Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this week that her state could leverage the successful Commonwealth Games hosted this year to bid for a scaled-down Olympic Games in 2032.
Palaszczuk, on a trade mission to Japan as Tokyo prepares for the 2020 Olympics, has reportedly been making inquiries to organizers. The Premier wants to re-use existing venues built for the Commonwealth Games and augment them to reach Olympic capacity – keeping costs low.
A feasibility study by the South-East Queensland Council of Mayors is due at the end of the year, and that report will play a key role in deciding whether a bid for the Games will move forward. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will pick the host in eight years, after Paris and Los Angeles were awarded the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time last September.
The Premier said in Japan, according to the Brisbane Times “we would have to get a funding commitment from the federal government, we would need to seek private sector sponsorship and … we would not go down this path unless we had the full support of the Queensland and Australian public.
“The modern Olympics is changing, I’ve been looking at venues here and I think a conversation needs to be had with the International Olympic Committee about the size of the venues that are needed.
“We put on a great Commonwealth Games, the size of our venues was adequate, it was beamed into billions of homes across the Commonwealth. I don’t know whether or not we need these grand-scale facilities into the future.
“If we get the size right, it’s practical, it’ll be usable for the future and it keeps the costs down.”
South-East Queensland Council of Mayors chairman Graham Quirk welcomes the Premier’s interest in the project that his group has been working on since 2015. He strongly supports the regional concept.
“Through a regional bid, we have the opportunity to share the load of an Olympic Games across south-east Queensland – using our many existing venues and temporary facilities to keep costs to a minimum and ensuring the maximum benefit is returned to the region,” Quirk said.
“A survey of south-east Queenslanders in 2016 showed that 62 per cent of people supported a possible Olympic bid and the ongoing support of the people is an essential ingredient.
“We believe the IOC would welcome an innovative and affordable Olympic Games model and that south-east Queensland is an ideal location to demonstrate how this can be achieved.”
Australia previously hosted the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
Germany and India have already expressed interest in bidding for the 2032 Games, but the landscape of interested cities could change rapidly. In February IOC Executive Director Christophe Dubi said that he met with an undisclosed interested city and declared that the discussion phase of the bid process for 2032 had already begun.
Seven countries, including Austria, Canada, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey are already in the running to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games and the IOC will elect a winner September 2019.