IOC officials discuss Queensland Olympics bid
HOPES of a 2032 Queensland Olympics have been boosted with IOC officials impressed by the outstanding success of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The Courier-Mail has learned informal meetings were held on the Gold Coast during the Games to discuss the Olympics bid, as momentum builds towards a tilt to bring the world's greatest sporting showpiece to the state's south-east.
GOLDOC chairman Peter Beattie said visiting IOC officials witnessed the success of the Commonwealth Games first-hand, but warned a bipartisan federal agreement to underwrite the event must be secured for bid to fly.
The cost of the bid would be at least the $US12 billion that Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers say it will cost to host their Games.
"I know the IOC has an interest in the Commonwealth Games and has an interest in south-east Queensland considering a bid for the Olympics,'' Mr Beattie said.
"They will have seen our capacity to run a Games in the south-east corner. There's a recognition globally that we really do these events well.''
"They (Queenslanders at the Games) are enthusiastic, but money is what drives enthusiasm to reality.
"The two weaknesses (in an SEQ bid) are that you need a big stadium and the $12 billion (US dollars) - other than that we could do it tomorrow.
"No State Government can do the heavy lifting of investing in an Olympics, as the State Government has done with the Commonwealth Games."
The visiting IOC delegates included team officials from several Commonwealth nations.
A feasibility study commissioned by the SEQ Council of Mayors is to be delivered in mid-year and help the mayors decide later this year whether to make a bid to the IOC.
The Australian Olympic Committee, which must submit any Australian bid, urged south-east Queensland to bid for the Olympic Games last year when AOC president John Coates made championing a bid from the region part of his platform for re-election.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has been intent on delivering the Commonwealth Games before commenting again on an SEQ Olympics bid, steadfastly refused to answer questions on the bid, but has previously emphasised Federal funding would be essential.
Mr Beattie said his confidence in how an SEQ Olympics could be delivered has been revived by the successes in staging the Gold Coast Games.
"That is because of how well our transport went, with two million passenger trips (on public transport), our ticket sales of 1.194 million as of yesterday, and the organisation skills that will now reside on the Gold Coast from these Games,'' he said.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has again ruled out the Glitter Strip's involvement in a bid for the 2032 Olympic Games. On Saturday he reiterated his council would not commit funding towards a possible south-east Queensland bid.
The council voted last year to not financially support a potential 2028 bid.
Cr Tate said the Olympics were a huge "step up" from the Commonwealth Game and it was unfair to even consider imposing the costs of such a bid on ratepayers.
"The City wishes any SEQ council that joined a potential bid every success but the focus on council from 2018-19 onwards is to continue to deliver the services ratepayers expect, at a price they can afford," he said.
An IOC vote for the 2032 Olympics host would not be taken for several years, most likely 2025.
The push for an Olympic bid comes as Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones gives the Gold Coast Games a A++ rating.
Before the Games began 10 days ago, Ms Jones promised they would be the "best ever".
On Saturday, she said she believed they have been.
She said the Games had been "awesome" and would transform the Coast.
Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie said the Games have been "bloody fantastic".
"This has been an overwhelming success," he said.
"It has put the Gold Coast on a world stage in a way that's never happened before."
Mr Beattie said more than 1.2 million tickets had been sold and social media coverage had been "extraordinary".
Gold Coast City Council CEO Dale Dickson said the Games had been "city-changing" and the decision to host it was the most important in the Coast's history.