AOC chief: Meet me, Pauline, I’ll show you Games will work
SENATOR Pauline Hanson has recently questioned the potential of a Queensland Olympic Games on the basis of cost.
But running a Queensland Games will be cost neutral or even produce a surplus thanks to changes by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
They are not just changes, more a revolution in the way the Olympic Games are run.
Known as "The New Norm", these changes have made Games much cheaper to run, while delivering benefits that can last 20 years and beyond.
I have offered to take Senator Hanson through them, including the IOC contributing around $2.5 billion towards the operating costs.
When you add revenue from national sponsors and ticket sales, the operating costs of the Games themselves will not require any contribution from taxpayers or ratepayers.
These games-changing benefits were not available to previous Olympic hosts.
The IOC wants Olympic hosts to use existing venues as much as possible, reduce venue sizes and ensure the Games fit in with Queensland, not the other way around.
In the case of Brisbane and Queensland's candidature, we already have 85 per cent of the venues in place or planned. Any investment in further sports facilities and transport infrastructure is already required to cater for the state's growing population.
Senator Hanson also quotes an Oxford University study which deals with historical Olympic Games costs - but a more recent German study points out you also need to look at both the revenues and community benefits that flow.
And we know that the Games will be so much more than the eyes of the world on Queensland for two weeks of the world's greatest sports event.
The benefits start ten years before the Games' period and will last for another ten years to follow.
And these benefits will flow throughout Queensland.
Tourism, small to medium businesses supplying the Games, pre-Games training camps, construction and other jobs, plus the enormous boost to sport in Australia. Sport will be supercharged.
Today's 10-year-old child will be an optimistic 22-year-old in 2032 - with real job opportunities, actively involved in sport and living in a thriving state with a vibrant economy.
Senator Hanson is absolutely right to ask the question, but the answer, thanks to the New Norm and other changes, will reassure her and others who wonder what the Games will bring - in addition to those magical Olympic moments.
John Coates AC President, Australian Olympic Committee