Australian PM guarantees federal funding for half of Brisbane’s proposed 2032 Olympic Games

A third Olympic Games in Australia is all but assured after Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered his government’s guarantee to fund half of the costs of the event proposed by Brisbane 2032.

Redeveloped century old cricket ground Gabba set to be centerpiece for proposed Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Redeveloped century old cricket ground Gabba set to be centerpiece for proposed Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games (Brisbane 2032 depiction)

A letter sent by the Prime Minister to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk Monday contained news of the federal commitment of funds that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires to approve the bid.  The federal government is also expected to provide assurances around Games security, visas, immigration and taxation ahead of Tuesday’s IOC deadline.

Palaszczuk said “This is what I asked the Prime Minister for,” according to Brisbane Times.

“This is great news for Queensland.”

State and municipal governments have already made the required commitments to move forward.

With guarantees in place the IOC will be in position to approve the bid ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games now scheduled to open in July.  If the IOC’s Executive Board agrees, the organization’s membership could be asked to rubberstamp the election of Brisbane 2032 at an IOC Session ahead of the Opening Ceremony.

Brisbane was the first Summer Games bid named as ‘preferred host’ since the IOC significantly reformed the bid process in 2019 by implementing Future Host Commissions, dropping fixed timelines and ultimately doing away with the transparency that had been associated with the process.

When Brisbane was singled out as the favorite bid in February, rivals from Doha in Qatar, Germany, North and South Korea, India, Budapest in Hungary and elsewhere were left on their heels, surprised that they had been left out of the race more than 11 years before the Games are set to open.  In the past, multi-city races were decided by head-to-head votes from the IOC membership seven years ahead of the target date.

The 50 percent federal funding is contingent on the implementation of a shared governance model with oversight on all phases of the capital projects, and will only come into effect if Brisbane is awarded the Games.

A jointly run Olympic Infrastructure Agency will regulate the state and federal partnership.

Last week Palaszczuk announced that The Gabba – Brisbane’s century-old cricket ground – would be redeveloped at a cost of AUD $1 billion (USD $780 million) for the Games to host the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Games are also considered a catalyst to the development of needed transportation upgrades in the region, but in accordance with new IOC sustainability rules, most sport venues are already in place with little new construction required.

Australia has hosted the Games in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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