Olympic quest: Coast MP's push to be frontrunner
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has hand-picked Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien to spearhead the bid for the 2032 Olympic Games in southeast Queensland as the Commonwealth representative.
Mr O'Brien said it was no secret that the Sunshine Coast would be a fantastic home ground for prestigious Olympic events as "it falls into our sweet spot".
"We are already a great sporting region. We have an enormous amount of talent, born from the grassroots of sport, some elite athletes who are the world's best," he said.
Mr O'Brien added he had high hopes that a successful Olympic bid could also see infrastructure fast-tracked on the Coast, including the SEQ fast rail, which would be beneficial for the Games.
"The idea of an Olympic Games, which would bring the best of the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane and beyond, is a compelling proposition," he said.
"(And) it's no secret that my vision for infrastructure in southeast Queensland is an SEQ fast rail network.
"If we were successful, we should unashamedly use that to accelerate our infrastructure ...and of course that would be very welcomed."
While securing the Olympic Games in Queensland's southeast corner would "no doubt" be challenging, he said it was "winnable" if all parties were prepared to put their best foot forward as a united force.
But Mr O'Brien said there was still one more party to jump on the bandwagon - Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"We need the Premier to do what the Prime Minister has done (and) indicate that she's in boots-and-all," he said.
"This is going to require a team Australia approach. Nothing less ... will see us being able to host the 2032 Games."
Ms Palaszczuk has been reluctant to sign up to the bid, demanding funding certainty.
Mr O'Brien said the longer they wait, the less chance the region has to be a front runner as time, reservation and pessimism "kills deals".
"You don't get to host an Olympic Games without there being a large united force," he said.
"That united force will need to consist of the Federal Government, the State Government, local governments, the Australian Olympics Committee and also the private sector community at large."
As the Federal Government has announced it is in with the bid and will dedicate up to $10 million for the deal making process, Mr O'Brien said it was time the State Government did likewise.
"As much as 2032 is a long way away, if we move fast with a united approach we can capture first mover advantage ... and that counts if you play your cards right," he said.
"The Prime Minister certainly did not appoint me to this role because of my elite athleticism, but I think it would be fair to say that any athlete would recognise the value of being first down the blocks."