The announcement follows confirmation of a huge Council investment in the project, and support from the Queensland Government through a $1 million commitment from the Active Community Infrastructure initiative.
The development will also have backing from a $100,000 lighting investment by QC and Cricket Australia (CA) through the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund.
The development will see Griffiths Park become a major multi-sport hub for Cairns sport and create improved capability for Cairns to host national and state cricket carnivals, senior men’s and women’s games under lights, and act as a training base for domestic and international touring teams.
The upgrade of Griffiths Park will complement the outstanding playing and training cricket facilities at Cazaly’s Stadium and Walker Road, Edmonton, and will cement Cairns' position as a hub for community and event cricket in regional Australia.
The upgrade will be undertaken in two stages across two ovals. Stage one will see high-quality field lighting established on field one, new cricket nets built, and significant earthworks performed to improve the quality of fields, with new community spaces and car parking. Stage two will include new club buildings and cricket-quality lighting for field two.
“Griffiths Park has been a bit of a forgotten complex in our city. It’s been a lot of work over the past few years, but it’s nice to think that we’ve now got forward momentum for a significant upgrade for Cairns sport, with Council now finalising plans, and ready to invest real money in this important asset,” Cr O’Halloran said.
“Griffiths Park is a wonderful, well-located multi-purpose facility. Our planned upgrade will bring about benefits for junior sport in both AFL and cricket, and especially for the growth of junior cricket in the Cairns region, with the addition of cricket quality lighting,” he said.
State Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the Active Community Infrastructure Program investment into Griffiths Park was part of the State Government’s plan for an active and healthier Far North Queensland.
“I am extremely pleased to see the Palaszczuk Government investing in community sport and the potential superstars of the future. Every dollar we spend on upgrading sporting infrastructure has a healthy impact on the lives and health of Far North Queenslanders.”
QC Chief Executive Officer Terry Svenson visited Griffiths Park last November as part of a North Queensland tour and discussed the development with the Cairns Regional Council.
Mr. Svenson thanked the Council and State Government for their commitments to the project and said cricket in the region would see long term benefits once the upgrade was complete.
“The Griffiths Park upgrade project has been at the top of our state infrastructure priority list for some time now, and Queensland Cricket is very pleased to be contributing to getting the first stage of this important project off the ground with our partners from Cricket Australia, Cairns Council, the Queensland Government and Cairns Cricket Association.
“QC is excited by what a redeveloped Griffiths Park will be able to do for cricket in Cairns. We’re going to see more local games being played on high quality grounds under lights, while also allowing for a training and playing base for touring teams. We see the development as having a great long-term effect for cricket in Cairns and on the local economy.”
Cairns Cricket Association President Peter Huey said the development of Griffiths Park would have a significant impact on community cricket and participation in the region.
“We are just so happy that the planned upgrade at Griffiths Park can now get going,” Mr Huey said.
“We’ve worked on this for a long time with Council, with constant support from Cr O’Halloran and the Sport and Rec team, and we can’t wait to play under lights at the improved grounds here.
“The development is going to be a game changer for cricket in Cairns where we’ll have the ability to welcome more teams and games to the facility,” Mr Huey said.
The lighting upgrade to Griffiths Park Oval 1 will be a key part of the stage one upgrade and is hoped to be completed before the 2020-21 cricket season.
23 March 2020