p15///////15/09/2000. Australian runner Cathy Freeman stands under the Olympic torch after lighting the flame at the opening ceremonies for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Teams from 200 lands strode into the newly minted Olympic Stadium, welcomed by 110,000 cheering fans and an expected television audience of billions (AP PHOTO/Kevin Frayer) Published DHS 04/03/2006 Page 33.
p15///////15/09/2000. Australian runner Cathy Freeman stands under the Olympic torch after lighting the flame at the opening ceremonies for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Teams from 200 lands strode into the newly minted Olympic Stadium, welcomed by 110,000 cheering fans and an expected television audience of billions (AP PHOTO/Kevin Frayer) Published DHS 04/03/2006 Page 33.

PM: SEQ Olympics would be better than Sydney

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has thrown his support behind a $5.3b southeast Queensland bid for the Olympics in 2032 and has called on the "stalling" Palaszczuk Government to "join the team and back the bid".

And he has called on the "stalling" Queensland Government to "join the team and back the bid" to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, or risk missing out.

The Federal Government has already pledged $10 million to help prepare the bid, which has been driven by the Council of Mayors in southeast Queensland.

How the council, state and federal governments will split the $5.3 billion it costs to stage the Games - which the IOC says "will pay for itself" through broadcast deals, ticket revenue, licensing and sponsorships - is still to be determined.

But the three levels of government are simultaneously working on details of a City Deal that will prioritise funding for billions of dollars of infrastructure needed to combat SEQ's population growth and to host an Olympics.

Australian PM Scott Morrison meets with IOC president Thomas Bach.
Australian PM Scott Morrison meets with IOC president Thomas Bach.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said late last week she would wait until meeting with the PM to commit to a bid, and is pushing for a statewide Games rather than a sole southeast Queensland event.

The pair could meet on the sidelines of the next COAG meeting in Cairns next month (August).

Last night the Premier repeated her declaration the State needed Games funding certainty from the Commonwealth before it could sign up to the bid.

Ms Palaszczuk called on Mr Morrison to respond to her letter to him regarding that certainty, arguing the bid would not be possible without the Federal Government's financial support.

"All he has to do is to show he backs Queensland is pick up the phone," the Premier said.

She has previously said she was hoping for a Commonwealth funding commitment equivalent to what the NSW Government secured for the 2000 Olympics.

Australian runner Cathy Freeman stands under the Olympic torch after lighting the flame at the opening ceremonies for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Picture: AP
Australian runner Cathy Freeman stands under the Olympic torch after lighting the flame at the opening ceremonies for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Picture: AP

Mr Morrison went in to bat for Queensland's potential 2032 Olympics bid when he met the IOC president Thomas Bach at the G20 summit in Japan.

"The Queenslanders will always want to outdo NSW, in everything, and so they will want to put on an even better Games in Brisbane than NSW did in 2000," the PM told Dr Bach and Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates as they met in Osaka on Saturday night.

"We've committed ourselves, as a government, to the bid and we're very committed to that. (We've) Made a financial commitment to bid."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner. Picture: AAP/Claudia Baxter

Sydney is widely regarded as one of the great modern Games, with Dr Bach telling the Prime Minister people still comment on how memorable the 2000 Olympics were.

"That will really improve the ability of host nations and cities to put on a great show," he said in the meeting with the IOC.

The changes also pave the way for the 2032 Games host to be named as early as next July, rather than the traditional seven years out.

 

 

Dr Bach, who attended the SportAccord meeting in Queensland in May, and has met with the Premier and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, told the Prime Minister he was "really impressed" with was he saw in Queensland.

"Seeing the existing sport infrastructure that's already there. The penchant of Aussies for sport. And to see the mayors, Premier, business community - everybody behind it and our reforms, very positive," Dr Bach said.

Australian PM Scott Morrison meets with IOC president Thomas Bach, AOC President John Coates and Senator Mathias Cormann.
Australian PM Scott Morrison meets with IOC president Thomas Bach, AOC President John Coates and Senator Mathias Cormann.

Mr Coates said the Prime Minister's commitment to a united approach was a substantial boost.

But he said Dr Bach had warned against spreading the hosting duties around Queensland, in an apparent message to the Premier.

Mr Coates said preliminary football games could be held in Townsville at the Cowboys' new stadium which opens next year, while Cairns should be looked at to host group events in either basketball or volleyball.

"However, President Bach warned against spreading events too far, being mindful of comments from the athlete members of the IOC, who are concerned about the loss of the magic for athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees, coming together," Mr Coates said.

The event would cost $5.3 billion to run, with the IOC to contribute $2.5 billion upfront from its long-term broadcast deal with the NBC in America.

Dr Bach told the Prime Minister that broadcast money, ticket sales revenue and national sponsorships and licensing would ensure the Olympics "pay for themselves".

Mr Coates said the next steps would be the formation of a leadership group, the completion of an economic feasibility study by the Queensland Government and finalisation of the competition venue masterplan.