Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that her government should have what it needs to determine whether to move forward with Australia’s Olympic bid by December this year.
She told the Brisbane Times Tuesday that a proposal and feasibility study funded in part by the federal government should be delivered before the end of the year, and in time for the cabinet to consider the results.
But Palaszczuk warned that if the findings weren’t positive for the region, she would abandon the project.
“If the Games do not offer real benefits to this state then, of course, we will not pursue them,” she said.
Bid promoters hope to leverage a potential USD $1.8 billion (AUD $2.6 billion) investment from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) combined with existing venues from across Queensland to host a cost-neutral Games. In return, it is hoped the region will be able to hasten the development of much-needed transportation infrastructure upgrades and create new jobs and private investment.
“If it delivers these things sooner than they would otherwise, then so much the better,” she said.
“This is not just about a couple of weeks of competition. It is about accelerating decades’ worth of jobs investment.
“It’s about getting things off the drawing boards and into our lives,” she said, according to the Brisbane Times.
Palaszczuk led a high-level Australian delegation that traveled to IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland last week to meet IOC President Thomas Bach and site selection officials to discuss a possible bid.
Both sides reported positive results from the preliminary meeting.
“We clearly have the attention of the International Olympic Committee,” Palaszczuk said.
Along with transport upgrades, the bid bid team will need to identify an Olympic Village for athletes staying in state capital Brisbane, as well as develop plans to construct a nearby stadium that can seat at least 60,000 spectators at Games time.
The Queensland bid, expected to be led by Brisbane if plans move forward, is already considered a strong favorite to be elected to host the Games in 2032. Plans to open the race in 2023 were dropped in June when the IOC voted to change bidding rules and open a dialog with interested cities immediately.
In the past, host cities were chosen seven year in advance, but now a host can be elected at any all-members session.
Queensland could face rivals on the International stage including from India, Indonesia, China and jointly between North and South Korea.
Last week IOC President Thomas Bach said that he was “confident” a bid from Germany could be organized to pursue the Games in 2032 or 2036.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com 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.