Renewed call for new stadium build for Brisbane 2032

Savannah Meacham |

Brisbane 2032 Olympic organising committee CEO Cindy Hook has reignited debate about venues.
Brisbane 2032 Olympic organising committee CEO Cindy Hook has reignited debate about venues.

A Brisbane Olympic boss has called on people to argue their case for a new stadium despite the Queensland government opposing it.

However, the 2032 Games organising committee CEO Cindy Hook is confident the Brisbane Olympic infrastructure rollout will be sustainable and deliver legacy impacts.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles has come under fire for disregarding an independent review’s key recommendations before finalising an Olympic infrastructure plan.

The review by former Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk backed building a new $3.4 billion, 55,000-seat stadium at Victoria Park in inner Brisbane as the 2032 centrepiece.

Instead, the premier opted to upgrade ageing facilities the Gabba, Suncorp Stadium and Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC).

Ms Hook did not criticise the government’s call on Wednesday, saying it was up to policymakers to choose how to spend their money.

However, she said people should push the government to build a new stadium for the Games if that was what they wanted.

“If you think Brisbane is a growing city that needs a new stadium I heard you might want to speak up on that,” she told a Queensland University of Technology business leaders’ forum in Brisbane.

Almost three years after Brisbane won the hosting rights, legislation was passed on Thursday to install the independent body responsible for overseeing and delivering the upgraded venues.

Ms Hook said the state government was yet to provide cost analysis and detailed plans to the organising committee.

“Let us get that information and study it, analyse it and from there we’ll say ‘these are the things that have to be met’,” she said.

Graham Quirk
Graham Quirk’s venue review backed building a new $3.4 billion, 55,000-seat stadium for the Games. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Asked if she felt the state government had failed to finalise the 2032 outlook, Ms Hook said the committee was “moving on a plan that the premier has laid out”.

“We’ve got to sort this thing out on QSAC and the Gabba, but don’t underestimate all the other great things that the government has committed to that are already in motion,” she said.

Ms Hook backed the Brisbane Games to follow the Olympics’ “new norm”, which was focused on delivering a cost-effective event with long-term benefits.

“The new norm is about choices for the future and I am confident the Games are going to be great,” she said.

Ms Hook said the organising committee was resolute about sustainability and legacy being at the forefront of the Games within the infrastructure parameters.

Brisbane organisers earned hosting rights 11 years before the 2032 Games.

Ms Hook said her goal was to make the significant lead time a blessing rather than a curse.

“One of the things I really focus a lot of time and thinking on is pace – you’ve got to keep the cost structure right, get what needs to be done now done now, and figure out what can be delayed,” she said.

Further delays to the rollout are possible, with the opposition to order a 100-day infrastructure plan review if it wins the October state election.

Ms Hook said the committee would remain adaptable given any political changes.

“Things can change with a change of government but I think that is a constant over the entire eight years (to 2032),” she said.