By Ben Slack | 13 Jun 2019

Brisbane’s bid for the 2032 Olympic Games will likely catalyse positive change in our state – with good reason. World events have always helped us grow.

The 1982 Commonwealth Games and Expo ’88 are acknowledged by many as significant step-changes in the evolution of our city, a coming of age for Brisbane and a jolt of confidence for the region.

The 2032 Olympic Games bid is a similar opportunity. As the next step in our continuing evolution as a region, the bid also represents a chance to reframe what we tell tourists.

By creating a legacy event – through careful planning – the whole of Queensland can benefit from having the world’s attention on us.

While visitor numbers will boom, that’s only one of a raft of potential benefits. Others are just as tangible including infrastructure and services. Others will be unseen but certainly felt, as we experience a sense of pride, investing in our region for athletes and world visitors in the short-term, Queenslanders in the long-term.

The IOC’s recent commitment to creating a legacy for host cities – to ensure the continued use of facilities and infrastructure long after the games have ended – offers a solid foundation from which to build our bid.

What can we develop that already exists? How can we integrate our natural environment and assets?


We can use the bid to generate jobs, create new infrastructure on the ground and build transport infrastructure and social housing

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This new model of the games helps us to consider the needs of communities and offers greater value for money.

We can use the bid to generate jobs, create new infrastructure on the ground and build transport infrastructure and social housing, before we even start to think about new sports and recreation facilities.

Prior to the Sydney Olympics, employment swelled to a 15,600 increase in jobs at its peak, and an overall increase in 5300 jobs between 1994-2006.

Our state could benefit greatly from an influx of new jobs – now and in the lead up to 2032.

We’ll need people in hotels, restaurants, bars and other destinations, as well as construction.

Similarly, a raft of economic benefits could help to bolster our economy.

In the lead up to the Sydney Olympics foreign investment grew from 2.6 per cent in 1995 to 14.1 per cent in 1998.

The overall economic benefit of the games has been estimated at over $6 billion. Property values in London rose where events were held by an average of 29 per cent.

With increased attention on our region, we’re also more likely to focus on air and water quality, regeneration of certain locations and the greening of our cities and regions.

Given the breadth of what Queensland has to offer, Brisbane’s 2032 bid is also an opportunity to embrace the regions when it comes to staging events. This would help to direct the flow-on benefits of the games beyond southeast Queensland and promote our state as a premier tourist destination.

Imagine a cycling event between Cairns and Port Douglas or soccer match in Townsville. Events like these might help to reposition Queensland and ignite our collective pride.


This article was originally published by the Courier Mail, click here to read on.