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Brisbane on fast track to deliver 2032 Olympics despite transport questions

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After the International Olympic Committee announced Brisbane was its preferred host for the games, the spotlight shifted to the infrastructure needed.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner today welcomed the IOC’s vote of confidence in a Brisbane games.

Australian Olympic chief John Coates said the IOC would enter into exclusive talks with the bid team, and require governments to deliver an infrastructure package, for a final vote as early as mid-year ahead of the Toyko games.

“I think I can get those numbers,” Coates said.

While another Australian Olympics is seen as Coates’ likely legacy, a Brisbane-based games is expected to deliver legacy infrastructure upgrades for south-east Queensland.

Palaszczuk said that while 90 per cent of venues were already built or would be temporary additions – Coates suggested the opening ceremony could be held at Suncorp Stadium – there may yet be additions and upgrades, and transport infrastructure and accommodation was a work in progress.

“To get to the finishing line we will need the support of all three levels of government,” Palaszczuk said.

During a joint press conference, Council of Mayors (SEQ) Director and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson was asked about the prospect of fast rail connecting the region as previously flagged for the games.

The South East Queensland Council of Mayors had convinced governments to investigate potential fast rail connections from Brisbane to the Gold and Sunshine coasts and even Toowoomba.

“I think fast rail is a very important part of that,” Jamieson told journalists.

“Moving people around will be critical.”

But as Jamieson was speaking, Palaszczuk was in the background saying “it’s not in the bid, it’s not in the bid”. The bid documents do not include such a rail upgrade, despite giving both new and existing options for other infrastructure.

It was the first sign of tension between the three levels of government that still need to satisfy the IOC of their capacity to deliver not only the games but the infrastructure to support it.

The planned games are also yet to be given a name – internally, there are tensions over Brisbane appearing to win out over other regions – let alone a slogan or mascot.

However, the coming months will effectively set the scene for a global sporting event still more than a decade away.

Schrinner said the governments had worked well on the bid – it started six years ago – and would need to stick together to deliver on the promise.

“This is the best opportunity that our city, our region and our state has had in generations and we cannot let this goes to waste,” the Lord Mayor said.

Morrison said his government – which has yet to finalise a crucial SEQ City Deal – had made a record commitment of resources to support the bid.

The Prime Minister said it was an exciting day “but there is still a lot more to do”.

“I look forward to working with the Queensland government to achieve that,” Morrison said.

In parliament, Opposition leader David Crisafulli argued Queensland had been “starved of infrastructure” under Labor, but Palaszczuk promoted her government’s record.

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