25 February 2024

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

| Lyndon Keane
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Katter’s Australian Party Queensland MPs, led by Member for Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto, are calling on the State Government to scrap the 2032 Olympic Games and invest the estimated $7 billion cost into northern infrastructure, including on Cape York. Photo: Supplied.

The 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games should be scrapped and the money spent on long-overdue infrastructure development in regional and remote part of Queensland, including Cape York.

That was the extraordinary message fired across the chamber in the Queensland Parliament last week when Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) spearheaded a crossbench motion to immediately take the steps required to cancel the event, and redirect its estimated $7 billion budget to improving State Government services and green lighting infrastructure projects.

Member for Hinchinbrook deputy KAP leader Nick Dametto said the outcome of the failed motion was inevitable, but added it shone the spotlight on the lunacy of spending money to host the quadrennial event when remote parts of the state were screaming out for infrastructure and service investment.

“Reallocating financial resources from the Olympic Games to critical infrastructure initiatives in the regions could catalyse job creation, stimulate investment, and enhance the liveability for present and future residents,” Mr Dametto said.

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

KAP said it was “delusional” to expect the event would benefit Cape York, with party leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter saying the government’s appetite to push ahead with the multi-billion-dollar commitment was a slap in the face for Queenslanders.

“Across the state, people can’t afford to feed their families or put a roof over their heads, and in the north, investment and construction is at a standstill,” he said.

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

Mr Dametto told Cape York Weekly that scrapping the Olympic Games plan would have allowed communities from the Northern Territory border, across to the east coast and up to Cape York, to gain access to infrastructure that would provide some mitigation against wet season conditions.

“It’s disappointing to know that one of Labor’s main priorities is the Olympics, when even a slither of that $7b budget would create overwhelming benefits if invested into the regions that so badly need it,” he said.

In early 2023, a delegation from Far North Queensland travelled to Brisbane to participate in a workshop to identify what statewide legacies could be put in place as a result of the state hosting the 2032 Olympic Games, including ongoing legacies for regional and remote areas like Cape York.

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