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It’s the Sunshine Games as Queensland goes for gold

Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games but its a win for the whole state

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will “transform” Queensland as the whole state goes for gold.

An independent economic assessment by KPMG, commissioned by the Queensland Government, has indicated the Games will deliver a total benefit of $8.1 billion for Queensland, and $17.61 billion for Australia.

The report also found that the Games would create 91,600 full-time equivalent jobs for the state.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed Brisbane as the host city for 2032 during a meeting of the 138th IOC Session, beating out bids from Spain, Germany and others.

There will be 21 Olympic venues in Brisbane, seven on the Gold Coast and four on the Sunshine Coast.

The main athletes’ village will be built on prime Brisbane waterfront real estate at Hamilton, with smaller accommodation options on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Kooralbyn, near the rowing venue.

The new Maroochydore central business district – currently under construction – will be the venue for a satellite athletes’ village.

Events could also be held in regional areas including Townsville, Toowoomba and Cairns.

University of Queensland tourism and events expert Judith Mair said infrastructure projects including road transport improvements and public transport expansions that might have been in the 30-year plan for South-East Queensland would be accelerated in the lead up to the Games.

She said although there were already plans in place to duplicate the M1 down to the Gold Coast “something similar may have to be thought of going up to the Sunshine Coast too.”

The Sunshine Coast Council welcomed the IOC’s announcement and will play an integral role in Brisbane 2032. It will be home to four key venues and several sporting events, including football, basketball, marathon, mountain biking, cycling and kiteboarding.

The Sunshine Coast will also host multiple days of road-based events (marathon and road cycling) during the Paralympic Games.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Matt Stoeckel, said that the Sunshine Coast’s “natural advantages” and easy accessibility for international teams played an important role in securing the bid for South-East Queensland.

“I think what the Sunshine Coast offered as a complement to Brisbane and the Gold Coast added significantly to the attractiveness of the South-East Queensland proposal,” Mr Stoeckel said.

“Nature and sustainability play an increasingly important role in deciding where major events are held, and the Sunshine Coast is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland.

“In addition, Sunshine Coast Council is in the process of developing a nomination for UNESCO to consider the region as a biosphere, an international site of excellence that prioritises responsible development and conservation. It would build on the region’s two other adjoining UNESCO recognised biospheres, Noosa and the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve.”

Mr Stoeckel said the Sunshine Coast was one of Australia’s premier venues for major sporting and outdoor events, and with an attractive climate year-round and beautiful settings, the region was “tailor-made” for hosting peak-performance sporting events.

“The bid team for the 2032 Olympic Games has clearly done an outstanding job, and we will be working closely with our local Sunshine Coast Council, and the Games’ organising committee, to build momentum and excitement over the next decade,” he said.

“We are particularly excited about showcasing the Sunshine Coast’s reputation as a premium cycling destination – both for road cycling and mountain biking. Council has been developing these resources over recent years and we will be looking to attract large numbers of domestic and international cyclists in years to come to make the most of these assets.

“The plans to have the road cycling and other sports at Alexandra Headland will provide an incredible opportunity to show-off the region’s idyllic coastal setting.”

Basketball matches will be held at the Kawana Indoor Sports Stadium, as the Sunshine Coast has been a powerhouse in basketball and netball over the years.

By 2032, the Sunshine Coast will have a new central business district at Maroochydore, and the Olympics announcement will provide massive impetus for its development.

“Already major buildings have been constructed and restaurants and bars have opened there,” ,” Mr Stoeckel said, “and an international hotel is well underway. With the beach just a few streets away, there can’t be a better location for an athletes’ village.

“The Olympics will turbocharge the Sunshine Coast’s economic development and with the new international-capacity runway at Sunshine Coast Airport, there is excellent prospects for attracting additional hotel and tourism development aimed at both domestic and international travellers.

“Given the current economic difficulties facing our industry, the announcement in Tokyo couldn’t have come at a better time. While the current challenges are affecting all our operators, the fact that we will play an integral role in a world event of the magnitude of the Olympic Games should provide optimism for the future.”

The four proposed Sunshine Coast venues include:

  • Kawana Precinct including Sunshine Coast Stadium (football preliminaries). Also the proposed Sunshine Coast Indoor Sports Centre (basketball preliminaries). Further investigations into a possible indoor sports centre location for the Maroochydore city centre are to be undertaken.
  • Alexandra Headland which will be the staging area for road based events (Olympic cycling, marathon and race walks, plus Paralympic cycling and marathon). It will also host the kiteboarding competition (sailing).
  • Sunshine Coast Mountain Bike Centre at Parklands (Olympic mountain bike competition)
  • Sunshine Coast Olympic Village to be located in the heart of the new Maroochydore city centre.

In addition to the built venues, the Sunshine Coast is proposed as the host location for:

– cycling (road, time trials and Paralympic disciplines)

– marathon (walk, run and Paralympic disciplines)

– kiteboarding.

Grantlee Kieza

Grantlee Kieza OAM has won three Queensland Media Awards, two Australian Sports Commission Awards and has been a finalist for the Walkley and News Awards and for the Harry Gordon Award for Australian sports journalist of the year. In 2019 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia for his writing. You can find more of his writing in our upcoming Accom News print magazine!

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