Gold Coast look the goods
Sunday, March 15 2009 @ 07:40 am ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
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.