Another hurdle was removed from Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic bid sprint Wednesday after City Council voted in favor of hosting the world’s largest sport event for the third time in Australia.
Only a single member of the Greens voted against hosting plans after an eight-hour closed-door session held in signed secrecy. The special council meeting was the first for Brisbane City Council in almost 14 years, according to the Brisbane Times.
Brisbane was selected last month by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the preferred candidate to host the 2032 Games and it is all but certain that the Games will be awarded to the Queensland State capital once all government approvals are signed. The Queensland and Australian national governments must also provide written agreements ahead of an April 7 deadline; both levels have already verbalized full support for the project.
With paperwork in place, Brisbane could be officially awarded hosting rights for the event as early as July during a members’ session to be held in advance of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner later tweeted “Today marked a critical milestone in the journey to hosting an Olympics with the Schrinner Council Administration voting ‘yes’ to the jobs created by an Olympic Games, ‘yes’ to the opportunities a Games would bring to our city and ‘yes’ to fast-tracking investment in our region.”
As the sole dissenter, councillor Jonathan Sri released a statement that read “Our city’s agreement with the IOC will place much of the financial risk on Queensland taxpayers, meaning that the cost of delays or cancellations due to extreme weather or future pandemics will fall heavily on our city, while most of the profits will flow offshore.”
The sudden fast-tracking of Australia’s bid by the IOC was bombarded with criticism that called out the lack of transparency in the new site selection process that operates mostly behind closed doors. In a glaring conflict-of-interest IOC Vice President John Coates had helped design the new process in 2019 at the same time he was organizing the Brisbane bid as part of his role as President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
Active rival bids from Germany, Hungary and Qatar have vowed to continue pursuing the 2032 Games with their hopes riding on the unlikely event that the Australian project fails to be approved.
The IOC has yet to award the earlier 2030 Olympic Winter Games with projects from Sapporo, Salt Lake City, Pyrenees-Barcelona and Vancouver said to be showing serious interest. There is no set timeline for this process.