Former Premier Casts Doubt On Brisbane 2028 Olympic Bid

While Brisbane’s Mayor Graham Quirk is leading a push for a 2028 Olympic bid, Peter Beattie, head of the Commonwealth Games and former Queensland premier, is casting doubt on the financial viability of a southeast Queensland Olympic Games bid.  He is urging mayors to consider partnering with Sydney and Melbourne to give a bid a fighting chance.

Brisbane Skyline

Brisbane Skyline (Photo: Lachlan Fearnley)

Last week Mayor Quirk committed more than (AUD) $800,000 in taxpayer funds for a feasibility study, but the Gold Coast City Council has voted against contributing to the study.

Beattie, who is accelerating preparations for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games now that the Rio Olympics are over said he understood why the Gold Coast decided not to spend any money on the study and warned that an Olympic bid would be just a pipe dream unless councils partnered with the Commonwealth and the two other states.

He also suggested they aim instead for the 2032 Olympic Games, adding “I don’t believe that the southeast corner of Queensland can afford it.

“If they were in partnership with Sydney and Melbourne, it becomes possible with federal government underwriting. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires you to underwrite the event and that is really difficult.  If they want this to be more than a pipe dream, they have to partner”, Beattiie told The Australian.

He added, that “while venues being built for the Commonwealth Games could make the Olympic bid more attractive, they were unlikely to be big enough for the ticket sales needed to make an Olympic event viable. Beattie said, “from Queensland’s point of view, the reality is that the Commonwealth Games is about the right size.  It fits.”

Meanwhile last week Melbourne’s Mayor Robert Doyle said that he would investigate a bid for either the 2028 or 2032 Olympic Games.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Canberra, April 29, 2015 (IOC Photo)

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Canberra, April 29, 2015 (IOC Photo)

He said Melbourne’s world-class venues would make a strong contribution to a successful bid.

“I don’t think it’s sustainable that nations, particularly those that are not very affluent nations, spend billions upon billions on stadiums and facilities that are then unused after the Olympics,” Doyle told News Limited, referencing the troublesome Games that concluded in Rio.

“We could show a very friendly Games, a very inclusive Games.

“We could show how you purpose-build stadiums so that they are an integral part of the city’s infrastructure.”

Australian hosted the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

The 2028 bid campaign will be launched by the IOC in 2019.