‘Time to get to business’: State’s peak business body calling for policy certainty in state-wide Olympics infrastructure planning and investment

Tuesday 19 March, 2024 | By: Emma Clarke

Now is the time for Queensland leaders to commit to the full state-wide Olympic and Paralympic Games infrastructure build portfolio and get on with the job, Business Chamber Queensland says. 

CEO Heidi Cooper said Graham Quirk’s anticipated Olympics infrastructure review, delivered today, set the scene for Olympics builds in the lead up to 2032 and was a call-to-action for timely policy decision making and investment.  

“Now is the time for our political leaders to take ownership of this infrastructure portfolio, and make decisions to allow markets and businesses to understand what it means for them, and make way for the necessary investment and private sector planning,” Ms Cooper said.  

“Queensland was in the enviable position of having a decade-long planning period for the 2032 event. Now more than two years in, it’s time to get on with the job.  

“Now is the time for policy certainty in state-wide Olympics infrastructure planning and investment.” 

Ms Cooper said recommendations in the review to continue investment in regional infrastructure, capable of driving those communities, businesses and workforces now and in the future, was welcome.  

“Infrastructure investment in the South East is one piece of the Olympics puzzle and continued investment in regional Queensland is critical to complete the Olympics economic and social legacy picture,” Ms Cooper said.  

“This considered strategy to hold Olympics events across some of the most attractive parts of the state means the Olympics can be a state-wide event, with state-wide opportunities to match. 

“Alongside an expected influx in investment that accompanies travel, tourism and Games attendance, this will further deliver a strong legacy through an injection in employment and industry in those, and their neighbouring, regions.  

“To go alongside Games related infrastructure, there must be an equally committed focus on transport and logistics, including road and rail infrastructure. Our Pulse data shows more than 50% of businesses we surveyed expected this kind of business enabling infrastructure would help drive their business growth.  

“A whole of Queensland focus will improve liveability, economic resilience and sustainability in all regions across the state.” 

Ms Cooper said alongside long-term state-wide  infrastructure investment, an event of the size, scale and importance like the Olympic and Paralympic Games meant a world-class stadium was critical. 

“Investment in a world-class stadium in the heart of our city is essential to ensure we have a successful games and it will also mean Brisbane can be a global city for decades to come,” Ms Cooper said.  

“We want our city and our state to shine, a world-class stadium in Brisbane will allow that to happen. 

“It’s not just for the Games, and those few days in 2032. Fit-for-purpose infrastructure will continue to attract domestic and international tourism and investment, support local sporting teams, serve communities and businesses, and connect regional and urban areas, including those in Brisbane, for generations to come. 

“To achieve this, of course there needs to be just consideration of all the factors – cost, location, impact on communities and the necessary skills and workforce to construct and deliver these projects in the right place and at the right time. 

“Infrastructure is one part of the Games delivery and there is still work to do to ensure a whole of state legacy outcome.  

“The opportunity that will come from the Olympic and Paralympic games is enormous and it’s important we don’t lose sight of business, economic, workforce, community and export opportunities and legacy potential to come from the Olympics. The risk of missed opportunity is too great for us not to prioritise. 

“We need to think big. We need to be bold and we need to act now.”  

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.