After reported cost blow-outs the Queensland government has announced a value-for-money review of new and existing venues slated for Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic Games.
And at the helm of the review panel is former Brisbane City Councillor and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.
Under the microscope will be The Gabba redevelopment, which is currently costed at $2.7 billion; the Brisbane Arena, and other smaller development projects.
The 60-day review began this week with the remit of addressing key areas of concern including value-for-money, deliverability, fit-for-purpose and community legacy.
The findings of the review are due to be handed down on March 18, and the state government has also established a delivery authority for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympic Games, which will be operational towards the middle of this year.
Quirk said he was looking forward to conducting the review and described it as “important work for all Queenslanders”.
He will be joined by infrastructure stalwart Ken Kanofski, and Michelle Morris, who has a strong background in event partnerships and delivery on the world stage.
Premier Steven Miles said the Games had become a divisive issue within the community, which had driven the decision to conduct the review.
“The mission is simple, make sure the Games work for Queensland and delivers for Queenslanders,” Miles said.
“Graham Quirk enjoys great community respect and oversaw the development of the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Ken Kanofski has strong infrastructure experience and Michelle Morris will harness her expertise in major international events as part of this review.
“We’re going to deliver value-for-money Games venues which benefit Queenslanders long after the Games are over, and the review will help us to achieve that.”
Queensland Minister for State Infrastructure and Development Grace Grace said it was important to “get it right”.
“We need to make sure we get these infrastructure investments right and I look forward to receiving the report from these three eminent individuals,” Grace said.
“We’ve already said we’re not going to pre-empt the outcomes of this review, which I know will be carried out without fear or favour.”
Hosting the Games is expected to fast-track 20 years of housing supply in 10 years.
Newer projects on the cards include the Green Heart parklands in Robina, Gold Coast; Blue Heart waterway and mountain bike trails on the Sunshine Coast; and the Birkdale Community Precinct just south of Brisbane.
Planned for the Games are 37 competition venues—22 in Brisbane, seven on the Gold Coast, five in broader Queensland and two interstate.