News stories – Let the games begin: Commonwealth Games bid for the North

This article was originally published in print in The Herbert River Express on May 24 2017

INGHAM could host events for the Commonwealth Games in 2030 if Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan’s bid for a North Queensland hosted games is successful.

Mr Costigan suggested at least one sport could be held in Ingham with other events held in towns from Port Douglas to Mackay.

Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor Ramon Jayo welcomed Mr Costigan’s invitation to discuss the bid with him.

Cr Jayo said they would discuss everything from achieving standards to host events and the prospect of tourism oriented activities.

He said while Ingham had “excellent facilities” for regional events, he was unsure those venues would meet requirements of events at Commonwealth Games level.

But he said he would find out what was required for events to be held in Ingham.

Cr Jayo said holding the games in North Queensland would have a positive effect on tourism to the shire, including people seeking out services such as accommodation, food, entertainment, and experiences.

Mr Costigan suggested lawn bowls, weightlifting or wrestling could be held in Ingham.

HINCHINBROOK MP Andrew Cripps said Hinchinbrook and North Queensland had a strong history of supporting a range of sports and a proud record of producing outstanding athletes.

Mr Cripps said the Commonwealth Games had in the past provided opportunities to secure significant investment in infrastructure and raised profiles of host communities as destinations for visitors.

Mr Costigan said the opportunities would be endless for Ingham and the Hinchinbrook region to be involved in the Games, rather than New South Wales or Victoria who are also expected to vie for the 2030 event.

“It’s important that Ingham plays host to at least one sport, otherwise it’s going against the principles of what I stand for here,” Mr Costigan said.

“The successful bid would have to be unveiled in 2023, so we have seven years to let this happen.”

Mr Costigan said he was inspired by North Cowboys founding father and CEO Kerry Boustead who no-one believed could make the team what they are today.

He said $5 billion could be tapped into for the Games.

“What we’re talking about is a lasting legacy for future,” Mr Costigan said

Herbert River Crushers President Joe Pennisi said Ingham, as a town that prides itself on sport, could play host to lawn bowls, mountain biking, or archery.

 

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