Kicking Goals with Queanbeyan Tigers
Federal Member for Monaro Dr Mike Kelly has announced a major development for Dairy Farmers Park with a re election promise of $360,000 to assist with the construction of new lighting at the ground.
Minister for Sport Don Farrell said the funding would allow state-of-the-art, 300Lux lighting to be installed. This adds to the $700,000 in upgrades that the club has already spent at the ground since moving to the venue in 1979.
The Tigers are also about to commence first stage renovations to the grandstand costing approx $400,000 which includes new toilet amenities for the Ladies and the disabled, new change room facilities for visiting teams / umpires and an upgrade of the canteen plus home team rooms.
Funding for the 1st Stage has come by way of a grant from the Queanbeyan City Council and a contribution from AFL along with financial assistance from the Junior and Senior football Organisations.
The announcement this week of $360,000 from the Federal Government is welcome news after years of lobbying by club officials to upgrade the facility.
The criteria for participation in the NEAFL competition includes improved facilities and by 2014 the Club will have complied with most aspects of the criteria.
This includes an improved playing surface of which Queanbeyan City Council has allocated $60,000 in this financial year for surface renovation.
Senator Farrell said member for Eden Monaro Dr Mike Kelly had lobbied hard to secure the funding for the lighting upgrade. Dr Kelly has described the funding for the Club as his Number One sports priority.
Dr Kelly celebrated the election commitment at the ground on Wednesday along with Tigers Chairman Bob Gibbs, General Manager Ron Fowlie, AFL Facilities Development Manager Anthony Brooks and AFL NSW / ACT Regional Manager Steve Maher.
The announcement will make sure night games will be played at the ground with the existing lighting to be transferred to another AFL venue in Queanbeyan, therefore taking some of the “traffic” off the ground with the relocation of training and games away from the venue.
Dr Kelly said the current lighting dates back to 1980 and has become inadequate, costly and environmentally unfriendly. This commitment would be delivered through the Governments Sporting Communities initiative that is already included in the budget.
Dr Kelly also acknowledged and paid tribute to the ongoing initiatives the Tigers Club had contributed to Dairy Farmers Park and looked forward to assisting with further upgrades in the future.