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Games Goliath: Powerful new Olympics agency that will shape SEQ beyond 2032

Olympics

The future growth of south-east Queensland over the next 20 years is set to be guided by a powerful new government entity set up to coordinate the delivery of infrastructure associated with the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

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The Olympics Coordination Authority will be one of the most influential government agencies in the state – with sway over the development of Games-related venues like the Gabba and the Brisbane Live arena – and is likely to survive long after the Games have finished.

Legislation to establish the authority and the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games will be introduced within months as all levels of government start creating the nuts and bolts needed to deliver both the Olympics and the big transport infrastructure it will leave as a legacy.

The OCA may even evolve into a form of “SEQ Commission” to align and integrate the region’s development across government departments, a goal that business and enterprise groups have begun pushing in recent years. Reporting to a dedicated Games minister, it is likely to be headed up by a senior bureaucrat with experience in infrastructure delivery.

It will be set up at the same time as the OCOG as a government agency with federal, state and local government representatives.

Business groups have shown a keen interest in the governance mechanisms for the 2032 Games, seeing them as an opportunity to better meet the region’s long-term growth needs.

Documents associated with the successful Olympics bid show that the “legacy strategy” post-2032 hinges on the OCA ensuring the federal, state and local governments deliver on various infrastructure targets, according to a so-called “10 plus, 10 plus” timescale over the next 20 years.

While the organising committee will have primary responsibility for planning and staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the authority is likely to have a key influence on infrastructure decisions well after the event.

“To support effective delivery of legacy over the 10+10+ year programme OCA will be responsible for legacy oversight,” a report given to International Olympic Committee members states.

“OCA will also oversee whole-of-government and public-private sector coordination. OCA will continue to assure and support legacy delivery post-Games within this integrated legacy delivery framework.”

The authority will also control a “special initiatives legacy fund” and have a large say in transport planning lead up to and beyond 2032.

“Recognising the proposed involvement of the three levels of government in the governance arrangements of the Olympic Coordination Authority, OCA will be responsible for developing an annual and longitudinal (10+10+ years) monitoring and reporting system,” the report says.

“Within 12 months of appointment as host city, OCA will publish its first report which will include an outline of monitoring methodology mapped to a detailed legacy delivery programme and specific quantifiable targets alongside appropriate quality measures.”

 

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