Queensland state confirms Australian bid for 2032 Olympics

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The political leader of Australia’s Queensland state has re-affirmed her commitment to a bid to host the 2032 Olympics around Brisbane.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed after a meeting with International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates on Monday that she’d convene a 2032 taskforce early next year.

“It’s very important from a Queensland point of view that we get to see what happens with the Tokyo Olympics in this post-COVID world,” she said. “And hopefully with the positive signs of the vaccine, things could be very positive in the future. So we’re here to keep an open mind.”

Coates, who is also president of the Australian Olympic Committee, said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been supportive of the bid during a meeting in Japan last month with IOC president Thomas Bach.

“I think with COVID under control in this country largely that it is time for everyone to reaffirm their commitment to these games,” he said, adding that the IOC was in preliminary talks with at least four potential bidders.

The Queensland bid will include cities in the southeast of the state and be centered around Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner issued a statement in support of the bid but said the Council of Southeast Queensland Mayors is “mindful not to get carried away with the hype of an Olympic Games and to ensure a Games delivers tangible and lasting … legacies.”

“I don’t think anyone wants to see an Olympic Games delivered just for the sake of it,” he said, “Particularly not the mayors of southeast Queensland.”

Palaszczuk announced last year that Queensland would bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games and Paralympics and it had the support of the federal government, although the planning was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Estimates released in May last year put the cost of hosting the games at 5.3 billion Australian dollars ($3.6 billion), based largely on the use of existing facilities.

Olympic cost estimates are notoriously low and usually soar.

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed eight months ago, and rescheduled to be staged from July 23, 2021. Organizers have estimated the additional cost for the Games could $2.8 billion.

Prior to the postponement, Japan said the Olympics would cost $12.6 billion, although a government audit last year said it could likely cost twice that much.

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