$4m in federal funding for Aurora Stadium

ON THE eve of Hawthorn's first match at Aurora Stadium since winning the 2008 AFL premiership, venue chiefs are celebrating its latest $4 million funding windfall. The Hawks take on West Coast tomorrow afternoon, but Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese will precede them into Launceston. He is expected at the stadium today to announce a contribution of $4 million towards its latest $7 million upgrade. "This is absolutely tremendous news," Inveresk Precinct Authority chairman Robin McKendrick said. "It's what we've been anxiously waiting for. "It's excellent news not only for Aurora Stadium but all users of Invermay Park, and consolidates the future of both venues." Mr Albanese will today announce the funding as part of the Government's $800 million community infrastructure program. The Launceston City Council project will involve a new 2125-seat grandstand, increasing the ground's seating capacity to 13,825. New facilities will also be provided for football and cricket clubs at the adjacent Invermay Park. The announcement was warmly welcomed by Bass Labor MHR Jodie Campbell, who had lobbied for the scheme. It will also mark the beginning of discussions with both the State Government and the AFL for contributions towards the project. "This is an incredibly worthwhile project and I am delighted that my lobbying of the minister has been successful," Ms Campbell said. The AFL would not comment on a contribution until after Mr Albanese's announcement today but Sport and Recreation Minister Michelle O'Byrne said she was excited with such a positive result form the infrastructure funding. Mr Albanese is also expected to announce a $2 million contribution towards lights at Bellerive Oval today, plus funding towards the Windsor Park health and wellbeing centre.

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