Thursday, 25 February 2021
Queensland: Olympic and Paralympic Games
I rise today absolutely thrilled that the $10 million investment that the Morrison government has made in the Olympics bid has pushed South-East Queensland one step further towards hosting the next Olympic Games. The 2032 Olympics is an amazing opportunity for the Gold Coast. Of course we have a rich history on the Gold Coast of producing world-class athletes and Olympians—and swimmers. We have surfing, which is now an Olympic sport, cycling and many other sports across the Gold Coast. Our sons and daughters have won gold, silver and bronze. We've produced world champions on the Gold Coast.
The lead-up to this event itself is a huge promotional opportunity. It's a showcase for the Gold Coast, for tourism, for events and, of course, for other businesses like small businesses, more so than any other city because we are merely getting the word out on what our city and region offers. We're not starting from scratch. We're building on the legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. We have the facilities and experience in hosting many sports already, including at Metricon Stadium, which is in the seat of Moncrieff, in my seat, where we saw the opening of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I watched the track and field events at Metricon Stadium. Those facilities are already in place, and we welcome the opportunity for more infrastructure, such as fast rail from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and of course a 10,000-seat stadium, which we desperately need on the Gold Coast. We've got a 3,000 seater and a 30,000 seater, but we don't have a 10,000 seater, and we need that for sports such as women's AFL. The marathon would be an event that could be hosted on the Gold Coast. The last Gold Coast Marathon went past my house, actually. It was quite a spectacle. We sat at the coffee shop, and we watched marathon runners from all over the world run down the foreshore, and it was absolutely spectacular.
A government member interjecting—
That's right; along the beach. The Gold Coast Marathon has, of course, been a very successful event since 1979, so it is an exciting prospect for us on the Gold Coast to host the Olympic marathon in 2032—absolutely brilliant.
It was also reported this morning that it could mean up to 100,000 jobs for South-East Queensland. When you consider that Queensland has the worst unemployment rate in the country, this is very, very important for our local economy. The economic benefits from preparations for the Olympics will be of direct benefit to the Gold Coast but also promote that long-term confidence that we need. When the time comes to engage with our international visitors and our overseas markets, this will be something that we can absolutely promote across the globe. It will increase the confidence of those returning international visitors.
We have existing sporting venues and accommodation at the Gold Coast. We have a head start on the preparations. We have a great climate, which will be enjoyed by all. There are opportunities for, as I said, surfing on the beaches as an Olympic sport. It's a great city. What we have on offer is fantastic. We have a well-connected South-East Queensland and northern New South Wales, which offers tremendous practicality and appeal to the international community. The 2018 Comm. Games demonstrated that the Gold Coast can deliver world-class events with professionalism and style. We invite all teams to come to the Gold Coast from all over Australia right now to train for their sport.
My final point today, as we celebrate International Women's Day here at Parliament House, is that the 2032 Olympics is the catalyst for the Gold Coast to cement its reputation as the home for women's sports. At the Reimagine Forum that I convened last August, one of the key outcomes that we are looking for in our city is to cement the Gold Coast as the home for women's sports. We already have the Gold Coast Suns AFL women's team in Moncrieff and the Southport Sharks women's team—which ended up first on the ladder in the last season, and I congratulate them for that. Once we get a stadium with 10,000 capacity on the Gold Coast, we will be able showcase AFL women's games a lot better. I would also like to commend the member for Fairfax for the work that he has done in leading a delegation for the federal government to secure the 2032 Olympics, and I look forward to making sure that we deliver that for Queensland.