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On your marks: Sponsors, CEO first items on agenda for Olympics committee chief

Olympics

The Brisbane Olympics organising committee president Andrew Liveris says appointing a chief executive for the 2032 games and securing sponsors are his first priorities.

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The organising committee board, including Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, held its inaugural meeting on Thursday.

Liveris, a former Dow Chemical Company chief executive, says his focus is on appointing a chief executive for the Olympics and Paralympics.

“There’s a lot of input to get the planning right for what is in fact 10 years away, so that of course means we’ve got to recruit a CEO,” he told reporters in Brisbane.

“And that’s very, very key, and that will be a topic here today.”

Liveris said he’s also concentrating on the budget for the 2032 events, as there’s a commitment that the Olympics and Paralympics be cost neutral and not burden Australian or Queensland taxpayers.

He said that means securing domestic and international sponsorships for games, which would need to match or exceed the International Olympic Committee’s contribution.

“This is a very big number and we’re going to go to work on it,” Liveris said.

“I hope to bring my international connectivity to that. I’ve got some experience with talking to corporations and in fact being part of it, but of course I’ll lean a lot on my board.”

The Olympics will be the first regional games with events to be held in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Cairns.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates said all of Queensland would benefit from the events, financially and culturally.

He said hosting the event could also boost sporting participation, including for disabled people, across the country.

Coates expects that international athletes, particularly from the region, will start training in Queensland four years before the games begin.

“This is a pretty good place to basically go into Asia, and I think it will attract a lot of Asian teams here,” Coates said.

“For me, it’s a matter of delivering these games for all of Queensland, and involving Australia as well.”

Palaszczuk said hosting the the games will also inspire the next generation of Australian athletes.

“The inspiration out there for the students in school at the moment to realise their potential, and to partake in the Olympics, think that has to be front and centre,” she said.

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