A bid from the Gold Coast to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games has been given the go-ahead by the Queensland Government, who have committed $11 million (£6.6 million) already to the campaign.

A feasibility study reported that the Gold Coast had the facilities to stage the Games, including enough accommodation and a good transport system.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has now confirmed that they will underwrite the bid.

She said: "That will be money well spent because not only will we have the chance to host a very significant event with major economic benefits for the state, the coastal strip will benefit with a significant boost to its infrastructure.

"That will not only include new and upgraded sporting facilities, but improvements and upgrades to roads and other transport networks and new housing developments.

"This is a win-win for the Coast and I'm determined that our Government pull together the best bid possible to put Queensland out there as the front-runner for this event."

It is claimed that up to 30,000 jobs could be created if the bid is successful.

Bligh said: "Additionally, this is our opportunity to showcase the Coast to the world - and that delivers a huge boost to our tourism industry."

The report by Event Knowledge Services - the group responsible for reviewing potential locations for the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) - backed a potential bid from the Gold Coast.

Under its plan, the Gold Coast region would host all core sporting events, with a handful of additional events in Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane, which hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games.

Australia last hosted the Games when Melbourne staged them in 2006.

With Auckland on the verge of withdrawing a proposed bid because of lack of support from the Government, it leaves Abuja in Nigeria and the Gold Coast as the only declared bidders ahead of the deadline of March 31 set by the CGF.

Bligh said: "So the competition is steep but we are determined to give this our best shot.

"The Coast already has a proven track record of hosting successful international sporting events and that will be a key factor in a successful bid."

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