Queensland frontrunner for 2032 Games

 

QUEENSLAND'S 2032 Olympic bid will be fast-tracked in an attempt to blow its rivals off the park after a glowing assessment from the International Olympic Committee.

The reforms to the way Olympic Games hosts are now selected allow the IOC to make a decision when it believes a bid city has the capability to proceed.

IOC president Thomas Bach said yesterday he had never seen a bid as "advanced" at this stage of the Queensland 2032 bid.

"It is fair to say that this project has all the ingredients to become a successful candidature," he said. "The ball is now in your court."

IOC President Thomas Bach Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Lausanne. Picture: Greg Martin/IOC
IOC President Thomas Bach Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Lausanne. Picture: Greg Martin/IOC

As a result, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wants a cost-benefit analysis for the Games completed by November and the Olympics taskforce - which includes the Premier, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and AOC boss John Coates - would make a final decision on a bid by Christmas.

Mr Bach said he did not know when a final decision on the 2032 Games would be made, but said Queensland was the frontrunner.

He said a Future Hosts Commission would be set up in October and the IOC would decide on the implementation of its host city reforms.

The reforms completely overhaul the way host cities are selected and then provided ongoing support to stage a Games.

It is a much more collaborative approach between the IOC and host countries and the aim is to ensure it is cost-neutral, rather than sending cities broke.

Mr Bach said a number of other countries had expressed interest in hosting the 2032 Games. The speculation is that Shanghai in China and St Petersburg in Russia are possibilities and a joint North-South Korea bid may be proposed.

"We cannot give a (decision) deadline today but that will be very much in the hands of the Queensland bid and how fast the project is developing."

It's understood that Australia's bid will now be stamped "urgent" to essentially make it so compelling and irresistible by the start of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo that no other bid can compete. A final decision is expected by 2022.

Mr Bach was impressed by the political and business unity behind Queensland's bid team.

"It's the enthusiasm of the Aussies for sport,'' he said.

"I'm very happy to meet optimistic and forward-looking politicians. That's a good experience.

"I like how much we share our common values. This is about the contribution of sport to society and the community, youth, gender equality, more sustainable, protecting the environment. This is what in the long-run will be the most important legacy for these Games.''

AOC president John Coates said a new stadium would have to be built.

"There isn't a stadium to my mind in Brisbane for the athletics and the ceremonies,'' he said.

The Australian delegation with the IOC President Thomas Bach in Lausanne. Picture: Greg Martin/IOC
The Australian delegation with the IOC President Thomas Bach in Lausanne. Picture: Greg Martin/IOC

Mr Coates said it did not need hold 80,000 people, but it needed to have significant capacity, such as Tokyo's 68,000-seat main stadium or the Olympic Stadium used for the London Games in 2012.

Asked if there were any sticking points to the Queensland bid thus far, Mr Bach replied: "No. It's really impressive and what I have been told by our colleagues here is the questions were really in-depth and showed very high preparedness."

"This is not what can you expect 13 years before the Games. I am now even more impressed than I was in my recent visit to Brisbane for the Sports Accord and how advanced the preparations are.

"We are impressed as well by the political and nonpartisan support the project enjoys.''

Mr Bach referred to the presence of Coalition MP Ted O'Brien and Labor's Milton Dick as "innovative".

"That is not only impressive but it is on this stage innovative to have all the parties there and united behind this," he said.

Ms Palaszczuk said 85 per cent of venues already exist for a prospective 2032 Olympics in Queensland.

"We share great common values and the ideals of the Olympic movement,'' she said.

"This would be the People's Games. A golden age for Queensland which would set the state up for decades to come.''

Mr Coates said Australia needed another Olympics.

"The infrastructure will go back to the communities,'' he said.


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