Commonwealth Games Legacy Can Drive Queensland’s Olympic Bid

Commonwealth Games Legacy Can Drive Queensland’s Olympic Bid

With news today of a half a billion dollar business win for Queensland as a result of the Commonwealth Games, the time is ripe to forge ahead for an Olympic Games bid for 2032 or 2036.

Not only should southeast Queensland mount a serious bid to host the Olympic Games, we should do so with gusto and leave no stone unturned.

The reason is obvious. If Brisbane and the Gold Coast want to take the next step as world class cities, we must build the necessary transport, entertainment and sporting infrastructure to establish such credentials.

The Gold Coast showed it can compete with any city when it comes to putting on a world-class sporting event.

The Commonwealth Games was a spectacular success. It showcased the Gold Coast to the world as a city with a soul, a wonderful, friendly place to visit and do business.

The organisational side of the Games went smoothly, and despite several early transportation hiccups, it was well-run and met community expectations.

The legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games was an enduring celebration of the Gold Coast and the sporting infrastructure built for the Games stands the city in good stead for future major events.

New research released today by the State Government shows that overseas delegates say they are very likely to increase their direct investment into Queensland.

The report suggests that over the next decade about $480 million in direct foreign expenditure will come to Queensland off the back of the success of the Games.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones – a star of Cabinet – says major sporting events drive better outcomes for local businesses with our closest trading partners.

Trade between Commonwealth nations is a $1 trillion a year boon for these countries. More than 80 per cent of countries which attended the Gold Coast event said their perception of Queensland had improved.

The Gold Coast left a lasting impression on visitors with 90 per cent saying they would recommend the city as a place to holiday.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have strongly indicated a desire to fully investigate an Olympic Games bid.

The bid would be a Brisbane-Gold Coast commitment, with the Sunshine Coast brought into the mix as needed.

This makes sense. Demographer Bernard Salt says because of the size of an Olympic Games, a regional bid for southeast Queensland is the best possible option.

This would serve dual purposes for appropriate accommodation for athletes and visitors but also the necessary sporting infrastructure could be spread between the three cities.

For example, the Star Entertainment Group is building six accommodation towers on the Gold Coast over the next seven years, adding significant room capacity to the Gold Coast’s already high number of hotels.

Star is also building the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf development, which will transform the Brisbane CBD when it opens in 2023.

On top of that you have a new cruise ship terminal, second airport runway and Harvey Lister’s fantastic Brisbane Live project, which includes a new entertainment centre for the old Roma Street railway yards.

With the extra infrastructure required to handle an Olympic Games – such as upgraded highways between Brisbane-Gold Coast and Brisbane-Sunshine Coast – hosting an Olympic Games within the next 15 years or so would be transformational for southeast Queensland.

The Olympics have been held in Melbourne and Sydney and they were outstandingly successful, with many believing Sydney the best ever.

Australia is a safe, modern, progressive destination for the greatest show on earth and we have the professional expertise at every level to host such an event.

But the ground work must start now. Let’s get an Olympic bid team formally established and begin the lobbying process. Let’s harness the best business and sporting brains in the country to work on the bid.

There is no better time than the present.

CRICKET’S LINE IN THE SAND

The Allan Border Medal – the highest honour in Australian cricket – will be presented tonight, and the two names that have dominated in recent years won’t be there.

Steve Smith and David Warner won’t even be at the ceremony, with Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins likely to battle it out, ensuring a first-time winner. Smith and Warner have shared the award over the past four years.

Since the sandpaper scandal, Australian cricket has done it tough. The Test series loss to India was our first ever to that opponent on home soil.

The cheating scandal has claimed more scalps than just Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft. Gone too are former chief executive James Sutherland, former chairman David Peever and former coach Darren Lehmann.

The time is ripe for Australia and the cricketing world to move on. Tonight’s Border Medal presentation should mark a line in the sand for Australian cricket.

It’s been a dark period. Smith and Warner will be welcomed back, as they should be. They deserve a chance at redemption.

Source: Courier Mail

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