Queensland Maroons legend Thurston backs 2032 Games
Queensland Maroons and Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston believes the tourism, business and social benefits of a 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games could kickstart a gold rush for Queensland.
Johnathan Thurston has thrown his support behind the SEQ 2032 proposal and the opportunities it could create for the businesses and communities of regional Queensland.
“After having a close look at the SEQ 2032 proposal, I believe that a cost neutral Olympic Games would drive significant benefits back to Queensland. This is an economic injection that will start from the moment we secure the Games.
“Queensland is ready for the global stage. We’re ready for the international visitors, we have a great reputation for hosting world events, and we’re ready to showcase the many businesses, skills and products we have on offer across this state.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to promote our local businesses and tourism operators, but also inspire and engage our young people. Sport brings people together in a positive way, and there’s no bigger sporting event in the world than the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“This is bold, aspirational and something that should rise above local politics. I think Queensland is capable of addressing its current priorities while also planning for future opportunities like an Olympic Games,” said Mr Thurston.
Long serving North Queensland Cowboys Chairman, Laurence Lancini, joined Thurston in supporting the SEQ 2032 proposal and the widespread benefits that would extend well beyond the three-week sporting event.
“The opportunity of the Olympic Games is greater than just the three weeks of competition.
“The Games’ profile and power could kick start a decade of business and investor confidence, job creation and positive international exposure for all of Queensland in the lead up to 2032.
“We’ll have Olympic teams and athletes based across Queensland for years leading into the 2032 Games, contributing to the local economy, attracting spectators and promoting our state to their supporters back home.
“The SEQ 2032 proposal presents an amazing opportunity for Queensland, and our local leaders, businesses and community should be pushing to make the most of it,” said Mr Lancini.
Graham Quirk, former Brisbane Lord Mayor and Chair of the Council of Mayors (SEQ), started the push for an SEQ 2032 Games and knows the flow-on benefits for Queensland are likely to be significant.
“This speculation about the Games costing an exorbitant amount to host is simply not true.
“This is something the Council of Mayors (SEQ) has been investigating for five years now. Under the International Olympic Committee’s new reforms, the operations of the 2032 Games is forecast to be cost neutral while delivering billions in economic uplift back to Queensland.
“The Sydney 2000 Games are a great example of how regional Queensland will benefit from a Games in their own backyard. Cities and towns from across Queensland took advantage of pre-Games training opportunities, related business contracts and the significant boost to tourism.
“In the lead up to Sydney 2000, in excess of $400 million worth of Olympic-related contracts went to businesses across Queensland. This included a Townsville manufacturer who prefabricated buildings for the Olympic Village, creating 153 local jobs.”
The Sydney 2000 Games demonstrated the significant benefits and opportunities for regional Queensland that would be amplified in an SEQ 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including:
Queensland was Australia’s largest pre-Games training base in the lead-up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Queensland hosted more than 2,500 athletes during their Games preparation, including 179 international teams from 48 countries.
The direct benefit to the Queensland economy was estimated at between $45 and $50 million (2000 figures).
Queensland companies filled contracts to provide goods and services, from food and catering, building-related services, furniture and fit outs, and manufacturing. In excess of $400 million worth of Olympic-related contracts went to businesses across Queensland.
The Sydney 2000 Games generated the equivalent of $6.1 billion worth of international exposure and positive publicity.
The Sydney 2000 Games was estimated to have brought about a GDP uplift of between $6 billion and $7 billion.
It also delivered benefits of more than $22.3 billion to NSW and Australia, including $3 billion in international business outcomes, $1.2 billion in convention business, and $6 billion in inbound tourism spending in 2001 alone.
Infrastructure investment in the lead up to the Games generated 105,000 direct and indirect jobs, and lead to 55,000 people receiving employment related training.
The Council of Mayors (SEQ) started the investigation into a South East Queensland 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2015, culminating in the release of an SEQ 2032 Olympic Feasibility Study last year.
The Study showed the cost of a Games could be significantly reduced by reusing existing facilities across the south-east and Queensland. The International Olympic Committee supported this, boosting its financial contribution to ensure a cost neutral 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The SEQ 2032 proposal has since received the support of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Australian Olympic Committee. Work is now underway on a 2032 Games proposal to be lodged prior to the Tokyo 2020 Games in July.
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