28 March 2024

Games cannot be at expense of ‘generational infrastructure’ for FNQ: Crisafulli

| Lyndon Keane
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Should taxpayers really be footing the $7.1 billion bill to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane when so much critical remote infrastructure, like the Peninsula Developmental Road, is likely to be ignored by politicians amid the glitz and glamour of the quadrennial athletic gathering? Photo: Cape York Weekly.

Queensland opposition leader David Crisafulli says whatever form the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games take, the global events cannot come at the expense of vital infrastructure projects for the far north of the state.

The Queensland Government announced on 18 March it had accepted 27 of the 30 recommendations made by the independent Sport Venue Review for the events, but ruled out a new stadium at Victoria Park and a proposed rebuild of the Gabba.

The cost and feasibility of upgrading Suncorp Stadium and the ageing Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre are being investigated, but Mr Crisafulli said he was concerned the government was focusing on spending money on the wrong sort of infrastructure.

READ ALSO Scrap Olympics and make $7b spend on regional infrastructure: KAP

The Games must deliver for all Queenslanders with generational infrastructure and a 20-year-tourism plan,” he told Cape York Weekly.

“This would drive new product and bring visitors to places like the Far North of our state.”

While the opposition leader would not specify whether his “generational infrastructure” plan included much-needed upgrades to road and bridge infrastructure linking Weipa to Cairns, it is not the first time the planned $7.1 billion taxpayer commitment to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been criticised.

In February 2024, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) moved an unsuccessful crossbench motion to immediately take the steps required to completely cancel the event and redirect its budget to improving State Government services and rolling out critical infrastructure projects in regional and remote areas.

READ ALSO Olympics needs a legacy outside of south-east Queensland

Premier Steven Miles’ office has denied it sought advice about cancelling the events in recent weeks, with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach labelling the speculation “some kind of fake news”.

KAP leader Robbie Katter told Cape York Weekly after the motion attempt it was “delusional” to expect the Olympic and Paralympic Games would provide any benefit to Cape York and Torres Strait residents, despite assertions by the government every Queenslander would reap the rewards of playing host.

“Regional Queensland will be frozen in time as everything is syphoned to the south-east for 2032 and the years beyond,” the Member for Traeger said.

State opposition leader David Crisafulli says the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane must deliver “generational infrastructure and a 20-year-tourism plan” for areas like Far North Queensland and Cape York. Photo: Facebook (David Crisafulli MP).

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