International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach warmly welcomed delegates representing Queensland, Australia’s 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid Tuesday as the yet-confirmed bid was soft-launched among top officials.
Leaders presented what they claim to be efficient plans that would leverage 85 percent existing facilities across South East Queensland to stage the events. By investing the expected USD $1.8 billion (AUD $2.6 billion) contribution by the IOC derived from broadcast and sponsorship revenues, it is hoped the Games would help deliver necessary transportation upgrades across the region and an 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium in State Capital Brisbane.
To complement an existing Olympic Village that was built for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast last year, another complex to house Olympic Athletes would be developed in Brisbane should the city be chosen to host the Games.
The high-level bipartisan group that traveled to IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland was led by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palazczuk and included Federal MP Ted O’Brien who represented the Prime Minister and Mayor Mark Jamieson who represented the South East Queensland Council of Mayors.
Palaszczuk received criticism from political rivals at home due to her travel while deadly bush fires ravage parts of Queensland, but her defenders claimed this meeting was critical for the bid that could benefit the region for generations.
Instead, Palaszczuk cancelled her meeting in Paris with the 2024 Olympic organizing committee so she could return to Australia two days early.
Palazczuk dined one-on-one with President Bach for lunch Tuesday, discussing bid plans that are strongly supported cross-party by all relevant governments in Australia, and by taxpayers according to recent polls.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signs visitors book at IOC HQ in Lausanne after invitation from President Bach – meeting underway to learn more about Qld potentially hosting Olympics in 2032. pic.twitter.com/YJRY4ZVSuD
— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) September 10, 2019
“This is not only impressive, but at this early stage innovative to have all parties united behind this Olympic project and behind sport in Australia,” Bach said.
“The ball is in your court,” he said, “to digest this information and to see what it means for you and then to take a sound decision.”
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates, who also serves as IOC Vice President, echoed Bach’s sentiment.
“The overwhelming message the Queensland team can take home is that putting together a viable candidature is very much a partnership between the potential host and the IOC.”
“The IOC team could not have been more helpful in providing expert insight into where the Olympic movement is heading, how the Olympic sports program works, Games funding and the risks and opportunities Queensland should consider.
“There’s a strong recognition of Australian expertise and the considerable benefits that a Queensland Games could deliver,” Coates said, adding that Bach’s words amounted to a strong endorsement by the IOC.
Indicating that he was impressed, Bach’s remarks also made clear that the 2032 bid is Queensland’s to lose should the region choose to move forward with a campaign. He confirmed that if the Australian project was in place, the IOC would be in a position to elect the bid sooner than seven years before the Opening Ceremony (2025), a mark that has been typical in past bids.
In June the IOC dramatically reformed the bid process making the timetable flexible, and opening the doors to multi-city and regional bids – the latter allowing the campaign from Queensland instead of a more concentrated and costly effort by Brisbane alone.
The resulting efficiencies have led organizers to believe they can deliver a cost-neutral Games – a bold claim following the era where most Games suffered from huge cost over runs.
Australia’s bid emerged as an early favorite this year after Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged AUD $10 million (USD $6.85 million) towards developing plans, claiming the expense was warranted even if the IOC doesn’t choose Australia to host the Games.
Queensland could face rivals on the International stage including from India, Indonesia, China and jointly between North and South Korea.