Annastacia Palaszczuk has found some powerful backing for Queensland's Olympic Games bid.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has found some powerful backing for Queensland's Olympic Games bid.

Palaszczuk says southeast needs Olympics for simple reason

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk says the simple reason Queensland needs the Olympics is jobs.

In her strongest terms yet, the Premier said the Olympics had already brought Queenslanders together, would speed up new roads and rail and get a generation of kids into sport.

"It moves projects off drawing boards and into our lives," Ms Palaszczuk exclusively told The Courier-Mail.

"The Games offer us 12 years' worth of economic stimulus to get ready for them and, if we're smart, at least a decade of opportunity to capitalise on them after.

"What does that mean? More jobs. It's that simple."

On Friday, the Premier enlisted Queensland's business heavyweights in the push for the Games.

Business leaders are backing the 2032 Olympics bid after meeting with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (centre).
Business leaders are backing the 2032 Olympics bid after meeting with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (centre).

In a closed-door briefing for members of the Committee for Brisbane, Ms Palaszczuk outlined the state's study of how to secure the Games and make sure the numbers stacked up.

Ms Palaszczuk said Expo 88 had transformed Brisbane and left the legacy of South Bank Parklands, and the Olympics offered even more.

"The IOC is also prepared to put in funding to minimise the cost of the Games," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"There'll be no new whiz-bang 80,000 or 100,000-seat stadium to gather dust after the Games."

The dozen top business bosses gave the Olympics push the thumbs-up, saying it was needed to get the Queensland economy moving and fuel jobs.

"We need advocates out there talking about what the Olympics would mean to everybody living in Queensland," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"It would be transformational. It'd be a legacy and it would set Queensland up for the future.

"It would actually make Brisbane a world city."

She said if the numbers stacked up, she would be taking them to Cabinet before the end of the year.

Business leaders said an Olympic Games would provide Queensland with almost unmatched exposure on the world stage, a massive tourism and business boost, and fast-track desperately needed roads, rail and other infrastructure.

AEG Ogden chairman and chief executive Harvey Lister said the Olympics was an opportunity Queensland could not afford to miss.

"I think the point that is usually missed about big events like the Olympic Games, it's the years before the event with a big economic impact hits, and is spread right across the region," Mr Lister said.

"It's the international teams who are coming in to do their training and to get used to our temperature and the environment.

"It's the competitions that happen, whether they be regional or international, so that the athletes can swim in the same pool, run on the same running track and perform in the same gymnastics venue or basketball court.

"I don't think we can afford not to do it."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk meets IOC boss Thomas Bach with AOC head John Coates in Lausanne. Picture: Greg Martin/IOC
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk meets IOC boss Thomas Bach with AOC head John Coates in Lausanne. Picture: Greg Martin/IOC

He said he was confident the International Olympic Committee's "new norm" of cost-effective, legacy Games and giving hosts a slice of television and broadcast income made him confident it could be cost-neutral.

RNA chief executive Brendan Christou said industry bosses knew the numbers had to stack up.

"We understand that business case is being done and has to be done to make sure it is good value for the state," Mr Christou said.

"We think it can deliver in fast-tracking and bringing forward infrastructure that we're going to need in southeast Queensland in particular over the next decade or so.

"It's a great catalyst for that."

Olympian Tracy Stockwell said Queensland could and should go for the Games.

"I think there's an opportunity especially now with the IOC change of the new norm, and their contribution financially makes it much more of an attractive option," she said.

"It's a fantastic opportunity and I think well worth going for.

"From my personal perspective, as an eight-year-old I remember watching the 1972 Olympics on TV, and that inspired me.

"I'd only just started swimming, but I remember watching Mark Spitz and Shane Gould.

"And I went 'that's what I want to do'. That's my dream. And that dream became reality and I got there in 1984."

IOC president Thomas Bach with Annastacia Palaszczuk, Federal MP Ted O’Brien, Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson and AOC boss John Coates in Lausanne. Greg Martin/IOC
IOC president Thomas Bach with Annastacia Palaszczuk, Federal MP Ted O’Brien, Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson and AOC boss John Coates in Lausanne. Greg Martin/IOC

Queensland Ballet's Li Cunxin, a Committee for Brisbane member who could not make the briefing, said the Games offered more than just sport - it would put Queensland in front of the world for years to come, before and after the Games.

The Council of Mayors - which first mooted an Olympics bid as a way of dragging forward desperately-need roads and rail - estimates the operational budget of a southeast Queensland Games would be about $5.3 billion, but would be offset by a financial contribution from the International Olympic Committee of $2.6 billion and an anticipated $2.7 billion of revenue from sponsors, ticket sales and merchandise.

The Mayors and Australian Olympic Committee have urged a decision on a bid be made before next year's Tokyo Games.

A leadership group, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison's delegate Sunshine Coast MP Ted O'Brien, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones, have been working on thrashing out details of any bid.