Premier Steven Miles may just prolong contracts for Olympics improve at athletics centre till after state election


Queensland Premier Steven Miles could wait until after the state election to lock in contracts for a key 2032 Olympic Games stadium upgrade, but he wants construction to begin on smaller venues within months.

Mr Miles has also revealed he spoke with International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president John Coates in the days before announcing his new plans for Games venues.

The government last week axed its plans to rebuild the Gabba, with Suncorp Stadium now set to host the Games’ opening ceremony and the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) to be used for athletics.

Speaking on ABC Radio Brisbane on Monday morning, Mr Miles suggested he was open to delaying his plans to revamp QSAC until after the October election.

the gabba stadium

The Queensland government had initially planned to make the Gabba the main arena for the 2032 Games.(ABC News: Christopher Gillette)

“I’ve offered to engage with the leader of the opposition [David Crisafulli] to make sure that he’s fully briefed and understands our plans,” he said.

“If he asked us to delay the tender on that one, we’d consider that request depending on what that meant for the finishing time frame.

“The message I’ve heard is that it’s time to get on and do these things now that we know what we are going to do.”

Mr Miles indicated his government would lock in projects he believes are not contentious before the October poll.

A wide shot of Suncorp Stadium. A bronze statue of WAlly Lewis lifting a trophy in the foreground.

Suncorp Stadium is now expected to host the opening and closing ceremonies.(ABC News: Chris Gillette)

This would include smaller community sporting venues and regional stadium upgrades.

“They will start going to tender from April,” Mr Miles said.

“We want to get on with those and we want to see those delivered.

“In fact, I’d like to see construction underway on some of them prior to the election.”

Timeline for alternative plans

Earlier this year, the government commissioned an independent 60-day review led by former Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk to probe infrastructure plans for the Games.

The review suggested the Gabba be demolished and the site be repurposed, and that a new stadium be built at Victoria Park at a cost of $3.4 billion.

It also warned against using QSAC to host track and field events, finding that an upgrade to the venue did not represent value for money.

Mr Miles ultimately rejected these proposals.

He wants to instead use QSAC for the athletics, which he says was proposed by Mr Coates.

The inside of the stadium showing crowds, people on the field and fireworks.

The government has now dumped its plans to spend $2.7 billion on a major rebuild of the Gabba.(Supplied: Queensland government)

The premier indicated he had spoken on the phone with Mr Coates before Mr Quirk’s review was released, but after the government had received a draft copy.

“What happened was Graham Quirk indicated to us what his likely recommendation would be, and I knew that that was likely to be unacceptable,” Mr Miles said on Monday.

“We started working then on what an alternative would be.

“The fact is anything we decided would have to be negotiated with the IOC … so adopting the proposal that came from John Coates effectively jumped us ahead on that process of negotiation.”

Mr Miles insisted the government had still made its final decisions on the venues after it received Mr Quirk’s review.

LNP promises 100-day venue review

Opposition leader David Crisafulli last week said he did not support a new stadium for the Games.

David Crisafulli

Opposition leader David Crisafulli has committed to a 100-day review if the LNP wins power in October.(ABC News: Mark Leonardi)

He has vowed to set up an independent coordination authority that would be tasked with conducting a 100-day review of the Games’ venues.

“Queenslanders were told 1,000 days ago that there wouldn’t be new stadiums. That was never part of the deal,” Mr Crisafulli said on Friday.

Queenslanders will head to the polls on October 26.

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