The federal government will spend almost a quarter of a billion dollars to upgrade the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

An independent review of the institute’s infrastructure found in February the AIS should stay in Canberra, but needs a significant upgrade ahead of the games.

The government said next week’s budget would include $249.7 million to upgrade the facilities in Bruce, in Canberra’s north, to ensure they’re fit-for-purpose.

The funding will be put towards building a new high-performance training and testing centre, a multi-sport indoor dome, and an accommodation facility.

The government said the funding would be in the budget, but a detailed business plan for the AIS site redevelopment is still to be finalised.

“We want to give our athletes the best chance of bringing home gold at Brisbane and every competition before and after those games,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

“The upcoming budget will ensure the AIS remains in the capital, where it belongs, and ensure it once again becomes the world-leading high-performance centre it was designed to be.”

The Australian Institute of Sport

An independent review into the AIS’ location, facilities, and level of investment needed, in February recommended keeping the institute in Canberra.(Giulio Saggin: ABC News)

The recent review examined how the AIS could best support the country’s athletes ahead of the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, including whether the institute would be better placed in Brisbane.

Its finding that the AIS should stay in Canberra based on the campus’s “unique attributes”, and the drawbacks of relocation, drew criticism from Queensland’s Premier Stephen Miles, who called Canberra “an awful place”.

Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells said the government was committed to re-establishing the AIS as a “world-standard facility”.

“When it was first built, the AIS was so successful in preparing our medal winning athletes that it was replicated by sporting nations around the world and became the benchmark for achieving athletic success,” Ms Wells said.

“Today, our government is investing in the AIS so we reach those benchmarks again as we commit to delivering world standard training facilities ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The government has also committed an additional $10 million to work with the ACT government on a master plan for the wider Bruce sports precinct.

A woman with long hair.

Acting Chief Minister Yvette Berry welcomed the government’s investment.(ABC News)

ACT Acting Chief Minister Yvette Berry said the announcement marked “a great day for Canberra”.

“The commitment to the AIS in Canberra will not only create local jobs, but it also appropriately recognises the city’s role as the nation’s capital,” Ms Berry said.

“It places the institute and its facilities at the heart of a modern sports, health and education precinct in Bruce for decades to come.”

“We welcome the Albanese government’s plan to restore this national asset and to work together to plan for the precinct’s future.”

Ms Berry also acknowledged the advocacy of Canberra’s local sporting groups and other citizens who have advocated for the future of the AIS.

Posted 4h ago4 hours agoThu 9 May 2024 at 8:48pm, updated 3h ago3 hours agoThu 9 May 2024 at 9:53pm