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Games ceremony plan for Surfers

SURFERS Paradise beach, not Metricon Stadium, will host the closing ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games under a top-secret plan hatched by event organisers.

Mayor Ron Clarke and Premier Anna Bligh discussed the idea with high-profile Commonwealth Games officials in St Kitts last week and also have the support of Australian Commonwealth Games Association president Sam Coffa.

The move would allow more than 80,000 spectators to attend the ceremony, instead of 40,000 at Metricon, and would showcase the city's famous skyline to the world in a conclusion to the Games Cr Clarke described as `perfect'.

The idea is still subject to feasibility and logistical studies but would be the first time a closing ceremony of a modern Olympic or Commonwealth games had been held on a beach.

Cr Clarke said the beach ceremony was quickly gaining support.

"I couldn't think of a better way to finish."

Ms Bligh said holding the closing ceremony on the beach at Surfers Paradise would suit the mood of the Games in 2018.

"The organising committee, along with the Commonwealth Games Federation, will ultimately make the decision about where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held," she said.

"The Gold Coast is spoilt for choice when it comes to great locations, and the beach would certainly be spectacular."

Gold Coast Bulletin

And an interesting comment to this story posted on the GCB site by John Ian Wing, the originator of the combind march by athletes in the CCs of the Olympics:

John Ian Wing Posted On 10:15pm Sunday

In 1956 I wrote a letter to the Organizing Committee for the Melbourne Olympic Games,with an idea that would change the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games forever.I am visiting the Gold Coast at the moment and have been looking at the beaches and I think it is a great idea. The IOC may want to look at this idea.John Ian Wing

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No, Sri Lanka lost the 2010 Commonwealth Games because it put forward an undeveloped fishing village with a population of only a few thousand as its candidate 'city'. Sri Lanka could have hosted 2010

Another former commonwealth games host city bidding to Co host the games . Looks like the Co Hosting between Glasgow and Edinburgh for 2014 except it is Four Events in Brisbane . http://www.goldcoas

LOL - well I always thought the most apt thing about the bid logo was that it looked like something Jupiters Casino would use to brand itself.

And an interesting comment to this story posted on the GCB site by John Ian Wing, the originator of the combind march by athletes in the CCs of the Olympics:

:) Pretty cool if they did have the closing on the beach...But how do you get round the flag lowering ceremony?

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A great plan. Can't help but think though this is just like the gigantic barges that would ferry the athletes to the Melbourne 2006 opening ceremony - a plan which the media revealed just after Melbourne won those games.

Still, if it happens, I like it. Not entirely sure how it would work though.

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I think it's the perfect time that David Atkins makes an opening ceremony for a Commonwealth Games. It's their native country, after all, and since they didn't made the Melbourne 2006 one (which was done by the american Jack Morton Worldwide), I think is a big oportunity for them.

About the closing ceremony at Surfers Paradise, it sounds interesting, and the Gold Coast skyline as it's background would make it look stunning. I wonder if they will build a special stage for it.

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I suppose it's my duty to post updates on preparations:

Games means light-rail fast track

EXTENSIONS to the Gold Coast light-rail project and three park-and-ride facilities could be built within two years, despite earlier reports from the State Government that they wouldn't be completed until 2021.

A Government-led industry briefing in Brisbane yesterday to outline various transport projects revealed extensions of the light-rail route at Helensvale, Coolangatta and east to Robina could be fast-tracked ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Establishing park-and-ride facilities at Molendinar, Helensvale and Merrimac will also be looked into as a top priority.

Other key transport projects that will be fast-tracked because of the Games include adding lanes to Smith St Motorway and the Burleigh Connection Rd, bus lanes in Nerang Broadbeach Rd and T2 and cycles lanes for the Gold Coast Highway, plus improving access to Gold Coast Airport.

The briefing comes just four weeks after the State Government announced the final stage of the light-rail project would not start until 2021.

The extension of the heavy-rail line was expected by 2031.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesman confirmed it was looking for companies to be involved in the studies, and tender documents would be advertised by the State Government this week.

"There is massive interest in Commonwealth Games and the economic benefits it will generate for the Gold Coast with transport projects like the Gold Coast light rail," the spokesman said.

About 150 people attended a Transport and Main Roads briefing, which drew criticism for being staged in Brisbane.

Some companies at the briefing were from the Gold Coast, including Yeats.

Director Brandon Yeats said yesterday he hoped local firms would be given priority on the projects.

"I don't think it was a good start that the meeting was in Brisbane," he said.

"It is a Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

"So we need to ensure the Gold Coast is a part of it."

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organising committee chairman Mark Stockwell applauded Transport and Main Roads for "getting on with the work".

"The Commonwealth Games is a real focus for people to get things moving," he said.

"This stuff is just happening without me needed to get involved."

Gold Coast Bulletin

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Games velodrome to be built in Brisbane

GOLD Coast cyclists have hit out at Commonwealth Games organisers for robbing the city of a world-class cycling venue.

The track cycling event at the 2018 Games will be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler, Brisbane, where the existing velodrome will be rebuilt.

Gold Coast Cats Cycling Club junior development co-ordinator Aidan Grimes said the Gold Coast cycling community was livid about the "steal".

"It's not just about cycling, but it's also about Gold Coast tourism," he said.

"There's only one decent velodrome in Queensland and that's the one in Chandler but it's not adequate so they have to knock it down and we'll be without a venue for two years."

Mr Grimes said Gold Coast riders were offended by other cities stealing the Gold Coast's thunder.

"It's the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games," he said.

"What it would do for cycling down here is enormous because it would get kids off the street."

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games bid CEO Mark Peters said "velodromes lost considerable funds" and the Gold Coast City Council did not support the development of one.

"The Queensland and Australian Cycling Federations strongly advocated Brisbane as the location for the indoor velodrome," Mr Peters said.

He said anyone who wanted to propose a plan for a cycling venue on the Gold Coast would need to prove the economic model to the council.

"The Games organisers do not want any white elephant legacy," Mr Peters said.

Mr Grimes said his solution was a "no-brainer".

"There should be one built at Robina, Carrara or Runaway Bay," he said.

"They need to build a centre with office blocks and gymnasiums so that it actually pays its way.

"It would get used regularly because you've got ex-professionals like Sarah Carrigan and Robbie McEwen just waiting to join in local cycling programs."

Games cyclists will stay in the Athletes' Village on the Gold Coast and travel to Chandler by bus.

Mr Grimes said it was a waste of Coast resources.

Gold Coast Bulletin

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I don't think it's been mentioned that Gold Coast 2018 is now calling itself Gold Coast City 2018, I don't know when that was adopted but it's in the logo:

GoldCoast1.jpg

:) Ever since I was a kid growing up, Gold Coast was always a region and I use to think Surfer's Paradise as the city, albeit a small one semi detached from Brisbane, more like that city's weekend beach getaway. Explosive growth from the late 1980's pretty much tied all the coastal settlements together. Coolangatta now provides this region's airport. Adding City pretty much seals any doubt about Gold Coast's identity now...it now really is.

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It's somewhat Sochiesque. And while the Gold Coast is certainly not some backwater city that noone has ever heard of, I wonder if 2018 will be its chance to reposition itself and market itself internationally on the city it now wants to be. Slightly removed from the whole image of just sundrenched beaches, tall buildings, theme parks etc etc. Instead, a city that is the total package to live.

Will be interesting if we even see , when it comes time to pick an official logo, a symbol that is as much as a symbol and rebranding of GC, and not just the event .

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http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/commonwealth-games-cost-alarm-at-159m-blowout/story-fnbt5t29-1226297635450

ANNA Bligh has been accused of covering up a Commonwealth Games budget blowout that could cost taxpayers an extra $159 million.

Secret documents obtained by The Courier-Mailshow the Bligh Government was warned last November days before t

he Gold Coast bid was officially approved that costs to deliver the Games Village could more than quadruple from $48.9 million to $208 million.

The Opposition yesterday accused the Premier of hiding the information to avoid a voter backlash ahead of the March 24 election.

While Treasurer Andrew Fraser yesterday insisted the village would be delivered within its original budget set by the bid team of $48.9 million, the discrepancy exposes the risk carried by the Government as it builds the 1338-unit athlete village.

It is banking on a massive return when it on-sells the units as student accommodation and affordable apartments to recoup millions outlaid in building.

But the Coordinator-General is worried that would not be achievable, according to the leaked documents, which are marked "hot issue'' and "protected''.

According to the document, the Coordinator-General thinks the final cost to taxpayers is more likely to reach between $120 million and $208 million.

Mr Fraser admitted returns would be at the whim of the property market but he said the Government would protect itself by constructing and releasing the units in stages, rather than flooding the market. Some units would already be sold and lived in before the Games, he said, with owners signing agreements to vacate the buildings during the event.

In contrast, the Coordinator-General's estimate was based around a strategy of releasing all units at once after the Games, a proposal Mr Fraser said had been rejected because of the risk to returns.

But the revelation exposes the difficulty of trying to control finances of such a major project, with the village only a small facet of the 2018 Games.

Based on the Coordinator-General's estimates, the overall cost of the Games could rise to $1.26 billion.

But Gold Coast bid chairman Mark Stockwell, who is now Games organising corporation chairman, insisted he could deliver the major sporting event within its original $1.1 billion budget.

"Other people can have a view about those budgets but at the end of the day the organising committee has got a responsibility to deliver within the budget that we put forward to government and that's what I intend to do,'' the former Olympian said.

"Our ambition is to have as little of this as possible on the state's balance sheet.''

Opposition treasury spokesman Tim Nicholls accused Ms Bligh of an asset sales-style cover-up.

"This is another secret plan by Labor that they should have told the people of Queensland about,'' he said.

The Government is now preparing a business case, which will include an updated Games Village cost estimate, to be completed by June.

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It's the middle of the Qld state election - it was sadly predictable the games could become a campaign target.

Of course, Hambantota would have had NO cash issues - it would have been paid in full in brown paper bags full of Yuan.

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It's the middle of the Qld state election - it was sadly predictable the games could become a campaign target.

Of course, Hambantota would have had NO cash issues - it would have been paid in full in brown paper bags full of Yuan.

LOL all games in the former Commonwealth have their issues -.-

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It's the middle of the Qld state election - it was sadly predictable the games could become a campaign target.

Of course, Hambantota would have had NO cash issues - it would have been paid in full in brown paper bags full of Yuan.

Well it IS those brown paper bags full of Yuan that keeps mining interests and the economy going so to allow such games to take place...

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That isn't the former Commonwealth as they still are in the Commonwealth. Anyway, we are getting pointlessly off topic. So let's leave it there.

Commonwealth of nations = the 54 or so nations currently in that bloc.

Commonwealth = the countries formerly under British Rule.

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Commonwealth of nations = the 54 or so nations currently in that bloc.

Commonwealth = the countries formerly under British Rule.

Sorry to keep it off topic, but I still don't get the distinction you're making. The British Commonwealth either exists or not. And while the term "Commonwealth" alone is usually synonymous with the British Commonwealth, it could equally be used in contexts like the former Soviet Union becoming the "Commonwealth of Independent States" or the plain old "Commonwealth of Australia" as my fair paradise Down Under is officially called.

If you're talking about a former imperial entity, I think most people would more easily and clearly talk of the "Former British Empire".

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