Independent delivery body forges on for Brisbane 2032

Savannah Meacham |

The independent body tasked with delivering Brisbane’s Olympic venues has been enshrined in law.
The independent body tasked with delivering Brisbane’s Olympic venues has been enshrined in law.

The independent body responsible for overseeing and delivering the upgraded venues for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics has been enshrined in law.

The Games Venue and Legacy Delivery Authority is a statutory body that will deliver the new and upgraded venues for the event at arms-length from the government.

It will have control over its own funds, operational independence and work within a flexible structure, the state government said.

“Queensland now has the best possible framework in place for our continued delivery of government activities to support the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Premier Steven Miles said in a statement.

The delivery of the Games in eight years’ time has been shrouded in controversy after the premier scrapped an independent review’s recommendations.

The Gabba grandstands (file image)
The Gabba will be redeveloped to host the 2032 Olympics. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

The 60-day review, led by former Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk, recommended a new $3.4 billion, 55,000-seat stadium be built at Victoria Park in inner Brisbane as the 2032 centrepiece.

The premier copped criticism for disregarding it, instead opting for the Gabba, Suncorp Stadium and the 49-year-old Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre to be upgraded.

The legislation ultimately passed with the support of the Liberal National Party on Thursday night, but the opposition pushed for an amendment to include another review, which is one of their October election promises.

“Give us 100 days with a proper independent co-ordination authority with the sole focus on generational infrastructure to truly show Queensland, including regional Queensland, that they can benefit,” Deputy Opposition Leader Jarrod Bleijie told parliament.

The new body has first been tasked with the rollout of upgrading the venues and establishing a Games co-ordination plan within 12 months and a transport plan within 18 months.

The Brisbane city skyline (file image)
The body’s initial tasks will be to deliver venue co-ordination and transport plans. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

“The Games Venue and Legacy Delivery Authority is the right model for a collaborative and co-operative approach to getting this done, and will build on all the progress we’ve already made,” Infrastructure Minister Grace Grace said.

Expressions of interest to build three Sunshine Coast venues and revamp the Chandler Indoor Sports Centre and pool in Brisbane’s south were released earlier this week.

Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee president Andrew Liveris welcomed the passing of the new laws.

“The Games will be the biggest event in Queensland’s history, and I have every confidence the new authority will be focused on achieving positive social and economic benefits across the state for generations to come,” he said.

An interim CEO will be appointed shortly and seven independent directors are expected to be heading the board by September.

The body will be open to public scrutiny with right-to-information processes available with some limitations at the request of the Australian and International Olympic Committees.

The limitations were pushed by the bodies to ensure sensitive financial and operational information such as international sponsorships remained confidential.