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Ballymore redevelopment set to kick-off

Credit: Austadiums.com


Wednesday 17th February 2021
Artist’s impression of the new McLean Stand at Ballymore

Bulldozers will move into the home of Queensland Rugby this week to begin demolition of the McLean Stand as the redevelopment of Ballymore gets underway.

An updated artist’s impression of the project shows a boutique stadium with two grandstands in place (including the existing eastern stand) – noticeably different to the initial renders that involved a complete rebuild of the facility and an overall capacity of 12,000.

Headquarters of Queensland Rugby Union since 1966, the historic grandstand opened in 1968 and was named the McLean Stand in 1980. The QRU ticked off their application with the Queensland Heritage Council with a degree of historic sensitivity.

The new grandstand will not only bear the same name as its predecessor, it’ll essentially be a modern replica of the old stand, with a seating capacity of 3010, compared to 3008 in the existing stand.

QRU has approval for a 24,000-seat stadium but decided to build a smaller venue for training and smaller games instead. With the new stand and existing eastern stand still in place, Ballymore is expected to continue to have a capacity of around 18,000.

An artist's impression of the proposed High Performance Centre revealed in December last year (below) show a second rectangular field positioned behind the existing eastern grandstand (opened in 1992), and three new office blocks positioned around the field.


It’s proposed the offices, fronting busy Butterfield St, would be four storeys high and have a total of 428 car parks. It is understood the offices would generate income to help offset the cost of maintaining the new centre.

The state and federal governments have each pledged $15 million for the new National Rugby Training Centre. Plans for the project were approved in July 2020.

Contractors Delta will perform a slow demolition of the grandstand over several weeks, with sections of the stand to be removed, leaving a skeleton and the roof, which will be collapsed last. About 95 per cent of the materials from the stand will be recycled or reused.

Work on the McLean Stand is expected to take around 18 months to complete and will begin a new chapter for the iconic ‘Home of Rugby’.

QRU CEO Dave Hanham believes there is no reason why Ballymore cannot become not just the training base for the Wallaroos but the Wallabies.

“I believe Ballymore’s best decades are ahead of it – as a training base of the British and Irish Lions in 2025, potentially some pool matches in the World Cup of 2027 and as a training and competition base for the Brisbane Olympics in 2032.”

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Cross River Rail Train Station Designs Released



This week, the Queensland Government has revealed design details for the new Pimpama train station, one of the three Cross River Rail stations.

GHD Woodhead was awarded the design contract for the Pimpama, Merrimac and Helensvale North stations.

Twenty full-time jobs will be created through the transformational project's detailed design process.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk commented on the importance of the project.

"This is the very first important step towards building three new stations on the coast as part of my government's $56 billion infrastructure guarantee," Palaszczuk said.

"Investing in these stations alongside our $1 billion M1 upgrade, $1.5 billion second M1 and $709 million light rail stage 3 is an important part of our economic recovery and will put the Gold Coast in the fast lane when it comes to transport and jobs through COVID-19."


Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey stated that as many as 100 GHD works would be involved during the design stage.

"Most of the workforce is local, including graduate engineers and scientists and cadet technicians based in GHD's Gold Coast and Brisbane offices," he said.

"GHD will refine the existing concept designs for each station, producing detailed designs, documentation and approvals ready for construction.

"As part of the detailed design phase, additional studies will be undertaken, including construction methodology, noise modelling, flood modelling and flora and fauna studies."

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon stated that this project was an important design step to ensure the stations are ready by 2025 when the Cross River Rail begins operation.

 "The first concept images are exciting for our community and show the opportunities that the Palaszczuk Government is creating by investing in public transport on the coast," Scanlon said.

"Getting started now means that within a few years, Gold Coasters in our booming northern suburbs will be able to catch a train to the rest of the Gold Coast, to Brisbane and connect with our light rail."

GHD General Manager for South Queensland Operations, Richard Evans, commented that his company was delighted to work on the three stations' detailed designs. They'd already delivered the station concept designs and business cases.

"These three new stations will play a vital role in the continued growth of the Gold Coast and Queensland communities," he said.

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Queensland Olympic Bid’s Big Step Forward Is Great News

Credit: Mirage News

MARCH 22, 2021 1:02 AM AEDT

Federal Labor congratulates Queensland on its bid to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games being named as the International Olympic Committee’s preferred candidate.

The Queensland bid will now be the only one in targeted discussions with the IOC, making Australia a clear favourite to continue its proud history of successfully hosting major international sporting events.

From the 1956 Melbourne Olympics to Sydney 2000, five Commonwealth Games and numerous world championships, Australia has proven we know how to set the stage and deliver world-class sporting events on a global scale.

New International Olympic Committee (IOC) hosting guidelines mean prospective Games hosts can reduce costs and use existing infrastructure.

A Queensland Olympics would deliver jobs, accelerate infrastructure development and provide a boost to tourism, trade and the economy which have been hit hard by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If Queensland’s bid is successful, the 10-year lead-in to the 2032 Games would provide a great platform to engaging a generation of Australian kids in sport and help boost participation so more can enjoy the health benefits of an active lifestyle.

Federal Labor looks forward to continuing to work with the Queensland State Government, Council of Mayors South East Queensland, Australian Olympic Committee, Paralympics Australia, Federal Government, and other key stakeholders towards a successful bid and the benefits to be realised for sport, tourism, infrastructure, trade and the economy.

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Why Gympie council must push to join SEQ Council of Mayors

Business and civic leaders from throughout the region were told this week that the most important next step the region must take is getting access to the Council of Mayors

Credit: The Chronicle

By Shelley Strachan

March 18, 2021 - 10:17AM

Embracing digital technology and getting access to the South East Queensland Council of Mayors were two vital steps in taking the region into a prosperous future, Gympie business leaders were told at a packed breakfast meeting of the Gympie Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

The sell-out meeting was addressed by media commentator, entrepreneur and company director Neil Glentworth; his third presentation here in three years. 

Mr Glentworth mapped out a 36-month strategy to take the region forward in terms of jobs, investment, growth and prosperity.

He said that within the next three months Gympie region should demand access to the Council of Mayors, a cohort of councils from the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Sunshine Coast that work together to deliver better regional funding, policy and collaborative outcomes for their communities.

The 2032 Olympics were "real" and Gympie needed to have a voice to get its share of the massive potential the Olympics represent.

Mr Glentworth said the region also needed an empowered "economic task force" within the next 36 months. 

Within the next 6-12 months, investment needed to be made in promoting the region in South East Queensland, NSW and Victoria, he said. An incentive program is also needed to make it cheaper for businesses to set up here, and advocating for bolder regional building projects needed to happen.

Within the next six months, there needed to be a Youth and Underemployment development program set up, and product expansion support for existing industries. 

Embracing the digital age was another vital step more businesses needed to take if they hoped to succeed, grow and create jobs and wealth.

Mr Glentworth invited the audience to participate in coming up with and voting on a slogan that could take the region forward, and the winning slogan was Gympie Region: City Thinking, Country Living.


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Brisbane Eyed for Olympics 2032, Possible New Stadium in Albion – Ascot News

Credit:  Brisbane Online News

Published March 21, 2021

Brisbane is being eyed as the city that will host the 2032 Olympic Games, with plans in the works to construct a stadium capable of housing 50,000 people in Albion, a move that has drawn mixed reactions from residents. 

Officials from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) have drawn up plans to host the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane, Australia, which the committee has announced to be the “preferred candidate city”. 

The Queensland Government believes that the Games will play a vital role in the city’s post-pandemic economic recovery as it would provide people with new jobs and extra facilities as the Olympic Games will lead to the creation of seven new venues and stadiums. 

Potential White Elephant?

Albion residents are concerned about these new venues becoming useless ‘white elephants’ much like the Olympics stadiums in certain cities. Rio de Janeiro’s, for instance, found little use after the Games in 2016, and this is particularly problematic as constructing these stadiums is a costly endeavor. 

The prospect of having a new stadium in Albion Park has raised many concerns among Brisbane locals. In a Neil Breen interview, Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates said that it is preferable to avoid constructing a stadium specifically for the Olympics. Instead, the Games should be held in already-existing venues, to avoid further pressure to allocate new funds which they think can be used elsewhere.

In response to this, the IOC has also expressed interest in utilising the Metricon Stadium, the venue that staged the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Carrara instead, with the ceremonies hosted at either the Gabba in Woolloongabba or the Suncorp Stadium in Milton.

Dreaming of the Olympics

Not all of Albion’s residents are wary of hosting the Games in 2032. Many find themselves excited at the prospect, such as local schoolgirl Isabella Harte, a middle distance athlete from the St. Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School who aspires to become an Olympic athlete by the time the stadium comes online 11 years down the line. 

Harte, the current Under 16 3k and Cross-country 4km National Champion, will be 26 and in her athletic prime by the time the 2032 Olympics roll into town. 

Is It Worth It?

It is estimated that the Brisbane Olympics, which will run from July 23 to August 8, 2032, will cost approximately $4.45 billion to operate and run. Of this, $2.27 billion will be provided by the IOC, whilst the rest of the sum will be made from ticket sales, merchandise, and sponsorships.

Despite valid concerns from the locals, Brisbane has much to gain from hosting the games and the city can take a leaf from Sydney’s experience in the 2000 Olympics. 

In Sydney, approximately 160 hectares of badly degraded land were put to good use, becoming one of the largest urban parklands in Australia. Now that the Sydney Olympic Park is out of use and its land repurposed, the local community can now enjoy 35 kilometre tracks as well as open-air BBQ and picnic facilities. 

Leftover venues from the Sydney Games have also been transformed. The Olympic Park, for instance, has become a commercial, residential, and sporting precinct that hosts a variety of events and facilities. 

With proper planning, organisers think it is likely that Brisbane, including Albion, has the potential to gain significant welcome additions which can be used long after the Games have ended. 


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How three decades of pain for John Coates drove Brisbane's bid for 2032 Olympic Games

Credit: ABC News Australia

By Tracey Holmes

Posted Sun 28 Feb 2021 at 6:28am

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates in Sydney, Thursday, June 30, 2016.

John Coates has been heavily involved in both of Brisbane's Olympic Games bids.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

John Coates does not need much of an introduction.

He is recognised in global sporting circles as Australia's most influential sports administrator, possessing an understanding of how to wield power and play politics.

If politics was a chess game, Coates would be its grandmaster.

He has been Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president since 1990, having only been challenged once for that role in 30 years.

Coates is also International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president, president of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) — which governs 

the powerful sports court known as the CAS — and chair of the coordination commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

But when Brisbane failed to win an IOC vote to host the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, which were awarded to Barcelona in 1986, Coates was by his own admission "badly hurt".

He had relocated his young family from Sydney to Brisbane ahead of the vote and was determined to succeed.

At the time, Coates was adept at navigating the domestic sports scene but may have been a little green when it came to IOC politics.

What he has learned in the years since turned the 1992 loss into a potential 2032 victory for Brisbane.

The only way the city can fail now is if the State or Federal governments renege on their early promises to commit to the delivery of the Games.

"I had become a vice-president of the AOC in 1985," Coates told The Ticket from Brisbane this week.

"I left my legal practice to come and work for (then-Brisbane lord mayor) Sallyanne Atkinson and run the Brisbane bid for '92.

"I moved my family up here in late '86 — the two kids at the time, another one a week away, and we came up here and I worked with Brisbane for the last year [of the bid].

"It's what I learned in Brisbane about the IOC and … I was very badly hurt by us losing, I thought we'd do better."

Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch was the IOC president at the time of the bid.

"Obviously we weren't going to do better than a Samaranch-led Barcelona and a very strong Paris [bid]," Coates said.

"But we learned a lot, which was then carried over for Melbourne and then Sydney."

While Melbourne lost to Atlanta in the race for the 1996 Olympics, Sydney beat Beijing 45-43 in the votes to win the right to host the 2000 Games.

But that success did not diminish Coates's sense of unfinished business for Brisbane.

Cathy Freeman under the cauldron at the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony.
Coates played a key role in helping Sydney win the right to host the 2000 Olympics.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

It would be wrong to think any decision taken or appointment made on Coates's part since was anything less than strategic.

Even before his appointment as an IOC member in 2001, he had become one of the Olympic movement's most-listened-to voices as both AOC president and a rising power inside ICAS, where he had been a founding member since it was established in 1994.

In 2009, Coates became a member of the IOC's executive board. A year later, he was named ICAS president.

He became an IOC vice-president for the first time in 2013 and was appointed chair of the coordination commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

In 2014, he was appointed chair of the IOC's Legal Affairs Commission and in the following year met with South-East Queensland's Council of Mayors regarding a future Olympic bid.

In the years since, Coates chaired the Working Group for Future Games Elections, which decided on the new model of selection.

Cities interested in hosting the Games enter into a "dialogue" with the IOC, followed by a recommendation to move one bid city forward for "targeted dialogue" before "final negotiations" and a rubber-stamping "election" — where the only remaining city is put to a vote of IOC members to show their support.

This week, Brisbane's rivals were surprised when the IOC announced its Future Host Commission recommended only Brisbane be invited to the next phase.

Bids from Qatar, Germany, Hungary and Indonesia were nowhere near the level of development that had gone into Brisbane's bid and they are now left to consider whether they will remain in contention for the 2036 Olympics.

"There should be acknowledgement that … the AOC and the Brisbane City Council and the Council of Mayors started looking at this in 2015," Coates said.

Change of plans

When IOC president Thomas Bach visited Australia in 2015, he met with then-prime minister Tony Abbott, South-East Queensland's Council of Mayors representatives and others to float the idea of a Brisbane Games.

"Ours was originally a bid for 2028," Coates said.

"When Los Angeles was given that 11 years out, then we moved our focus to 2032.

"At the same time, the IOC changed its rules to say you don't have to be one city, you can have a region, you can have a couple of cities, so this is a bid that has a footprint over South-East Queensland from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane and down to the Gold Coast.

"The way the new procedure works is that you move from being an interested party … to a targeted dialogue during which period you exclusively deal with the IOC to provide them with the answers to their questionnaires.

"The governments would give the various undertakings and guarantees, things that the Commonwealth government does regularly for big international events.

"If you comply with all of that, and if that's all sweet, then the IOC looks at that and at that point they will or will not make a recommendation to the full IOC session for a vote.

"The IOC session could be as early as Tokyo [in June]."

John Coates, with Annastacia Palaszczuk behind him, speaking to media in Brisbane.
Coates worked closely with the likes of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in putting together Brisbane's bid.(AAP: Darren England)

The question was asked why Brisbane cannot just be announced the winner now, since it would seem almost impossible to lose a vote in what is essentially a one-horse race.

"In everything the IOC does, you have to get 50 per cent," Coates explained.

"So, Thomas Bach will stand for re-election in the session in March but there still has to be 50 per cent who support him."

And no doubt there will be.

In the same way, Brisbane can be confident of getting more than 50 per cent of the vote. Bucking the system is not the done thing at the IOC.

Those in Australia might regard Brisbane's well-developed bid — perfectly suited to a new selection process — as a masterstroke. Those in other bid nations were caught out.

Questions will no doubt be asked.

"People can't cry foul about it," Coates said.

Cost savings a priority

Under the "new norm" Olympic Games Delivery Executive Steering Committee, which Coates has chaired since 2017, the IOC wants bids that can show reduced costs, using already-built facilities, and no white elephants.

"The IOC now doesn't want to see cities wasting money, they want to see cities using existing venues and if those venues are spread out a bit over a number of cities, and they're existing and you can make do with supplementing them with temporary [venues] then that's a better system," Coates said.

Lessons have also been learned from Tokyo, where savings were found by the IOC's coordination commission — chaired by Coates — in order to lessen the explosion of the budget following the year-long postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olympic rings pictured in front of the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The IOC instructs bidding cities to keep projected costs as low as possible.(Reuters: Denis Balibouse)

"We call it the Tokyo model," Coates said.

"When we realised that the postponement and COVID were going to cost the Japanese a lot extra, we separately then together sat down and identified something like 273 possible initiatives to reduce the cost of the Games.

"We didn't implement all of them, we still found I think something like another $280 million [in savings] or something like that.

"I chair this new norm commission and we're continuing to look at the lessons from Tokyo and there will be lessons for Brisbane.

"I very much look forward to sitting down and having a go at the budget we've got at the moment from the bottom up with the IOC's financial people and the Games department, and I back myself and the IOC to find a lot of savings."

Those with experience would be foolish not to back him.

Coates sees Brisbane 2032 as part of his legacy for many years of Olympic involvement.

"I am very, very anxious to finish my work up here and deliver these Games," he said.

It appears he already has.


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Gold Coast real estate: Heavy rail push to support Coast’s booming population and property market

Heavy rail to the Airport and light rail spur lines to the city’s west fast-tracked. That’s the pitch from city leaders to support the Gold Coast’s rapidly growing population.

Credit: Gold Coast Bulletin

By Andrew Potts

That’s the pitch from civic leaders and planning experts who have warned the city needs to dramatically expand its public transport offerings, not just to decongest the roads but to stimulate higher-density development along their corridors.

Civic leaders want the heavy rail extended to help support population growth. Civic leaders want the heavy rail extended to help support population growth.

Mayor Tom Tate said infrastructure was critical to supporting the property boom and the resulting population growth and laid out his plans to get the city moving.

He said a green light for the 2032 Olympic Games bid would put projects on the fast-track

“The bid is the perfect stimulus to get future stages of the Coomera Connectorunderway now but I also want to see the heavy rail link – from Varsity to the airport – begun within in the next three years,” he said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Picture: Jerad Williams Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Picture: Jerad Williams

“I want to see the east-west connectivity off the light rail spine start to come into reality.

“These east-west connections may include spur lines off the light rail, west to Nerang, Robina and Varsity.

“Being able to fully use the advantages of the central light rail spine is what seamless public transport is all about so I fully support the design – and funding – work to be undertaken now on these connections.’’

The cost of the heavy rail extension between Varsity Lakes and Gold Gold Airport is expected to cost upward of $4 billion.

Artist impressions of Gold Coast light rail Stage 4. Picture: Supplied Artist impressions of Gold Coast light rail Stage 4. Picture: Supplied

While the rail corridor has already been bought and preserved by the state government, the cost of building new infrastructure, including four new stations will be high.

They will be on top of three new railways stations already planned for construction in the existing railways line at Pimpama, Helensvale North and Merrimac.

The Merrimac station will service the new $1.5 billion Skyridge estate at Worongary which is now under construction and will be home to 10,000 people.

An Urbis report on the future of the Gold Coast published in March revealed the growing pains the city is experiencing as a result of the population growth.

The Coomera Connector: Napper Road The Coomera Connector: Napper Road

It tips growth to remain steady with around 14,700 people moving to the Gold Coast annually, with the need for more 6300 swellings to be built every year to house the new residents.

But the growth is pushing up against already congested roads and a dwindling supply of new land.

Urbis Gold Coast director Matthew Schneider said the city’s supply of new greenfield sites which could be developed would run out by 2026.

“We think there is around five years realistically of new house and land opportunities across our greenfield supply,” he said.

“There are still some big landholders up in Coomera and in the northern part of the city but other than that we have the ocean and the NSW border and not a lot of other opportunities in between.

‘There is some real tightness in the supply for people who want to live in house and land packages.”

Mr Schneider said the expansion of the public transport network was critical to supporting the growth.


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Olympics bid team not deterred by rejection of $5.3b Fast Rail plan for SEQ

Credit: Brisbane Times

By Tony Moore

March 22, 2021 — 10.00pm


Queensland’s Olympics bid team will push ahead with plans for Fast Rail connectivity for the region, despite a proposed $5.3 billion link between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast being rejected by Infrastructure Australia as costly and inefficient.

The North Coast Connect Fast Rail Project was developed with a consortium of large developers, including SMEC, Stockland, Urbis and KPMG, and representatives from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Sunshine Coast Council, Moreton Bay Council and Brisbane City Council.

Fast Rail remains on the agenda for south-east Queensland, despite Infrastructure Australia rejecting the North Coast Connect business case.

Fast Rail remains on the agenda for south-east Queensland, despite Infrastructure Australia rejecting the North Coast Connect business case. CREDIT:CHRIS RATCLIFFE

The idea was to have trains travelling at 150km/h between Brisbane and Nambour in 45 minutes.

It proposed a new rail track along the existing North Coast Line between Brisbane and Beerwah, and a new rail corridor to connect coastal centres such as Maroochydore, Kawana and Caloundra.

However, it was not supported by the Queensland government, which did not believe the proposal fit its own rail and road project priorities on the Sunshine Coast, including a link from Caloundra to Maroochydore.

This month Infrastructure Australia rejected the North Coast Connect business case, concluding that at an estimated $5.3 billion, the project’s cost would exceed its benefits.

“The costs of the project will outweigh the social, economic and environmental benefits, with a cost/benefit ratio of 0.47,” Infrastructure Australia found.

“The challenging terrain in sections of the proposed route, the presence of environmentally sensitive sites within the project area, and the level of design detail present project delivery risks,” its report said.

“The proponent [the consortium] has indicated they will not be leading the delivery of the project and has not confirmed who will be responsible for delivery.

“Based on the business case and the evidence available, Infrastructure Australia has not included the North Coast Connect proposal on the Infrastructure Priority List at this time.”

Infrastructure Australia asked the consortium to revise its business case, however the Queensland government remained lukewarm about this specific project.

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson (left) speaks with business leaders at the Committee for Brisbane Olympics legacy lunch.

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson (left) speaks with business leaders at the Committee for Brisbane Olympics legacy lunch.CREDIT:TONY MOORE

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson was leading the Fast Rail concept for the 2032 Olympics bid for the Council of Mayors (SEQ).

And while the Sunshine Coast was building a new stadium and a new CBD at Maroochydore, he said its first priority was Fast Rail.

“That will require a public transport network ... linking Caloundra to Maroochydore,” he said.

Cr Jamieson was part of a team of mayors who met on Wednesday and Thursday with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese over the proposed 20-year City Deal funding arrangement between the three levels of government.

He was not concerned that the North Coast Connect business case was rejected, saying: “The challenge Infrastructure Australia had with it was that, apart from a very willing community and business groups, there was no proponent.

“We need the state government to be the proponent. The state government owns the rail network; it has got to fit into their network, and it has got to be part of their ticketing system.”

Cr Jamieson said talks with Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese were very productive, with both leaders seeing the “big picture in terms of opportunity” and potential benefits for south-east Queensland – and Australia.

“[That includes] the publicity that will focus on this part of the world from all the events that will be held in the lead-up to the Games, including in other parts of Queensland,” he said.

“The training camps; all the countries will come looking for somewhere to prepare, and we need to help the communities in Queensland prepare, so they can capitalise on that.”

Cr Jamieson said the ability to transport people throughout the region during and after the 2032 Olympics would be critical.

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Moving with the times: the Coast's mass transit project is on track for public feedback

Credit:  Sunshine Coast News

By Kate Donaghey

23 MARCH 2021

From trackless trams to battery-powered buses, the Sunshine Coast community will soon have its say on a preferred public transport system of the future.

“Hundred of pages” of detailed analysis of the options for a mass transit system are on track to be released for public consultation, Sunshine Coast Council has confirmed.

Residents will soon be able to read about and give feedback on potential choices ranging from dedicated bus lanes to wireless light rail.

The council’s ‘Options Analysis’ paper is the second phase towards producing a detailed business case after the first phase – a strategic overview – was completed in 2019.

The council is pushing for a mass transit system from the Maroochydore CBD to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) as its priority transport project for the region, with the potential to expand to Caloundra and inland.

The Sunshine Coast Mass Transit Project is considered more important than other ideas like passenger rail from Beerwah to the coastal strip (along the CAMCOS corridor) because it aims to improve traffic and lifestyle in the busiest parts of the Coast where most people live.

However the proposed project is already receiving some push back in the community from people who believe the council is pursuing light rail and who are concerned about becoming the Gold Coast.

The 13km first stage route, from Maroochydore to Kawana, is expected to become even busier as the population swells from 320,000 to 518,000 in the next 20 years, clogging up Nicklin Way and creating traffic chaos.

The council estimates this traffic congestion would cost about $1.4 billion a year.

Sunshine Coast Council has proposed a fast-moving form of public transport that draws masses of people out of their cars and cuts travel times as the way of the future.

Currently only three per cent of Sunshine Coast people use public transport and 85 per cent drive private cars.

Sunshine Coast Council urban growth program director James Coutts told sunshinecoastnews.com.au the Options Analysis report would be released in the next few weeks.

The options that have been explored include:

  • Quality bus corridor: high-frequency bus service running in dedicated lanes along the kerbside
  • Bus Rapid Transit: 25m-long battery-powered, rubber-tyre vehicles in a dedicated busway corridor, mostly in the centre of the road
  • Light Rail Transit: 45m-long rail vehicles on a dedicated trackway, mostly in the centre of the road
  • Trackless tram: 32m-long battery powered, rubber-tyre and multi-axle guided vehicles in a dedicated corridor, mostly in the centre of the road
  • WLRT: Wire-free light rail system identical to light rail but minus the overhead wires, with on-board batteries and charging equipment at select stations
light-rail-at-warana-north.jpg An example of wireless light trail.

The report also looks at cheaper alternatives to upgrade the existing public bus network and operations such as:

  • Enhancing new and existing routes with higher frequency, more direct routes and better connections
  • Upgrading bus infrastructure such as better shelters, adding sections of bus priority lanes and park ‘n’ ride facilities

Mr Coutts said there was a “perception” that the Sunshine Coast Council was pushing for light rail as its preferred option but that was not the case.

“Two to three years ago everyone (in governments) was fixated on light rail but now we have battery-powered buses and other options that have the capacity to carry people reliably that have emerged as serious propositions,” Mr Coutts said.

“Technology has given us a bigger suite of options and we are presenting all those. We haven’t selected one option.”

For example, advances in battery technology meant a light rail system did not need to have overhead wires and the rail vehicles could be recharged at charging stations or even while on-the-go.

Trackless trams were another option developed in Europe and China which gave the fast and smooth ride of a tram. They have rubber tyres which run on the road and do not require overhead wires.

Mr Coutts said the paper did not rule out any ideas but examined a range of transport options for their characteristics, dimensions, carrying capacity, power, battery charging and costs among other details.

He said the cost of a mass transit system could range from $300 million for a quality bus corridor to $1.5 billion for light rail.

It would be funded between the State and Federal Governments and developed and managed by the State Government.

Mr Coutts said it could take another seven years before a new public transport system was operational in 2027 because of timeframes involved in preparing a business case, obtaining funding and developing detailed design.


He said the biggest transport challenge for the Sunshine Coast in the future was not a fast connection to Brisbane but being able to move quickly and easily within the region, especially between major populated centres.

Seventy-five per cent of people work on the Sunshine Coast. Less than five per cent work in Brisbane,” he said.

“So if we are to provide good public transport as a priority we need to provide that locally.

“We need to look at how we move around the Coast because traffic is becoming a nightmare and we need local solutions for that.”

Any mass transit system will need to be supported by more bus services, improved routes and timetables, and better connections to reduce travel times to areas not directly serviced by mass transit, a council spokesperson said.

Mr Coutts said part of the consultation period would be having conversations about “urban consolidation” and a fear that some in the community had expressed about higher density residential development along a mass transit corridor.

The strategic report during phase one stated there was an “urgency” for a mass transit solution in order to meet infill development targets set by the State Government.

Without a “catalytic project” like this, only 41 per cent of the required 53,700 in-fill dwellings would be built, the report stated.

However, Mr Coutts said higher density living and in-fill development were not caused by a mass transport system.

“Urban consolidation will happen already; it’s happening now but we are not talking about high-rise,” he said.

“That will be part of the consultation – if (urban consolidation) occurs, how would you like to see it? Where is it best placed?”

The draft Options Analysis report is due to be released in the next few weeks for a period of public consultation.

Feedback from the community will be included in the draft report and presented to the State Government.

It will then fall upon the State Government to consider the options and decide whether to proceed with a detailed business case on the preferred options within the next two years, exploring more detail such as the route alignment and property acquisition.

The next stage would be funding decisions through Infrastructure Australia around 2024/25.




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Council votes to take 2032 Olympic host status ahead of IOC decision

Credit: Brisbane Times

By Matt Dennien

March 23, 2021 — 6.36pm

Brisbane City Council has voted to formally put the city forward as host of the 2032 Olympic bid after a closed meeting with confidential briefings from those deeply involved in early planning for the event, with a final decision expected to be as close as July.

Only Greens Gabba ward councillor Jonathan Sri voted down the motion after the eight-hour session, for which all had to sign confidentiality agreements. The chamber rung with applause as the meeting was again called to a close.

The success of the 2018 Commonwealth Games looks as if it will lead to making Brisbane an Olympic city in 2032.

The success of the 2018 Commonwealth Games looks as if it will lead to making Brisbane an Olympic city in 2032.CREDIT:MARK SCHIEFELBEIN/AP

The council’s vote to sign on as host city will form part of the formal bid for the games, to be presented to the International Olympic Committee next month, after the proposal spanning south-east Queensland was installed as the preferred candidate by the IOC last month.

Media and the public were allowed to sit in only the start of the special meeting on Tuesday morning — the first held by council since deliberations on Clem7 tunnel proposals in 2007 — before it was closed for presentations by AOC president John Coates, also vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, and Paralympics Australia president Jock O’Callaghan.

Statements and presentations were also given by Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and his federal counterpart Richard Colbeck.

Representatives of consultants EKS and law firm Clayton Utz also addressed the chamber, a brief meeting agenda stated.

After questions from councillors and a debate on recommendations from civic cabinet, the meeting was again opened to the public for the final vote.

Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner was also among those who gave a presentation as chair of the bid leadership group formed by the state and federal governments, south-east Queensland Council of Mayors and AOC.

He told reporters in a brief press conference after the vote that the move, and potential selection as host city now one step closer, would be a “game changer” for the city.

As part of the formal bid process, all levels of government need to have paper work to the IOC before April 7.

From there, Cr Schrinner said a July executive committee meeting two days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics could be the earliest a decision is made by the sporting body.


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Brisbane 2032 Olympics Legacy Project Revealed

Credit: Ministry Of Sport

By Joshua Hudson

The Committee for Brisbane has revealed its legacy paper for the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games, titled ‘Brisbane 2033: Our Olympics and Paralympics Legacies’.

As part of the paper, the committee hopes to develop and advocate for policy initiatives and infrastructure projects that will deliver enduring economic, environmental, social and cultural dividends to build a thriving, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable community.

The vision as revealed in the paper states: “By 2023, south east Queensland will be a region of international renown, proudly recognised for the celebration of its rich, ancient cultures and its contemporary creativity.”

“It will have a thriving, sustainable and adaptable economy, anchored by a warm, open and inclusive community,” the paper said.

Following the release of the paper, Australian Olympic Committee president and International Olympic Committee vice-president, John Coates, addressed the committee on the sustainability of hosting the Olympics in Brisbane in 2032.

“As the first Games which are both carbon neutral and generate zero waste… Brisbane will have eyes on both the podium and the gentle earth it stands upon,” Coates said.

“I regard that as real leadership in action.

“It is not a done deal.

“There is much work to be done.

“It may well be Queensland’s time.

“And if so, you’ve earned it.

“You’ve planned for it.

“You’ve fought for it.

“If you are selected to host the Games, at the Opening Ceremony alone, the eyes of more than one half of the world’s population will look into your home and ask: what is life like there?” he said.

In the paper, the committee outlined four S.M.A.R.T. goals to guide the legacy projects for the 2032 Olympic Games, including:

  • Connected: people and ideas can move easily around our region, anywhere, anytime, anyhow
  • Creative: First Nations and contemporary cultures are celebrated contributors to community wellbeing and economic vitality
  • Enterprising: our regional economic ecosystems are founded upon knowledge, innovation, and entrepreneurship, delivered via structured government, business, and community collaboration
  • Equitable: all residents of our region have the same opportunities in life
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Credit: Ausleisure.com.au

John Coates outlines ambition for 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane
MARCH 22, 2021

Australian and International Olympic Committee official John Coates has provided more detail into Brisbane's bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games in an address to the Committee for Brisbane 2033 Legacy Taskforce.

On Friday Coates, the President of the Australian Olympic Committee and Vice President of the International Olympic Committee presented the Committee for Brisbane 2033 Legacy Taskforce policy paper: Our 2033 Olympic and Paralympic Legacies - Liveability Issues and Opportunities Paper, addressesing the sustainability of hosting the Games in Brisbane in 2032.

Explaining how sustainability would be managed in preparation for and during the Games, Coates explained "as the first Games which are both carbon neutral and generate zero waste... Brisbane will have eyes on both the podium and the gentle earth it stands upon. I regard that as real leadership in action.

"It is not a done deal. There is much work to be done. It may well be Queensland’s time. And if so, you’ve earned it. You’ve planned for it. You’ve fought for it," he said of Brisbane's 2032 candidature.

"If you are selected to host the Games, at the Opening Ceremony alone, the eyes of more than one half of the world’s population will look into your home and ask: what is life like there?"

Click here to read the presentation in full.

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Council votes for 2032 Olympics after marathon meeting

Brisbane is officially on-board the Olympics after a marathon secret meeting that won over all but one city councillor.

Credit: The Courier Mail

Dan Knowles

March 23, 2021 - 7:25PM

Brisbane is officially onboard the Olympics after a marathon secret meeting that won over all but one city councillor, Green Jonathan Sri. 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said winning the 2032 Olympics – which could be just months away if the bid work progresses well – would put the eyes of half the world on Brisbane. 

The Olympic bid is gathering pace  with the detailed proposal expected to go to the International Olympic Committee’s future host commission then the IOC with hopefully a full vote in July.

Cr Schrinner said Brisbane City Council had now officially backed the proposal and now other partners in the Games push – the State and Federal governments and the AOC and backed by the SEQ Council of Mayors – were expected to do the same. 

The AOC and partners are racing to complete IOC paperwork and questionnaires in time for a host commission meeting in less than two months, AOC boss John Coates, who addressed councillors, earlier told an influential Committee for Brisbane lunch on Friday.

Fears that information over potential venue sites could impact property prices in selected suburbs meant the details of Tuesday’s councillor briefings were kept strictly confidential, with media and the public barred from attending.

Some of the potential Brisbane Olympics venues. Photo: Courier Mail
Some of the potential Brisbane Olympics venues. Photo: Courier Mail

Independent Nicole Johnston had proposed a bipartisan committee to oversee Brisbane City Council’s part of the proposal but it was knocked back. Cr Schrinner said he had promised all councillors would be part of the Games. 

In June 2019, The Courier-Mail and sister SEQ mastheads officially backed the bid with front page editorials and has continued to fuel the push for the 2032 Games and the billions of dollars and 100,000 jobs it promises for Queensland.

The SEQ Council of Mayors proposed a Games bid to fast-track public transport with a feasibility study which gathered momentum on the back of The Courier-Mail’s Future SEQ campaign that warned the southeast risked grinding to a halt as major roads hit peak congestion by the early 2030s as the population grew from 3.5m to 5.5m people.

Brisbane secured preferred candidate status in February, meaning the IOC is talking exclusively to our organising committee.

The proposal is expected to go to the host commission in mid-May, and all going well, could go to a full IOC vote in July to decide whether Brisbane gets the Games.

Mr Coates warned last week that while the Games team were working hard, it’s “not a done deal”. 

Lord Mayor Schrinner said the vote was a “strong result”.

“Brisbane City Council voted yes to the jobs that will be created, yes to the opportunities this will bring to our city, yes to the opportunity this will bring to our region and our state and yes to the bring forward and fast tracking of infrastructure and investment in our region that will service the needs of a growing population,” Cr Schrinner said.

“It’s a very exciting day.”

President of Paralympics Australia Jock O’Calloghan, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, AOC President John Coates and (top L to R) Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, Minister for Tourism Industry Development Stirling Hinchliffe and Council of Mayors director Mark Jamieson after the Future Host Summer Commission named Brisbane as the "preferred candidate city" to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
President of Paralympics Australia Jock O’Calloghan, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, AOC President John Coates and (top L to R) Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, Minister for Tourism Industry Development Stirling Hinchliffe and Council of Mayors director Mark Jamieson after the Future Host Summer Commission named Brisbane as the "preferred candidate city" to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Cr Schrinner said, if successful, Brisbane could be named Olympic hosts as early as July.

“We are hoping that a decision will be made in the two days before the Olympic Games in Tokyo that Brisbane is successful in our proposal,” Cr Schrinner said.

Green Cr Sri said he was concerned the costs would outweigh the benefits.

“Sure, hosting the Olympics will create some temporary jobs, but it will likely also put significant upward pressure on housing costs, with local renters evicted as their homes are turned into short-term accommodation for tourists, and homeless people are forcibly moved out of sight,” Cr Sri said.


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Olympics boost for Brisbane as AOC boss says our bid would cost a third of Sydney campaign

Brisbane and Queensland could see a massive influx of big business and top sporting talent if it can secure the 2032 Olympics

Credit: The Courier Mail

Dan Knowles and Peter Gleeson

March 20, 2021 - 5:15AM


Brisbane’s Olympics bid will cost a third of the Sydney campaign, AOC boss John Coates says, revealing the total spend is expected to come in under $10 million.

The AOC and partners the State and Federal governments, the SEQ Council of Mayors and Brisbane City Council are racing to complete IOC paperwork and questionnaires in time for a host commission meeting in less than two months, Mr Coates told an influential Committee for Brisbane lunch on Friday.

He said the candidate taskforce had kept a tight rein on costs but Brisbane could look forward to an influx of global players and big companies and employers keen to be part of an Olympic city if the 2032 bid is successful. 

But he also repeated the warning from the IOC that “it’s not a done deal”.

Mr Coates said big firms had moved to Sydney drawn by Olympics exposure and Brisbane was well placed to become an investment magnet from Asia. 

The business reward would come on top Brisbane being in the box seat to become Australia’s elite sport capital, with Australian teams keen to train and develop here. 

Mr Coates is the keynote speaker at the launch of the Committee for Brisbane’s Olympics and Paralympics legacy report. 

In June 2019, The Courier-Mail and sister SEQ mastheads officially backed the bid with front page editorials and has continued to fuel the push for the 2032 Games and the billions of dollars and 100,000 jobs it promises for Queensland.

The SEQ Council of Mayors proposed a Games bid to fast-track public transport with a feasibility study which gathered momentum on the back of The Courier-Mail’s Future SEQ campaign that warned the southeast risked grinding to a halt as major roads hit peak congestion by the early 2030s as the population grew from 3.5m to 5.5m people.

Mr Coates told the business leaders at the launch of the Committee for Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics Legacies paper Brisbane needed to work out how it wanted to be viewed if the eyes of world is on it.

“There is much work to be done,” Mr Coates said.

“If you are selected to host the Games, at the Opening Ceremony alone, the eyes of

more than one half of the world’s population will look into your home.

“The world will watch and ask what sort of a place is this to invest in?

“Should this be my base into the Australian and Asian markets?”

While Mr Coates was addressing the business leaders at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, across the river, broadcaster Alan Jones told the Chappell 108 Sportsman Gala at the Hilton Brisbane’s bid was under challenge from a growing German push.

Brisbane secured preferred candidate status in February, meaning the IOC is talking exclusively to our organising committee.

The proposal is expected to go to the host commission in mid-May, and all going well, could go to a full IOC vote in July to decide whether Brisbane gets the Games.

Among the Committee for Brisbane legacies was to bring leading national sporting permanently to southeast Queensland.

Olympian Taliqua Clancy said Brisbane was a brilliant place to train and competing at a home-ground Olympics would be a dream come true for Queensland athletes like her.

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26 minutes ago, AustralianFan said:

The vision as revealed in the paper states: “By 2023, south east Queensland will be a region of international renown, proudly recognised for the celebration of its rich, ancient cultures and its contemporary creativity.”

“It will have a thriving, sustainable and adaptable economy, anchored by a warm, open and inclusive community,” the paper said.

Well we better get moving then. Paper also needs more buzzwords.

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Penrith to host 2025 Canoe Slalom World Championships

Credit: The Western Weekender

By Nathan Taylor

March 17, 2021, 9:58


25 years after it hosted canoe slalom at the Sydney Olympics, Penrith Whitewater Stadium will once again welcome the world’s best paddlers and host the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Last weekend the International Canoe Federation (ICF) announced Penrith as the host city of the 2025 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships following a successful bid presented by Paddle Australia with the support of the Australian Government, NSW Government and Penrith City Council.

ICF President Jose Perurena said returning to an Olympic venue was important.

“Returning to Sydney underlines how our Olympic venues can provide a wonderful legacy for a host city,” he said.

“Nearly all of our canoe slalom Olympic venues continue to host international events. Next year we will celebrate 50 years since slalom made its Olympic debut in Munich, by returning to Augsburg for the World Championships.

“Penrith will also be an important host, ahead of the possibility of Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympic Games.”

The event will run from October 1-6, 2025, the year the city will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

In the lead up to the World Championships, Penrith will also host ICF Oceania Championships and Australian Open events, which will help the athletes and organisers prepare for the world champions competition.

This will be the third time an ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship has been awarded to Australia. Penrith previously hosted the Canoe Slalom Senior World Championships in 2005 and the Junior and Under 23 World Championships in 2014.

“Hosting the event in Penrith is all about the rejuvenation of an Olympic legacy while bringing together the paddling community and sharing our sport with the general public,” said Paddle Australia CEO Phil Jones.

“This event will inspire a new generation of competitors, much as the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games canoe and kayak competition inspired some of the biggest names in our sport today.”

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Tate's message for Olympic athletes, officials: Come down and stay at our place

Credit: In Queensland

By Katrina Beikoff

Wednesday March 17, 2021

The Gold Coast will pitch to house Olympic athletes in local hotels as part of the south-east Queensland 2032 Summer Games bid, suggesting a scaled-down athletes village in Brisbane with athletes moving post-competition to Gold Coast resorts.


The Gold Coast is also in negotiations to accommodate the Olympic family, which includes International Olympic Committee dignitaries and officials from National Olympic Committees and International Sports Federations, should south-east Queensland be awarded the Olympic Games.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the split Brisbane athletes village and Gold Coast hotel plan for athletes could save money.

“We have over 21,000 room nights here on the Gold Coast. That saves a lot of building another athletes village,” Tate said.

“You run your race, play your sport, and while you’re waiting to enjoy the rest of the Olympics, where would you rather be? Gold Coast.

“You ask the question to athletes, they say that’s what they want. So it’s about improving their experience and their travel,” he told ABC Gold Coast.

With south-east Queensland named the 2032 Olympic and Paralympics preferred host candidate, Tate said it was essential the Gold Coast played a key role in the Games bid.

“I say let’s work together with Brisbane and Sunshine (Coast), but don’t be surprised if people go, ‘we prefer to stay on the Gold Coast.’ You know that’s how it rolls,” he said.

Tate has also indicated he wanted the city to host the Olympic family as part of the Gold Coast’s involvement in the Games.

The Olympic dignitaries traditionally stay in the plushest of hotels and enjoy the best of the host city’s hospitality during the Games. For the host city it is an opportunity to showcase the region and facilities for future events, functions and training camps and network with the world’s sporting powerbrokers.

But Tate said following the successful hosting of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the city was reluctant to fund new sporting infrastructure for the Olympics.

“The whole essence of this bid is about reinvigorating and utilising existing sporting infrastructure and enhancing our other infrastructure to make it work,” Tate said.

That meant the city would use existing stadiums and locations as well as hosting sports “dear to our heart” such as beach volleyball and surfing.

“If they want some sport that is not really relevant to the Gold Coast and want to build a facility for it, if it doesn’t fit our long-term legacy, I don’t want to fund that,” Tate said.

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Move to cash shields Australian Olympic Foundation from worst of Covid storm

John Coates says Australian sport’s biggest and most successful investment fund managed to break even last year despite the ravages of COVID-19.

Credit: Adelaide Now

By Damon Kitney

March 19, 2021 - 7:20AM

Australian sport’s biggest investment fund, the Australian Olympic Foundation, managed to break even last year despite the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in a double-digit decline in the valuation of its assets in the March quarter.

Speaking with Future Generation Companies CEO Louise Walsh for the Conversations with Future Generation series, Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates revealed that the foundation was now valued at $170m, up from $101m when it was launched in 2001 following the Sydney Olympics. 

While this represents annualised returns of just 2.7 per cent, Mr Coates said this did not take into account distributions to the AOC that are not reinvested.

The foundation moved to hold 20 per cent of its assets in cash last year as volatility took hold on global sharemarkets and after its cash positions increased in the second half of 2019.

“Gee we’ve done well with it, if I do say so myself,’’ Mr Coates said.

“It is now $170m and that’s after distributions to the AOC of $131m. So we’ve turned the 100 into 300 and it’s a very important part of the AOC’s income and it’s why the AOC doesn’t ask for or receive anything from federal government or any of the governments.”

That current valuation is only slightly below 2019, when the money the foundation had invested rose by 13.6 per cent to $171.4m after making about $6.25m in distributions to the Australian Olympic Committee.

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold a year ago, the AOF’s assets fell 11.9 per cent to $150.85m at March 31 last year, after it had distributed $1.562m to the AOC in the quarter.

The foundation’s annual report is due to be released next month. It engages Mercers for asset allocation and its funds are spread across more than a dozen managers, including Colonial First State, Lendlease, Arrowstreet, Alliance Bernstein, Northcape, Wilson Asset Management, Vanguard and Pendle Group.

“And you know we’re active. If they don’t perform then we move them on but they’ve been very good but generally we’re long-term investors,” Mr Coates said.

“There’s no one else in the Olympic world that’s got a foundation like this and as you say it’s probably unique in Australian sport, too.”

During 2019, the foundation also put $5m in a Kapstream cash-enhanced fund to look for higher cash returns than those being ­offered by term deposits, moving the money from a fund exposed to the commercial property sector.

Mr Coates said the key to the foundation’s success was good ­advice. 

“We’ve got an advisory committee, we’ve got Mercers and then you’ve got to have a strategy,” he said.

“So our strategy is to achieve consumer price index (CPI) plus the 4 per cent, which is pretty ambitious these days. 

“That 4 per cent is what we distribute so it’s going to grow by the CPI, is the theory. You’ve just got to be disciplined. If the AOC’s short on anything, tough. You go and borrow from the bank. We’re very disciplined with this and it’s paid off.’’

The foundation’s investment committee is headed by former federal opposition leader John Hewson and features former Macquarie director Helen ­Nugent, Gold Coast private client adviser Angus Douglas and former AMP CEO Paul Batchelor.

Last month Brisbane took a huge step towards staging the 2032 Olympic Games when it was chosen as the IOC’s preferred partner to host the event.

Mr Coates, who is also IOC vice-president, said staging the Olympics would essentially cost Queensland nothing.

“The budget is about $4.5bn at the moment until we start and reduce things,” he said. “But the IOC’s putting in $2.5bn of that. Bang. Committed. The IOC’s already sold the television rights for America alone for $US2.4bn. And we didn’t lose any sponsors during coronavirus.

“I’m not sure that there’ll be a surplus, but if there is, there’s some money there. But we’ve just to make sure we spend it wisely and be totally transparent with Brisbane.”

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Investors buy into south-east Queensland, chasing a growing population

Credit: Commercial Real Estate


With the fastest-growing population in Australia, the Sunshine State is basking in the glow of growing confidence in south-east Queensland.

Queensland’s population growth rate was the highest in Australia in 2019-20, and Ray White Commercial Queensland managing director Michael McCullagh said the steady growth, in tandem with other factors, had resulted in “heightened interest” from investors.


“As well as the effects of positive interstate migration, the low cash rate environment is making the cost of capital quite cheap to invest in,” he said. “Money in the bank is not getting the returns it once was.”

He said instead, many investors are looking to commercial real estate, with Queensland popular, partly thanks to multi-billion-dollar public and private infrastructure projects that are currently underway.


“I think there’s a growing confidence in Brisbane and south-east Queensland,” Mr McCullagh said. “The level of infrastructure that’s been built over the last few years and projected over the next five years, whether it be the Queens Wharf development, the new runway at Brisbane airport, or the talk of the Olympic Games being held here in Brisbane in 2032; it’s driving a lot of demand in the state.”

Mr McCullagh said it was not only investors, but also owner-occupiers showing interesting in acquiring commercial property.

“Particularly in the sub two-to-three-million price point, we’re seeing strong demand from owner-occupiers that are looking at growing and expanding their businesses, comparing buying versus leasing,” he said.

“And, once again, with a low cash rate environment, there’s a good argument for buying their own premises.”

This opinion is echoed by Luke Moroney, founder of Search Party Property, a buyers’ agency servicing residential and commercial markets in Brisbane and surrounding areas.

“There’s a lot of construction going on in south-east Queensland, like the hospital upgrades in Logan and Caboolture, and the widening of highways, and I know it’s 11 years away but there’s a lot of hype around the Olympics potentially being held here – that’s going to be a huge win for the region,” he said.

Mr Moroney points to childcare centres, petrol stations and fast-food outlets as being among the most popular choices for commercial investors.

“For our customers, we don’t want them to take on heightened risk,” he said. “We want to make sure there is an anchor tenant in place and there is stability in the long term.

“There is also that chase for yield at the moment, so if it’s a well-established commercial space, it’s going to generate a lot of interest.”

One development generating significant interest is the construction of a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites on the Sunshine Coast by Pro-invest Group, a global investment firm specialising in private equity real estate and real estate asset management.

Pro-invest co-CEO Jan Smits said the new nine-storey hotel on First Avenue, Maroochydore, would feature 181 rooms, a roof-top swimming pool, bar and dining venue, conference and function facilities, parking and ground-level retail space.

“We believe Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast is a great addition to Maroochydore, particularly as the region transitions from a largely leisure-based to a more diversified market with major growth in businesses establishing themselves in the city centre to take advantage of the large-scale infrastructure projects currently underway,” Mr Smits said.

In Brisbane, Colliers capital markets national director Don Mackenzie said even the inner-city office market was showing positive signs of returning to pre-COVID levels.

“My view on offices is that they’re here to stay,” Mr Mackenzie said. “For growing business, collaborating, mentoring, building camaraderie, and attracting new staff. You can’t do that over Zoom.

“It could look a little different to pre-COVID but the office is still an important part of a profitable organisation.”

When it came to commercial office investment, offshore capital investment continued to form a large slice of the commercial investment pie, Mr Mackenzie said.

“We’ve had offshore capital coming into our market for a long period of time. We’ve always been a favourable market to invest in because we’re a growth city,” he said.

“We’re not land constrained, we’re still able to expand and grow which we’re doing through revitalising precincts like Roma Street station and Howard Smith Wharves.

“These innovative developments change the way people work, live and play and are what’s driving a lot of the growth after population growth. It helps people to have confidence in our state and our major city.”

For anyone considering making an investment, Mr McCullagh recommends “following the infrastructure trail”.

“Whether that be the Cross River Rail, Brisbane Metro, those sorts of pockets and nodes around future infrastructure or current infrastructure projects — there’s going to be continued demand around there,” he said.

“Also consider the health and medical industry, so property around hospitals, new medical precincts and not just for pure medical use but also affiliate uses.”

It seems the sun really is shining down on Queensland.


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State plan to fast-track Roma Street precinct development slammed by Brisbane City Council

Credit: ABC News Australia

By Lucy Stone - ABC Radio Brisbane

22 March 2021   7:25am

A concept image showing a train station entrance with a sign saying Roma Street

A concept image for a station entrance for the new Cross River Rail station at Roma Street.(Supplied: Cross River Rail)

A Queensland government plan to fast-track development around Brisbane's Roma Street Station as part of Cross River Rail has been met with criticism from Brisbane City Council.


The state's plan could see up to 4,000 more people living around Roma Street Parklands by 2036, as well as adding an education facility, retail, shops, hotels and short-term accommodation, and a possible stadium.

But the council's planning spokeswoman Krista Adams said the proposal would create "lost land, lost car parking and multiple new towers".

The Roma Street Station will be one of the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project's busiest stations, with 46,000 people expected to use the station daily by 2036.

In December 2019, the state government declared 32-hectares surrounding Roma Street and the train station as a priority development area (PDA).

The proposed PDA curves around Roma Street Parklands and encompasses the train station, Brisbane Arrests Court and police station, Emma Miller Place, the parkland's administration buildings, and a car park and council works depot in the northern corner of the park.

What is a Priority Development Area?

Priority Development Areas are managed by Economic Development Queensland, fast-tracking development under state management, instead of under council planning laws.

Public consultation on the Roma Street PDA is underway before it is signed off by State Development Minister Steven Miles.

The PDA envisions Roma Street becoming "a key economic and community hub, built around reinvigorated heritage places [and] extensive new public spaces".

A map showing the boundaries of the Roma Street PDA and key locations (not to scale).
A map showing the boundaries of the Roma Street PDA and key locations (not to scale).(Supplied: Cross River Rail)

Cross River Rail says the PDA is not a masterplan, but rather a "framework of planning rules" to assess development proposals against for the next 20 to 30 years.

"Given current projections for population and jobs growth, as well as a potential 2032 Olympics, there is significant need to develop the Roma Street precinct, while making sure existing community amenities are enhanced or preserved," a Cross River Rail spokesman said.

The spokesman said the PDA would increase public space and would not remove public parkland.

What is proposed?

The Roma Street PDA proposes a host of new development, including an entertainment precinct and stadium between Emma Miller Place and the train station.

It will develop the precinct into a mix of commercial, residential and office towers, hotels, retail and education facilities, capitalising on the busy transport centre below.

A colour-coded map of a proposed development timeline for the Roma Street Precinct
Proposed timeline for development at the Roma Street Precinct are 2025 for stage one (red), 2026 for stage two (yellow), 2031 for stage three (green) and 2036 for stage four (blue).(Supplied: ABC Radio Brisbane)

Brisbane City Council's $1.2 billion Brisbane Metro will also stop at Roma Street, but the Inner Northern Busway must be relocated, with a new alignment not yet determined.

CRR's "baseline" for the PDA has development broken into stages, with the first stage expected to be completed 2025, and the fourth stage completed by 2036.

The first stage includes constructing the Cross River Rail station, and the second develops the remainder of the train station precinct with large-scale towers.

The third stage, for 2031, includes the proposed stadium and a new hotel at the former Hotel Jen site of up to 47 storeys. Under the PDA, 15-storey development could be permitted over the coach terminal and park administration buildings.

A concept image showing a large stadium and tower beside Roma Street Parklands in Brisbane
A concept image for a stadium at Roma Street as part of the Cross River Rail Roma Street PDA.(Supplied: Cross River Rail)

An education and research precinct might also be constructed over the northern corner where the council's work depot and public car park sits, relocating the works depot elsewhere.

Brisbane's arrests court and police buildings are also flagged for potential development of five to 25 storeys.

Does everyone agree?

The proposals have sparked concern from neighbouring residents, and from Brisbane City Council's planning spokeswoman Krista Adams, who says the PDA as it stands "turns a public space into a taxpayer-funded pleasure park for the private residents of adjoining towers".

"This state government plan abolishes council's works depot which includes a composting facility which helps save residents around $300,000 a year," Cr Adams said.

"Their plan also includes the removal of 149 car parks which are heavily relied on by visitors to the parkland, with no suitable alternative.

"This plan also includes references to relocation of the Inner Northern Busway, which could impact the Roma Street station and Brisbane Metro."

The Cross River Rail spokesman said the future location of the Inner Northern Busway "needs to be guided by future development".

"We're working with industry to explore commercial options for the precinct, and have chosen not to lock in a final busway design to see if the market can deliver a better commercial and planning outcome."

A man and a woman stand in a large parkland holding a piece of paper, looking upset.
Parkland apartment residents Jean Bursle and Dennis Sheehan are concerned about the impacts of the PDA.(ABC Radio Brisbane: Lucy Stone)

Apartment residents living on the southern edge of Roma Street Parklands say it would unacceptably impact the park.

Resident Jean Bursle told ABC Radio Brisbane they were concerned about the loss of the council's works depot, even if it wasn't publicly-accessible.

"It's fundamentally open green space in a constrained city that once it's gone, we will never get it back," she said.

Ms Bursle said the PDA prioritised transit over the importance of the parklands in Brisbane's international and local tourism.

"They're about getting people in and out of the city, to and from [the stadium], and all of those are very noble aspirations for a transport facility — but transport should not happen in park areas," she said.

"So, either change these purposes or rejig your purposes to acknowledge the fundamental standing of Roma Street Parkland as a destination, and as a local residents' sanctuary … but also one of our premier tourists attractions."

Public comment on the proposed PDA is open until April 1.

Posted 22 March 2021

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Tokyo shows the one risk Brisbane’s Olympic bid can’t avoid

Credit: Financial Review

By Michael Belby  Senior Reporter

Mar 21, 2021 – 6.06pm

Olympic supremo John Coates says the Australian Olympic Committee won’t hold organisers of a successful 2032 Brisbane Games over a financial barrel - as it did ahead of Sydney 2000 - as the parties discuss the host contract they will take to the International Olympic Committee for blessing in a few months’ time.

It is no longer possible for the AOC to sign an agreement like the one it did with NSW ahead of the 1993 announcement of Sydney as host of the XXVII Olympiad that gave AOC president Mr Coates the ability to veto, line-by-line, any item in the draft budget, he said.

The so-called “endorsement contract” agreed with then premier Nick Greiner ensured the split of a surplus, or profit, from the Games – 10 per cent to the IOC, 10 per cent to the AOC and 80 per cent to the benefit of sport through the Australian Olympic Foundation – could not be dissolved by a state government decision to spend that surplus on a project such as a road or a bridge. No such agreement could happen now.

“The IOC was very aware of the ill-feeling and very aware of some adverse public opinion on this and in 2004 they amended the Olympic host city contract – now called just a host contract- that the organising committee of the IOC would not recognise any pre-existing agreements,” Mr Coates told The Australian Financial Review.

“There is no endorsement contract for Brisbane. There is no arrangement that says other than what’s in the Olympic host contract.”

The Olympic world has changed a great deal in the past two decades, driven in part by the International Olympic Committee’s realisation that it had to make hosting the games cheaper and easier. New processes for selecting hosts – tried out for the first time for 2032 – focus on re-using existing infrastructure and avoiding building costly new facilities and spreading the tournament over a region, rather than in one city.

But as the experience of Tokyo shows, there is one big risk the hosts cannot avoid - a shortfall in ticketing revenue. That risk became real over the weekend, when local organisers and the IOC announced a decision not to allow foreign spectators to the delayed Tokyo Games starting in July.

The Tokyo 2020 budget includes $US800 million ($1 billion) in ticket sales. Toshiro Muto, chief executive of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, said on Saturday 600,000 Olympic tickets and 300,000 Paralympic tickets purchased by residents outside of Japan would be refunded, but declined to say how much this would cost.

Historically, about 70 per cent of Games tickets sell to the host-country population, the Wall Street Journal reported last year. As early as January 2020, more than half of the estimated 7.8 million tickets available for sale before the tournament was postponed had already been sold to Japanese fans, the newspaper said.

With foreign spectators now due to get refunds on tickets for the tournament that kicks off on July 23 it’s also likely those tickets will easily be sold to the 126 million residents of the world’s third-biggest economy.

Not all countries are as wealthy or as populous. But the Queensland government shrugs off any such risk to its own attendance numbers.

“Our management of the pandemic of the last year augurs well for any pandemic that may come our way in the future,” a spokesman said.

“We’ve already got runs on the board in having professional sport played in front of spectators. 

The crowds were there to support them. I’m sure people will turn up if we are fortunate enough, if the IOC grants us the Games.”

When the South East Queensland bid was given preferred bidder status last month, Mr Coates said the IOC itself would stump up about $US1.7 billion of the estimated $4.5 billion operating budget for 2032. A further $1 billion would come from ticket revenue and the remaining $1 billion from local sponsorship, allowing the games to break even.

“The budgeting for Brisbane at the moment is currently a contingency of between $300 million and $400 million,” Mr Coates said.


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SEQ Mayors Aiming to Seal Deal

Credit: Mirage

MARCH 19, 2021 1:02 PM AEDT


The South East Queensland (SEQ) City Deal is on the cards.

That’s the clear message Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio received during a two-day trip to Canberra as part of a delegation of the Council of Mayors (SEQ).

“The SEQ Mayors used this delegation as an opportunity to stress the importance of the SEQ City Deal and this was well received by both the government and opposition,” Mayor Antonio said.

“During the trip we met with 18 representatives including the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader and there was good support for the delivery of the SEQ City Deal.

“It’s clear both sides of the government understand how critical this Deal would be in ensuring the SEQ area is well connected for future growth.”

The SEQ City Deal is a 20-year agreement between three levels of government and industry to jointly identify and deliver infrastructure and economic priorities for South East Queensland. Due for completion last year, it was stalled amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent delays to Federal and State budgets.

“Two years ago we received a commitment for this deal and with the Olympic Games now well and truly a realistic chance of taking place in SEQ, the timing is right to seal the deal,” Mayor Antonio said.

“It was also great to feel a real buzz in Parliament House around the Olympic proposal. There was a clear sense of pride about the Games proposal and what it could mean for the south-east, Queensland and Australia.

“The representatives we met with listened to what we had to say and with their support I hope we can progress to the next stage of the City Deal as soon as possible.

“The South East corner is home to around 70% of the State’s population and around one in seven of the nation’s population lives here.

“Due to our liveability we estimate the population is going to increase by about 1.6 million in this part of Australia by 2041 and it’s vital we have the necessary infrastructure in place to accommodate this growth.

“It was also pleasing to receive positive feedback from the Federal Government in regards to our waste management proposals. They’ve suggested we could be a global leader in the environmental space and were a good example of how Councils can take a lead in this area.”

In addition to City Deals, a number of regional issues were discussed as part of the Canberra visit including the Brisbane 2032 proposal, the Resilient Rivers Initiative and the SEQ Mayors’ regional approach to waste management in South East Queensland.

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) represents 11 Councils and more than three million residents of South East Queensland. Its membership includes Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Councils.


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NRL 2021: Second Brisbane team worth an extra $50m to rugby league

It’s only a matter of time before a second Brisbane side gets the green light, with research showing a new team would bring millions to the NRL.

Credit: The Courier Mail

By Peter Badel

A second Brisbane team is worth an extra $50 million to rugby league as NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo outlined plans for the Telstra Premiership to one day expand to 18 clubs.

The Courier-Mail can reveal a League Central investigation has found a 17th team would be a multimillion-dollar bonanza for the NRL — compelling evidence the code is ready for a fourth club in Queensland.

The internal analysis was conducted in 2019 before the appointment of Peter V’landys as ARL Commission chairman, but he is now ramping-up plans to deliver a second Brisbane team to rival the Broncos in 2023.

There were fears expansion could be scuppered amid concerns from existing clubs, particularly cash-strapped teams in Sydney, that a 17th outfit would not deliver a financial benefit to the code.

But a strategic examination showed a second Brisbane side has been valued at $50 million in broadcasting, fan and commercial worth, quashing fears the NRL cannot monetise an additional club in a 17-team competition.

The code’s first expansionary move since the creation of the Titans 14 years ago appears a fait accompli with V’landys and Abdo set to meet with Brisbane team consortia within weeks.

And Abdo has gone a step further, saying the NRL could eventually capitalise on the birth of a fourth Queensland team by adding a second New Zealand club, which would deliver an extra, ninth game weekly for broadcasters.

“Whether we have a second team in Brisbane depends on the business case and what incremental value is created,” Abdo said.

“If we can make the numbers stack up, it (a second Brisbane team) is pretty exciting and then that leads to us having an 18th team in another key market for us over time.

“We have ambitious plans for growth in New Zealand, too.

“Wouldn’t it be great to develop even more talent from New Zealand.

“If we were to have an 18th team, we would have to have a good hard look at a second New Zealand team.

“Eighteen teams is a lot more dynamic in terms of how you can configure the draw. It means another rivalry in another key market for us, wherever that might be. It means new fans. It means we could have conferences and pools. These are all good options to explore.

“But that’s a piece of analysis for another time, let’s first look at the bridge from 16 to 17.

Queensland is a really important market for us. We would like to give all stakeholders clarity on expansion by the middle of the year.”

Abdo and V’landys have made it clear they will not push expansion if it cannibalises the Broncos, Cowboys or Titans, but previous NRL data suggests a second Brisbane team is financially attractive.

NRL strategic project boss Lachlan Smith is currently undertaking a fresh analysis of the impact of a second Brisbane team in the southeast Queensland market.

Brisbane Jets bid chief Nick Livermore is adamant another club in Queensland can be a money-spinner for the NRL, even if they are forced to introduce a bye weekend with no additional TV game for Channel 9 and Fox Sports.

“The additional revenue can be generated by broadcasting dollars and the value created by viewership and commercial investment,” Livermore said.

“I remember David Gyngell (former Nine boss) saying back in 2013 that he would pay an extra $100 million over five years for a second Brisbane team, which equates to $20m a year.

“A figure of $50 million today would not be outlandish by any means if you are assessing the value of a second Brisbane team.”

Brisbane Firehawks CEO Brian Torpy added: “For us we think a second team is a no-brainer. There are 2.5 million people in greater Brisbane ... and a lot of people in Brisbane aren’t Broncos fans.”

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John Coates on Brisbane’s ambition for Olympic Games 2032

Credit: Australian Olympic Committee

AOC 19 Mar 2021

Today John Coates AC addressed the Committee for Brisbane 2033 Legacy Taskforce providing more detail into Brisbane's bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games and how sustainability would be managed.

The Committee for Brisbane 2033 Legacy Taskforce policy paper: Our 2033 Olympic and Paralympic Legacies - Liveability Issues and Opportunities Paper, addresses the sustainability of hosting the Games in Brisbane in 2032. 

"As the first Games which are both carbon neutral and generate zero waste... Brisbane will have eyes on both the podium and the gentle earth it stands upon. I regard that as real leadership in action," Mr. Coates said.

"It is not a done deal. There is much work to be done. It may well be Queensland’s time. And if so, you’ve earned it. You’ve planned for it. You’ve fought for it," he said of Brisbane's 2032 candidature.

"If you are selected to host the Games, at the Opening Ceremony alone, the eyes of more than one half of the world’s population will look into your home and ask: what is life like there?"

                       John Coates full speech

John Coates AC

President, Australian Olympic Committee Vice President, International Olympic Committee

Launch of Committee for Brisbane 2033 Legacy Taskforce policy paper:

Our 2033 Olympic and Paralympic Legacies: Liveability Issues and Opportunities Paper 01-2021

Friday, 19th March 2021

12pm - 2.00pm

Plaza Ballroom, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Good afternoon.
Thank you Barton, and I commend you as Chief Executive of the Committee for Brisbane for the important work you do.

I acknowledge the Mee-an-jin people as the traditional owners of this land.
I recognise the country north and south of the Brisbane River, as the home of both the Turrbul and Jagera nations.

And I pay my deep respects to all Elders past, present and future.

Ted O’Brien MP, Federal Member for Fairfax and representing the Prime Minister on the candidature

Councillor Mark Jamieson, Mayor of Sunshine Coast Council and President of the Local Government Association of Queensland. 

Councillor Peter Flannery, Mayor of Moreton Bay Regional Council Jock O’Callaghan, President, Paralympics Australia

Sallyanne Atkinson AO

Natalie Cook OAM OLY

Dr Bridie Kean

Olympians, Paralympians, other distinguished guests.

I also want to acknowledge the highly credentialled and outstanding team members of the Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics Taskforce.

It really is quite a team you have assembled – formidable and hard to beat - are perhaps the best descriptors.

Proving that Queensland has champions on and off the field.

Brisbane 2032

I am just so delighted to be here today.

Because this is my first keynote address since the IOC announced Brisbane as the preferred candidate to host the 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is exciting news for Brisbane, Queensland and Australia.

It is encouraging for every person in this room and the communities you represent.
And it is an affirmation of the work you have done.

To this affirmation, Chair of the Future Host Summer Commission, Kristin Kloster Aasen, said this:
"The reason for us recommending the Brisbane project is they are a very advanced project and there are a number of criteria that sit really well with us.

"The high level of expertise in hosting major international sports events, the favourable climate conditions in July and August.

"The existing and planned transport infrastructure and experience in traffic management which can adequately meet the demands of the Olympic Games and were successfully implemented for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
"And the existing hotel inventory, which also meets the Games requirements."

The announcement was also important instruction for Brisbane because Kristin has, quite rightly and appropriately said this:  "It's not a done deal......”

This is true.

Meaning it is very important to understand what this IOC decision means in a practical sense.

The IOC Future Host Commission’s decision

So, allow me to take a moment to share its practical meaning.

What happened on February 25 was this:

The IOC Future Host Commission designated Brisbane as the "preferred candidate city" to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This followed their positive Feasibility Assessment of our project – strategic and technical. It is a decision with the unanimous endorsement of the IOC Executive Board.

It means the Commission now starts more detailed discussions with the Brisbane 2032 committee and the AOC about the potential to host the Olympic Games in 2032.

This is known as “targeted dialogue”.

All going well it will be followed by a final meeting with the Commission mid-May.
If those discussions meet the needs of both the IOC and Brisbane, then the candidature will be considered for selection at a future IOC Session.
This is the pathway for Brisbane to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Two Truths
And with the path now lit before us, two important truths come to mind.

The first is obvious – there is much work to be done.

The Targeted Dialogue will require Brisbane to demonstrate the quality of the project.

The paper being launched today:

The Committee for Brisbane 2033 Legacy Taskforce policy paper: Our 2033 Olympic and Paralympic Legacies - Liveability Issues and Opportunities Paper 01-2021
......goes to this goal.

I have read it in detail.

It is an impressive paper adding weight to the already preferred status which Brisbane has earned.

You have expressed four ‘SMART’ goals:
• Specific
• Measurable
• Achievable
• Relevant; and
• Timely

These SMART goals are:
One: to connect people and their ideas anytime, anywhere, and anyhow.
To do so with the fastest data speeds, a regional data hub, a data literacy program and leadership in data collection, analysis and dissemination.
Thus, you aspire to progress and modernity.

Two: to create a new norm where First Nations and contemporary cultures are celebrated as co- contributors to community wellbeing and economic vitality.
And as such you are choosing fairness, equality and a genuine partnership.

Three: to be enterprising such that your regional economic ecosystems are founded in knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship delivered with public and private sector collaborations.  And to do so as the first Games which are both carbon neutral and generate zero waste.  Meaning that Brisbane will have eyes on both the podium and the gentle earth it stands upon. I regard that as real leadership in action.

Four: for all residents in every place to have equality of opportunity driven by the Olympic values of Friendship, Respect and Excellence.

To do so by promoting healthy communities which exercise often and eat the right foods with all of the huge physical and psychological benefits this brings.

And also, to do so by meshing the power of data with the power of stories.

In a clever and purposeful paper, I add that this was my favourite insight.

Because at this time in Australia’s evolution, we have more capability to gather data and to tell stories than we’ve ever had, whilst we also have so many untold stories which desperately need to be told.

Especially the wonderful, inspiring and ‘under told’ stories of Australia’s First Nations people. I commend you for that.

With maximum conviction, I commend you.

IOC Olympic Agenda 2020 + 5
It is also important to understand how your paper fits within the 15 recommendations of the IOC Olympic Agenda 2020 + 5 adopted 12 March.

These recommendations call upon the IOC and the Olympic Movement to do many important things:
• To strengthen the uniqueness and the universality of the Olympic Games
• Foster sustainable Olympic Games
• Reinforce athletes’ rights and responsibilities
• Continue to attract best athletes
• Further strengthen safe sport and the protection of clean athletes
• Enhance and promote the Road to the Olympic Games
• Coordinate the harmonisation of the sports calendar
• Grow digital engagement with people
• Encourage the development of (physical) virtual sports and further engage with video gaming communities
• Strengthen the role of sport as an important enabler for the UN Sustainable Development Goals
• Strengthen the support to refugees and populations affected by displacement
• Reach out beyond the Olympic community
• Continue to lead by example in corporate citizenship
• Strengthen the Olympic Movement through good governance; and
• Innovate revenue generation models

Reflecting on these tasks, IOC President Thomas Bach explained that:
“When we adopted Olympic Agenda 2020 in 2014, we did so under the adage of ‘change or be changed’. This still holds true today. The world around us has continued to evolve.

Nothing illustrates this better than the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for society.”

My own observation is that your intent and that of the IOC align and intersect comfortably. There is compatibility and that is crucial.

Because that makes all manner of achievements possible in the same way that colliding values render productive relationships impossible.

The great news is that you are taking the correct first steps in Phase One of the legacy planning journey.

With big, ambitious and inspiring ideas in the very best tradition of the Olympics. I add, that this is as it must be – Queensland deserves that.

You have rightly set the bar very high and now comes the hard part. Because Phase Two is the giant leap over it.

Truth 2: Queensland’s Time?
Which brings me to the second truth I share today.
It is a truth I observe as both a long-time participant in the Olympic movement but also as a student of history and a proud Australian with a few miles in the legs.
It is this:

Any of us, and all of us, whether we be an athlete, a business person, an employee or employer, a political leader, a journalist, a sports administrator or a volunteer....
Indeed, whether we belong to a cause or a family, a club or a community, a town, a city, a state or a country...

There comes a rare and wonderful period in our lives when we can declare: ...............that this is our time.

Joining you today in a room full of so many great Australians, with unity of purpose, brimming capability, confident because of one of the world’s most effective pandemic responses.....

With trusted friends in Brisbane, Canberra and Lausanne.
And buoyed with the knowledge that you are the preferred candidate to host the Games in 2032 ... this feels like such a moment.

Friends, it may well be Queensland’s time. And if so, you’ve earned it.

You’ve planned for it.

You’ve fought for it.

You stand atop the shoulders of great Queenslanders who have sweated for it.

And now, how far and wide you want to see, is up to you.

What you want to happen is now less a question of timing and more a question of design.

Thus, it is timely to ask:
What is the next stage for the great state of Queensland?

For the wonderful city of Brisbane?

And for the hard working, straight talking, ‘look you in the eye’ proud people of the sunshine state?

Just as Melbourne emerged as the centre of big business in the first half of the last century.

Just as Sydney as one of the great financial centres of Asia in the second half of the 1900s.

And just as Western Australia became the world’s greatest provider of energy in the last 50 years.

How will you use this moment in history to design the next evolution of your home?

Mindful, that if you are selected to host the Games, at the Opening Ceremony alone, the eyes of more than one half of the world’s population will look into your home and ask:  what is life like there?

The world will watch and ask:
What sort of a place is this to invest in?

Should this be my base into the Australian and Asian markets?

What kinds of people are these Queenslanders?

Are these people I want to partner with?
How do they do business?

What is their lifestyle?

Is this a place where dreams come true?

The terrific news is that many of the answers are in the paper I launch today. As are many more of the right questions.

And so, friends, I leave you with this message: If it is Queensland’s time - use it wisely.

As is the Queensland way, in order to secure the Olympics, it must continue to be hard work, day and night, dreaming big and achieving bigger.

Because after all Queenslanders are Audax at Fidelis Queenslanders - Bold but Faithful

Thank you, friends. Strength to your arms.

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