Brisbane has been announced as the host city for the 2032 Olympic Games, firming plans for a massive infrastructure program across Queensland’s south-east.
While perhaps lacking the same level of jubilant celebrations of the Sydney 2000 announcement, thanks to Covid-19 restricting close contact, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk were in Tokyo for the announcement.
The premier and lord mayor were seen celebrating the win and giving the thumbs up while 2500 people on the Brisbane River roared with excitement and fireworks lit up the river city.
Brisbane’s landmarks turned green and gold in anticipation of the win, despite a lukewarm response to the Tokyo Olympic Games now under way ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday.
Six in 10 Australians believe the Tokyo Games should not have gone ahead, according to an IPSOS poll, and more than half said they were not interested in watching the Olympic Games.
Schrinner, with the backing of former Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and the Council of Mayors south-east Queensland, who launched the bid in 2015, said it was an historic moment and would herald a new era for the river city.
“I’m immensely proud to have been part of the successful final pitch that secured this win and to be bringing home the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Schrinner said.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the fastest-growing capital city in Australia, and a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games will help our region cater for the growth to come and guarantees Brisbane will get even better.
“Now the real work starts, and we must get on with the job to deliver the public transport, the sporting venues, the better roads and bridges that we need to host the world’s largest sporting event.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk supported the bid for the Olympics, which would provide a catalyst to fast-track a significant $5-billion infrastructure program across south-east Queensland.
“The IOC was blown away with the presentation of how beautiful our state is,” Palaszczuk said.
“These Olympics will be transformational for Queensland, providing $8.1 billion in economic and social benefits and 91,600 full-time equivalent jobs.
“We want to celebrate in true Queensland style...what a night, well done Queensland.”
Palaszczuk said the IOC was impressed with the co-operation between all levels of government to support the bid, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the federal government’s financial backing for the 2032 Olympic Games.
“How good is Brisbane,” Morrison said.
“We’re going to put it on, and this is a great ray of hope for us at a time when I think people really need it…Australia is doing it together.”
Australia secured 75 out of 77 votes from the International Olympic Committee.
While Brisbane had been named the preferred site, there was growing concern about late bids from South Korea, Budapest and Qatar.
A Colliers research report described the Olympic Games in Brisbane as a “once in a century” opportunity to attract global business investment and capital into the property sector.
The report indicated the Games would boost the liveability of the region and provide $8 billion in financial and economic prosperity for Queensland.
The Gabba was announced as the main Olympic stadium earlier this year, with plans for a $1-billion redevelopment of the stadium and precinct, which is one-fifth of the proposed budget for the Olympic Games bid.
The demolition and upgrade of The Gabba would boost its capacity from 42,000 to 50,000.
The plans capitalise on the connected Cross River Rail station, already under construction and due for completion in 2024, and would also include a new pedestrian plaza to link the two facilities, replacing initial suggestions of Albion as a potential stadium site.
Hamilton Northshore has been earmarked for the Brisbane Olympic Village, which would maximise its proximity to the 16 sports that would be hosted within 6km of the CBD.
There will be 32 venues across the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane, and a second athlete’s village to be built at Robina.
The bid to host the Olympic Games in Brisbane had a key focus on sustainable development that aligned with long-term infrastructure plans for the region.
Earlier this year Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said south-east Queensland already had 85 per cent of the required venues to host the Games.