16 2009 @ 10:36 am ACDT

Just sad that by comparison, the Vic Govt has paid $300 million for a new soccer/rugby stadium in footy heartland - - especially given that the State Govt over the journey has hardly rushed to put money into major AFL facilities (i.e. stuff all into the MCG and nothing into Docklands).

The AFL for some reason, is penalised by government for being successful, and no doubt, if not for the presence of cricket (an 'international' game) - then the AFL would struggle to get funds freed up for the Gabba or the SCG. Actually, the GABBA had a 17 year upgrade plan that started back in the early 1990s before the 'Bad news Bears' had even established themselves at the Gabba or as a side/club full stop!!

On that note - Cararra had better be lined up to host domestic one dayers and 20/20 matches on the Gold Coast!! Although, the political impact of such support is interesting. Out in Blacktown (West Sydney), the News Ltd press has tried to portray the council as diverting regular parks/gardens maintenance funds etc to the new AFL/Cricket ovals. Ignoring the fact that the state government released project specific funds including $15 mill for the Blacktown oval. People flying an NRL flag jumped up and down, and some via letters/emails to papers promised ballot box retribution at the Council elections late 2008. As it turned out, the Labor council was mostly returned, the 'controversial' mayor - Leo Kelly - retained his seat but lost the Mayoral robes to effectively a council ally.

So, at least there, financial support for the AFL hasn't been a poisoned chalice. Perhaps all the cricketers recognised that Cricket NSW was also a partner in the projects, and voted FOR some decent ovals rather than all those rectangle fields with no decent camber!!)

Gold Coast look the goods
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, March 16 2009 @ 12:40 pm ACDT

I believe the Federal government will almost certainly kick in the share hoped for from them (reportedly $40 million).

As I said, it is contingent on Labor winning the Queensland election (or the opposition changing their mind) - from there I think it will be smooth sailing for the GC Football Club.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN