Queensland getting on with 2032 Olympics preparations

Keira Jenkins and Laine Clark |

Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee head Andrew Liveris says he’s getting on with the job.
Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee head Andrew Liveris says he’s getting on with the job.

The head of Brisbane 2032 says Olympic plans are underway after the Queensland government was forced to deny it sought advice on cancelling the Games.

Andrew Liveris says a path toward Brisbane 2032 is being planned despite the state government coming under fire for ignoring an infrastructure review’s key findings.

The 60-day review recommended a $3.4 billion stadium be built at Victoria Park in Brisbane’s CBD as the 2032 centrepiece, saying it was the best legacy project.

It also warned the state government not to use the 49-year-old Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) for Olympic track and field events, saying it required a $1.6 billion upgrade that was “very hard to justify”.

Suncorp Stadium manager Alan Graham (left) and Premier Steven Miles.
Steven Miles (right) has opted to upgrade QSAC and Suncorp Stadium for the Olympics in 2032. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

However premier Steven Miles ruled out the Victoria Park plan, instead opting to upgrade QSAC for athletics events and Suncorp Stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner on Wednesday became the latest to take aim at the government over their call, saying another $500 million would be needed to fix QSAC’s transport problems.

Mr Liveris said there would be “lots of opinions” ahead of the Games but they were getting on with Olympic preparations after the review’s findings.

“A review of venues and the game’s master plan is very normal in the history of Olympic and Paralympic committees,” he told Melbourne’s Sport NXT conference on Wednesday.

“And there’ll be natural ebb and flow in sentiment.

“Recommendations from it (review) are being assessed for their appropriateness and decisions will be made with full consultation of our organising committee and the IOC and AOC and provide a path forward for the Australian and Queensland governments to decide on.”

Mr Liveris said the organising committee would focus on keeping to the timeline and budget ahead of the Brisbane Olympics which start on July 23 2032.

His commitment comes after the state government denied a Nine News report on Tuesday night that it had considered cancelling the Games due to  venue cost and public support concerns.

“This government is absolutely committed to delivering the best Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games ever,” Mr Miles told parliament on Wednesday.

“But we will do it under the new norms. We will do it with a focus on delivering the transport infrastructure needs.”

Mr Miles said he could not justify committing to the $3.4 billion Victoria Park project during a cost of living crisis.

But lord mayor Mr Schrinner said the government would be looking at spending money in that ballpark anyway on upgrades to QSAC, the Gabba and Suncorp Stadium.

He said the government would need up to $500 million to improve QSAC transport on top of the $1.6 billion venue revamp.

Another $1 billion is planned for Gabba-Suncorp Stadium improvements.

Mr Schrinner believed the money would be better spent on the Victoria Park project, saying it would leave a lasting legacy.

“We will work with the government based on whatever decision they come up with but ultimately the question rightly needs to be asked…is this decision the right one?” he said.

“I don’t want… Queenslanders in 20 years’ time to look back and think that we wasted an opportunity here.”

Runners compete at the QSAC.
An upgraded QSAC would reportedly be the smallest Olympic track and field stadium since 1928. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

An upgraded 40,000-seat QSAC would reportedly be the smallest Olympic track and field stadium since the 1928 Amsterdam Games.

The review said its smaller capacity would “potentially leave little opportunity for the general public to attend major finals”

The venue’s location 20km away from the Olympic village would also ensure “significant” travel time for athletes, it said.