How the Government will sell a no-frills Games by using the ‘South Bank effect’

The Palaszczuk Government is trying to sell a “South Bank effect” as a legacy of the 2032 Olympics.

Nov 10, 2023, updated Nov 10, 2023
Australia's Kurt Fearnley says the legacy would be defined after the Games (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Australia's Kurt Fearnley says the legacy would be defined after the Games (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

The glitz and glamour of previous Olympics, which delivered projects that never had another purpose, isn’t available anymore so the 2032 goal has been established to speed up infrastructure that was already on the drawing board.

It makes it a harder sell when hard-to-define goals like “inclusion and promoting greater understanding, pride, belonging and reconciliation through sport” are established.

Also, more than 14,000 ideas from the public were submitted to the organisers and the Government has tried to play down expectations by stating in several places in its Elevate 2042 report that while the Olympics can do anything, they can’t do everything.

There will be tangible benefits, namely an economic boost of $8.1 billion in direct social and economic benefits to the Queensland economy ($17.6 billion nationally) including increased trade and tourism of $4.6 billion to Queensland ($8.5 billion nationally).

But the Government also points to the legacy of Expo 88 as South Bank and how it wants to replicate the benefit of an asset that most residents can enjoy.

“By 2042, (the Games) success will be measured by the extent to which our future community is inclusive and connected, engaged equitably in economic, lifestyle and wellbeing opportunities and living more sustainably in a resilient landscape,” the report said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Olympics would be the starting line _ not the finish _ for new investment, new industries and new opportunities.

“Just as South Bank has been the lasting legacy of Expo 88 this report details what the community wants the 2032 Games to achieve,” the premier said.

Former Paralympian and Australian of the Year, Kurt Fearnley, said the legacy would be how people felt about the Games 10 years after they were over.

Four key areas have been named as targets: sport, health and inclusion; connecting people and places; environment, and economy. The inclusion goal was about creating ways for the disabled to be involved.

The Games would “support and embed” the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and ensure they were “spoken, heard and featured respectfully and appropriately across the Games, creating a lasting and living legacy of global and local significance”.

“The Games present an opportunity to make a change by using the Games to advance our economy, improve our environment, enhance our connectivity and build more inclusive communities through sport,” the Government said.

The next step would be to map out the first implementation plan, to be developed during 2024 in conjunction with each individual region, that will drive delivery of the early legacy activities up to 2029.

“The plan will identify the priority programs, projects, targets, partnerships, policy levers and funding sources that will be needed to make the legacy goals happen, with local communities and businesses helping prioritise the most important projects for their own areas,” the Government said.

The report also claimed new precincts and places in Albion, Northshore Hamilton, Kurilpa, Roma Street and Woolloongabba would be complemented by “the planned revitalisation of well-loved assets at South Bank and the delivery of the re-imagined Victoria Park, Barambin – in turn, transforming the community experience of Queensland’s capital”.

Projects of similar significance would emerge across Redlands, Moreton Bay, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, collectively making SEQ a world-class lifestyle region.







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