Games Minister: I want people looking forward to this (perhaps chat to the Premier)

The federal government is set to ask for more details after concerns have been raised by the Queensland government’s Brisbane 2032 infrastructure plan.

Mar 21, 2024, updated Mar 21, 2024
Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells addresses the National Press Club in Canberra (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Federal Sports Minister Anika Wells addresses the National Press Club in Canberra (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Federal Sport Minister Anika Wells said it was a shame people were unhappy with the state government’s decision to ignore an Olympic infrastructure review’s key recommendations this week.

But she was hopeful a Brisbane Olympic organising committee meeting on Friday would be a step toward the 2032 Games turning into a “coming of age moment” for Queensland.

“It’s a shame that things have come to this point where Queenslanders and Australians are unhappy with where things are at in terms of the preparation for the Games,” Ms Wells told Nine’s Today Show on Thursday.

“We don’t want that. I want people to be looking forward to this.

“We are going to need to do more work and work harder to demonstrate to people that we still can make this a coming of age moment in a really special time.”

The state government was this week forced to deny reports that they sought advice on cancelling the Brisbane Games amid venue cost and public support concerns.

They were asked by the opposition if they had considered the option at Monday’s cabinet meeting before reportedly backing down when it was discovered it would cost up to $1 billion in compensation and billions more in federal funding.

Former world champion swimmer Cate Campbell has since led a chorus of disapproval by athletes over the state government’s 2032 venue plan unveiled this week.

Premier Steven Miles ignored an infrastructure review’s recommendation to build a $3.4 billion stadium at Victoria Park in Brisbane’s CBD as the 2032 centrepiece.

The review also warned not to use the 49-year-old Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) for Olympic track and field events due to accessibility and public transport issues.

Mr Miles ruled out the Victoria Park plan and opted to upgrade QSAC for athletics events, Suncorp Stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies and revamp the ageing Gabba.

Ms Wells said she would be raising athletes’ concerns at the Brisbane Olympic organising committee meeting on Friday.

“When I make decisions as federal sports minister, I am always athlete-led,” she said.

InQueensland in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

“So the moment I hear that athletes are concerned I am concerned as well.

“That is something I will be raising.”

Ms Wells said the organising committee meeting will be a chance to talk honestly about “regaining the trust of the people”.

She said the federal government will also need more detail on the new infrastructure proposal before an agreement can be struck on funding.

It comes amid questions surrounding QSAC’s suitability as an Olympic venue.

The review said QSAC would require a $1.6 billion upgrade that was “very hard to justify”.

Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said this week QSAC would require up to $500 million in additional funding to fix its transport problems.

Campbell has been a vocal critic of the infrastructure plan and was backed by fellow swimming great Leisel Jones on Thursday.

“This is our opportunity to really step forward and put Brisbane on the world map and I think we have fumbled it so far,” she told Nine’s Today.

Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy