House debates

Thursday, 25 February 2021


Queensland: Olympic and Paralympic Games

4:45 pm

Photo of Julian SimmondsJulian Simmonds (Ryan, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm sure you will agree with this, Mr Speaker. How good is Queensland, and how good is my home city of Brisbane? I rise today, as a proud Queenslander and a proud Brisbane resident, to speak about the exciting news that Brisbane is leading the bid for the 2032 Olympic Games. And why wouldn't the International Olympic Committee mark Brisbane as one of their top picks? My home city has the perfect climate, it has infrastructure ready to support an influx of tourists in 2032 and it has the ability to spread the games between different locations in our region and in our state. Australia, with its remarkable success in managing the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, is in the perfect position to deliver a fantastic Olympic Games in 2032. While other countries are still experiencing high rates of COVID-19, lockdowns and economic stress, Australia is well and truly on the road to recovery and able to show the International Olympic Committee that we are up to this most important task.

Today we learned that Brisbane in the box seat to win the bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics, the Games of the 35th Olympiad. As I said, our plan is for this to be spread right across the south-east region, creating opportunities in regional centres, as well as Logan, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Redlands. We already have the capacity to support such an undertaking. The Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner, is very proud to chair the South-East Queensland Council of Mayors, where the mayors of the entire South-East Queensland region are able to get together and coordinate on a variety of different occasions and issues. But they are all passionate about supporting this important bid for the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

John Coates, President of the Australian Olympic Committee, remarked today that it is the first time the International Olympic Committee has shown interest in a region rather than a single city, and it's because we have so much to offer. We not only have the capital city of Brisbane but we have the beaches of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and out to the beautiful mountain and rural areas of the Scenic Rim.

We know that one of the reasons we are in the box seat is that the Olympic Committee are looking for existing structures as well as the ability to provide any further infrastructure. We already have a lot of the infrastructure that we would need to host the games. Having held the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, we know that the existing infrastructure is there to be utilised. By combining all of our resources in the South-East Queensland region, we're able to showcase a variety of infrastructure that's already in place. But, of course, we wouldn't let the opportunity pass without a bid for some extra infrastructure out of the state government, out of the federal government and out of local councils—all of us working in conjunction to provide that extra infrastructure which could create jobs and be a significant economic boost for our region.

The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Adrian Schrinner, also spoke today about his focus on the transport infrastructure needed to deliver these games. Having served as a Brisbane City councillor, I know a little something about Lord Mayor Schrinner's passion for reducing congestion; for delivering infrastructure, like the Metro project, which is going to revolutionise transport in Brisbane; and for getting Brisbane residents home to their families sooner and more safely. This would be just another way that we could help achieve that, by delivering infrastructure that not only brought a brilliant Olympic Games to the city of Brisbane and to the region but also had long-lasting infrastructure benefits and congestion-busting benefits for Brisbane residents.

I want to take this opportunity to commend Lord Mayor Schrinner for his work on getting this bid together and helping to coordinate it, as well as the previous lord mayor, Graham Quirk, who I know is also integral behind the scenes. I've been fortunate enough to work with them both, and there are no two more passionate advocates of Brisbane City than those two gentlemen.

The other thing that Lord Mayor Schrinner is bang-on about is the opportunity that this bid for 2032, if we secure the games, would have to showcase Brisbane and the region to the world. I was in Brisbane City Council when we hosted the G20 Leaders' Summit. The amount of attention that our city garnered from having the likes of Angela Merkel and Barack Obama in our city, and the way we were able to leverage that and sell Brisbane to the world as a place where global leaders meet, was an incredible opportunity to be replicated as part of the bid for the 2032 Games. The opportunity for us to be in the box seat for the bid is great for Brisbane residents and great for delivering infrastructure in Brisbane, and it will be a great boon for Australia. It's a feather in our cap for how well we have handled COVID-19. (Time expired)