Six years of lobbying has paid off for Brisbane after the city was named overnight by the International Olympic Committee as the preferred bidder for the 2032 Olympic Games.
Under a new selection process designed to be more transparent and fair, the IOC has forwarded Brisbane as the prime contender to host the Games ahead of bids from Doha, Budapest, a combined proposal from the Rhine-Ruhr in Germany and two Chinese cities, Chengdu and Chongqing.
The Brisbane bid has been led by the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and last night's announcement kickstarts a detailed evaluation of the south-east region's proposal for 2032.
Following the IOC announcement, Brisbane's 2032 proposal will now be subject to "targeted dialogue" as preferred host. These discussions will be critical if Brisbane's bid is to proceed any further.
Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates describes the announcement as a "very mature decision" by the IOC.
"When you've still got a few other cities there and say well we're going to go into targeted dialogue and one preferred city was a big call by them," he says.
"It was very, very positive and we can take a lot of encouragement from it."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Brisbane already has 85 per cent of the venues needed for the Games.
"It's a new norm, which means it's a game changer," she says. "We don't have to build huge stadiums, that are not going to be used in the future and this gives us hope and opportunity as we go through our economic recovery and plan for the future."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lauded the event for its potential to deliver an "economic and jobs boom".
"Today's announcement from the IOC is a positive development but we still have a lot of work to do. We saw how Sydney 2000 brought our nation together and took Australian sport to a new level, and that's what we'll be aiming to do again if we're successful in hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games again in 2032."
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, who is also chair of the Council of Mayors (SEQ), describes the announcement as a vote of confidence in the south-east Queensland region.
"When we started this journey almost six years ago to the day, many people were sceptical," he says.
"Now we're one step away from being named as the host of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"Today is not the time however to get over-excited; there is still plenty of work to be done."
Among the organisational issues to be discussed with the IOC will be the infrastructure to host the Games including the Olympic Village, which one report suggests could be located in Brisbane's Hamilton Wharf precinct along the Brisbane River.
Schrinner says the IOC announcement is "so much more than the two weeks of the Games" as it will fast-track much-needed infrastructure in the region which has been under pressure from population growth.
"The mayors of south-east Queensland started this journey around six years ago because we knew it would be a great opportunity to bring forward infrastructure investment that our growing population needs," he says.
"This is the best opportunity that we will have in a generation to have all three levels of government working together to focus on building the infrastructure or region needs."
The Brisbane bid will see events staged across south-east Queensland and as far north as Cairns and Townsville.
The timeline to finalise the host city for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games has not yet been confirmed by the IOC.
Business News Australia
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