Thursday, 4 August 2022
Brisbane Olympic Games
If the new Treasurer and finance minister genuinely want to protect the budget, they will ensure that the Brisbane Olympic Games sporting infrastructure body that was part of the fifty-fifty funding deal between the Commonwealth and the Queensland state government is put in place. We know Queensland desperately does not want the discipline and oversight of this agency, but, as we've seen in recent weeks, there is a genuine need for proper control of spending and decisions relating to the delivery of the games' sporting infrastructure to the tune of billions of dollars.
Just this week, reports came of proposed changes to venues that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars extra, with the Commonwealth on the hook for 50 per cent of that. Queensland minister Grace Grace, describing the Gabba project, said:
We do not know the footprint. We do not know the design. We have a schematic sketch. We are still stabbing in the dark.
Frightening warnings indeed! If Australian taxpayers are in any way to be protected from the excesses of the scandal-ridden Queensland government in the decision-making and timely delivery of these major investments, the full deal must be insisted on.
Let's not forget that the only reason the 2032 Olympic Games are going ahead is that the Commonwealth government agreed to fund 50 per cent of the sporting infrastructure costs. The Queensland government said they would not bid unless we did. These Olympics will be a powerhouse for the country, with thousands of jobs and significant investment, but let's not lose sight of sound planning and prudent investment in the lead-up.