Queensland Premier Seeking 50/50 Funding Split to Hold the Brisbane Olympic Games

April 26, 2021 Updated: April 26, 2021

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is pushing for a 50/50 funding split with the federal government to host the potential 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

On February 24, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose Brisbane as the preferred candidate for the 2032 Olympics. If following negotiations with the Games chiefs and the federal government goes well, Brisbane will become the third Australian city to hold an Olympic Games, after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

The operating costs for an Olympic Games is about AUS$4.5 billion (US$3.45 billion), with the IOC contributing AUS$2.5 billion (US$1.94billion), approximately AUS$1 billion (US$777.5 million) from national sponsorship, and AUS$1 billion in ticketing, according to John Coates, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Chief who notes that the Brisbane Games are expected to be much cheaper thanks to the IOC’s new requirements for host cities to use existing infrastructure where possible.

“That’s enough to pay for both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games without any call on the state or federal or local governments,” Coates said.

However, the premier’s decision to “essentially demolish” and redevelop the Gabba stadium as the main arena for the Games will cost an estimated AUS$1 billion. Located in a central position to the Queensland CBD, Gabba stadium has been used for sports like cricket and AFL for 126 years.

Epoch Times Photo
Proposed pedestrian plaza at the Gabba stadium in Brisbane, Australia. (Queensland Government)

“We’re asking for a 50/50 split [in funding] when it comes to what’s required for the Olympics,” Palaszczuk said, confirming that the state is negotiating with the federal government about the upgrade.

“We are actually going to lift this stadium,” she said. “There will not be a bad seat in the house.”

Rod McGeoch, the head of Sydney’s Olympics bid, told The Australian that the NSW government took on most of the infrastructure burden for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

“That didn’t happen in Sydney,” McGeoch said, referring to Palaszczuk’s request of a half and half funding split.

The federal government paid $150 million (US$116 million) for venues, facilities & infrastructure, and nearly $100 million (US$78 million) for events & coordination, according to a 2002 NSW government report (pdf) on the financial contribution to the Sydney 2000 Games. The NSW government spent around $1186 million (US$922 million) on construction and $1326 million (US$1031 million) for the event and coordination.

While Prime Minister Morrison has yet to respond to the Queensland premier, McGeoch said that Morrison’s background in tourism would make him recognize these activities benefit the whole nation.

“(The federal government has) given money to bids and conventions,” he told The Australian. “Whether she (Palaszczuk) can twist him (Morrison) into half, God only knows.”