Qld blueprint for 2032 Olympics and beyond unveiled
Laine Clark |
It was billed as a 20-year strategy for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and beyond.
But the bold plan unveiled by the Queensland government on Friday may also provide the blueprint for many more Olympics to come.
The Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy strategy – Elevate 2042 – was released after a year of community consultation and more than 14,000 suggestions.
The plan features what were described as “ambitious targets” to help not only prepare for the Olympics but also a far loftier goal – a healthier, more active and inclusive society.
“Our Games … were always about much more than a few weeks of events,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
The plan targets not only sport but also inclusion for disabled and First Nations people, connecting people through transport infrastructure and housing renewal as well as the economy and environment.
“This is about making sure that we realise all of the opportunities out of Brisbane 2032,” Mr Miles said.
“But the most important legacy of all will be for our people.”
However 2032 Games organising committee president Andrew Liveris said the strategy may also set the tone for all future Olympics.
Mr Liveris said colleagues were “gobsmacked” by the plan at the recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai, India.
“We were universally acclaimed as a one-of-a-kind presentation,” he said.
Elevate 2042 may yet prove a game-changer after a long history of hosts struggling to recover from staging a Games.
It reportedly took three decades for the 1976 host, Montreal, to repay their Olympic debt.
Greece went bankrupt after Athens hosted in 2004, with many of their Olympic venues now derelict.
Several cities have withdrawn their bids for the 2022, 2024, and 2028 Games over cost concerns.
“The Games maybe historically have had a … maybe negative impact as far as impact on the city that hosted it,” Mr Liveris said.
“The IOC is very conscious that that shouldn’t happen to future bids.
“So economic and environmental and social legacy is a big piece of what they want from future bids.”
The International Paralympic Committee was also impressed with the plan.
“It has already identified that it’s the most comprehensive and most inclusive strategy that they’ve seen to date and they’re immensely excited about what we have to offer,” Paralympics Australia president Alison Creagh said.
“It’s still not a level playing field with people with disabilities.
“(But) we think there’s amazing opportunities and Elevate 2042 helps get us there.”
Elevate 2042 has targeted four key areas.
One is sport, health and inclusion with an aim to create more opportunities for all people to play sport as well as high-performance pathways.
Another is connecting people and places, looking at ways to upgrade and expand transport infrastructure, and urban housing renewal.
The environment is the third key area, with a focus on accelerating the transition to renewable energy and advancing net zero emissions.
The plan’s final key target is the economy, including building global brand recognition for Brisbane and the region while helping grow local businesses and sectors plus developing workforce skills.
Two foundations of the plan are respecting, advancing and celebrating First Nations people; and looking at empowerment and accessibility for the disabled.
Key projects already identified are developing a Paralympic Centre of Excellence, turning the athletes’ village into a housing project and planning a First Nations cultural centre.
The next step will be an implementation plan next year that will identify priorities and drive delivery of legacy projects up to 2029.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Queensland Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.AAP