Brisbane one step closer to hosting 2032 Olympics

Brisbane one step closer to hosting 2032 Olympics

"It's not in the bag yet but we are at that final hurdle, and we are approaching this with a lot of positivity and a sense of optimism for our state and our city and our future," says Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner.

Brisbane is now one step closer to hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games following a recommendation overnight from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board, which highlighted the Queensland capital's strong masterplan "set against a spectacular backdrop" with mostly existing venues.

The proposal comes after the Future Host Commission named Brisbane as the preferred bidder in February, and puts Brisbane in an enviable position ahead of an IOC member vote in Tokyo next month

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the selection of Brisbane as host city would generate more than 130,000 jobs with an $8 billion uplift to the economy, in addition to "international tourism and trade benefits for decades to come".

"What the Olympics does is it sets us up for the future. It gives us hope, it gives us inspiration, it means that the children now in our schools have the opportunity to achieve their Olympic dreams," the Premier said.

Palaszczuk said presentations of the 2032 Olympics vision were given to the host commission over "three lengthy nights".

"It involves many Olympic sports in so many venues, encompassing not just South East Queensland, but inclusive of Townsville and of course that torch relay will go through the length and breadth of Queensland as well," she said.

"This is a game changer for Queensland, and I'm absolutely delighted that all levels of government are working cooperatively in the best interest of Queensland and what it means to the future of our great state."

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner reiterated the Premier's sentiments by emphasising the national benefits the event would bring.

"The information released by the IOC today confirms that we have 84 per cent of the venues that will either be in place or are temporary venues," the Lord Mayor said.

"It also confirms that the other facilities we need are needed for our population - needed for our growing population, so whether it's better transport, better roads, better facilities, these are things that we will need.

"Thomas Bach [IOC president] has been here to Brisbane, he has seen this place with his own eye, and he has been a big fan of our city and our region and our state."

The Lord Mayor is optimistic ahead of the IOC member vote in Japan on 21 July.

"It's not in the bag yet but we are at that final hurdle, and we are approaching this with a lot of positivity and a sense of optimism for our state and our city and our future," he said.

An impact study undertaken by KPMG estimates the event would bring $8.1 billion in benefits to Queensland and $17.6 billion to the country, split fairly evenly between economic and social benefits.

These benefits were calculated by assessing factors such as health, volunteering and resident benefits, as well as qualitative benefits such as community infrastructure, and behavioural change to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions.

If the event goes ahead, KPMG estimates it will generate 122,900 full-time equivalent job years for Australia, of which 91,600 will be in Queensland.

The report notes event organising would come with pollution and waste management incentives, and instill long-term behavioural change towards recycling and waste by leveraging sport as a social influencer.

It is believed there will be a 40 per cent increase in international tourist arrivals in the games year, with an average of 26 per cent in the eight years prior and 20 years after the Olympics are held.

However, experiences differ between host cities. Sydney saw a persistent uplift of 15.5 per cent in international visitors for the 10 years after its Olympic bid was won and a 22.4 per cent uplift in 2000 when it hosted the event. Nonetheless, a retrospective study found there was no induced tourism effect from the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

In contrast, Beijing recorded a 30 per cent decline in international tourists and the UK saw a 6 per cent drop in their respective games years. In the case of London, already one of the world's top tourism cities, this fall was expected beforehand due to a 'displacement' phenomenon whereby people stay away from host cities to avoid overcrowding and high prices.

In the case of Beijing, a report from CABI believes the visitor decline in 2008 may relate to tightened visa requirements and security measures as early as April in that year, including requirements on proof of accommodation and return tickets. The Sichuan earthquake in May of that year, as well as the protests surrounding the movement for Tibetan independence, were also cited as possible factors behind the fall.

While Beijing's tourism numbers were down in the year the city hosted the games, later surveys from Nielsen showed more people intended to visit China after seeing the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Could Brisbane 2032 be "the panacea" Australia needs? 

"Sport is seen by many governments around the world as essential to the long-term development of their countries and regions," IOC president Thomas Bach said.

"The Brisbane 2032 Olympic project shows how forward-thinking leaders recognise the power of sport as a way to achieve lasting legacies for their communities."

Kristin Kloster Aasen, chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad, noted the extensive work done in collaboration with the Brisbane 2032 bid organisers.

"The new approach to electing Olympic hosts has enabled this project to be enhanced as part of a two-way conversation, honouring our commitment that the Olympic Games should adapt to the needs of the host and their population, and not the reverse," Kloster Aasen said.

Australian Olympic Committee John Coates recused himself from last night's decision-making process, and said the bid now faced final scrutiny from IOC members.

"Since being awarded Targeted Dialogue status, we have seen many months of hard work and cooperation between three levels of government, to get Brisbane 2032 before the IOC Members who make the ultimate decision next month," Coates said.

"Frankly, the due diligence undertaken by the IOC's Future Host Commission far exceeds that to which we were subject with our candidacy for Sydney 2000.

"But it is the Members we have to convince of the merits of our ambition to host the Summer Olympic Games for the third time. We have our date with destiny."

Coates explained the AOC had presented detailed responses to the IOC Future Host Commission's questionnaire and held forums to discussed issues raised.

"We also presented to the current 33 International Federations of sports and disciplines on the Olympic program under their Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) umbrella," he said.

"Australia is a sports-loving nation with an excellent track record in delivering major international events. Importantly, the Brisbane proposal is fully compliant with the IOC's New Norm agenda to make hosting the Olympic Games affordable and to deliver long lasting value to the communities which host them.

"Events would be hosted in facilities already existing, planned or upgraded. These planned and upgraded facilities will deliver long-lasting value to Queensland's sporting and community legacy and will be in use before the Games."

He described the potential event as "exactly the panacea Queensland and Australia needs" as we emerge from the economic setbacks of the pandemic.

"As the National Olympic Committee responsible for submitting the candidature, the AOC is excited about the potential for a Brisbane 2032 Games to inspire participation in sport for a generation of children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders," he said.

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