Australia will launch a bid for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup after the country's Government agreed to financially support their effort to secure the hosting rights for the tournament.
The announcement was made at an event in the Great Hall at Parliament House in Canberra today, which was attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Sports Minister Greg Hunt, Minister for Women Michaelia Cash and Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Steven Lowy.
The Government has pledged an initial AUD$1 million (£597,000/$756,000/€676,000) to the bid, with the potential for a further AUD$4 million (£2.4 million/$3 million/€2.7 million) of funding to be released if it reaches a stage where they are confident it has a genuine chance of success.
FIFA has not yet outlined the exact bidding procedure for the 2023 event.
Colombia, Japan, Thailand and New Zealand are among the others to have expressed an interest.
Australia, who are currently ranked at number eight in the world, has never hosted the men's or women's World Cup.
Lowy claimed they would make a "compelling case" for the hosting rights when FIFA announces the bid process.
"This is the largest, most prestigious and most competitive contest in a women’s sport globally,” he said.
“We want to win the right to host it and then win the tournament itself.
"The benefits to Australia are many and varied with major economic impact to the wider community and, most importantly, a massive increase in exposure and investment in women's football.
"A FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would inspire a whole new generation of girls and women to take up the biggest participation sport in Australia, for many with the dream of winning the World Cup on home soil.
“I would like to personally thank the Prime Minister and his Parliamentary colleagues for their support thus far.
"We know that this will be a challenging process, but we believe that we have the expertise and world class facilities to host a fantastic tournament."
Australia hosted the men's Asian Cup in 2015, the 1993 FIFA World Youth Cup and the Olympic football tournaments in 1956 and 2000 but never the World Cup.
The announcement comes after the Australian women's team, nicknamed the Matildas, were involved in a dispute over pay with the FFA in 2015.
It provoked the cancellation of their tour to the US before a deal was agreed in October.
The Women's World Cup is growing in popularity, with the last edition of the tournament, held in Canada in 2015, attracting a total match attendance of 1.35 million and a combined global television audience of 764 million people.
The next Women's World Cup will take place in France in 2019.