Labor promises to fund a study exploring options for a new home for Canberra Capitals

The Capitals WNBL team hosted a scoping study proposal at a dedicated facility for them to call home at the University of Canberra.

Federal Labor has pledged to fund a feasibility study on a home court for the college team, if the party is elected on Saturday.

The Capitals played their home games at the National Conventional Center Canberra (NCCC) in Canberra this season, but said they were left “homeless” for their finals matches.

The center became the team’s home after the AIS Arena closed in mid-2020 for repairs – a project which has now received funding but work has yet to begin.

Team chief executive Lucille Bailie said that with funding for an upgraded AIS Arena now secured, the proposed facility at the University of Canberra would not need to be as large, unable to accommodate only between 2,000 and 4,000 people.

She said Labor’s election pledge to fund a scoping study was “a step in the right direction”.

“The UC Capitals in particular, along with many other sports groups and local basketball organization Basketball ACT, have long been asking for funds for additional facilities here in Canberra,” she said.

She said the Capitals believe the Canberra community wants to see their team housed appropriately.

“We actually passed the National Convention Center Canberra,” she said.

“It served a wonderful purpose, but it’s limited to around 1,600 to 1,700 people.”

A man stands in the middle of a basketball court.
Ginninderra Rats head coach Darryl Durham said bigger facilities were needed to be able to develop local basketball competitions.(ABC News: Emma Groves)

The pledge of funding was also welcomed by the local basketball club, the Ginninderra Rats.

“We need facilities for growth to happen,” head coach Darryl Durham said.

“We have grown exponentially over the past 18 months.

He said the team did not want to be dependent on schools for the use of their courts, which were unreliable venues and could be booked by the school at any time.

“We really have to be in charge of our own destiny,” he said.

He described the funding announcement as showing “a great long-term initiative”, but said clubs would still struggle in the meantime.

Gallagher says federal governments and ACT should work together

Katy Gallagher looks away from the camera with a serious expression on her face.
Katy Gallagher says Labor wants to fund the project’s $750,000 feasibility study.(AAP: Mick Tsikas)

ACT Labor Senator Katy Gallagher announced this morning that, if elected, a Labor government would invest $750,000 to complete the feasibility study and advance the business case for the Sports Hub facility 2 at the University of Canberra.

Senator Gallagher said the proposal would need work before it was ready for consideration, but Labor wanted to financially support its preparation.

“They still have a bit of work to do to get it where it needs to go, so we want to provide the funding for the feasibility study, which is around $750,000,” she said. .

“[This] will fund the work they need to do to really prepare the proposal for further consideration. »

She said the funding was not a commitment to support the project when it was ready, but signified the party’s interest in getting involved.

“I think it’s probably a project that the ACT and Commonwealth governments would work on together, so it’s the first step, but it’s a serious step. I mean, if we weren’t interested, you wouldn’t bother to do the feasibility in the first place.”

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