Ratepayers off the hook for games

The City has confirmed that ratepayers will not be asked to pay for the Gold Coast’s commitment to the 2032 Olympics.

“The Olympics is an opportunity we don’t want to miss. The event would supercharge expenditure in new public transport, community assets and global marketing exposure,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“At the same time, the ratepayers do not want to be hit with a special levy or charge to be part of the regional games. Today, Council has confirmed that we will protect ratepayers so that their rates are spent on what they want and need: improved local amenity.’’

Mayor Tate said if the International Olympic Committee announces that Brisbane 2032 has been successful, the coast would benefit from: extended light rail beyond Burleigh; works on the Coomera Connector; revitalised city beautification projects throughout the coast; possible heavy rail extension to the airport (from Varsity); and improvements to our airport and city security systems.

“All that is up for discussion as the Brisbane 2032 team works with the IOC on details,’’ he said.

“The investment in our area would run into the billions so that’s a huge job bonanza for families and a huge stimulus for our city. All positive outcomes.

“Separate to the federal/state/IOC investment, our Council may invest directly in its own city beautification projects, to complement the broader work.

“This could include refurbished foreshore amenities, new nature trails, more facilities for Broadwater Parklands, better street scaping and lighting and improved national and international marketing of the coast, including trade events and promotions.

“But that would be funds we choose to invest as part of improving our city – not specific to a Games bid. We do not want ratepayers to feel like they are paying for the Olympics.’’

Mayor Tate said the city’s major sports and community venues, as well as the new (yet to be built) Disaster Management Centre would be offered to the Games, as part of City goodwill.

“Venues that are post Commonwealth Games legacy are still ideal for the Olympics so we would definitely be willing to put those forward, once the list of sports the coast would host, is known.’’

A Brisbane 2032 decision is expected in July this year.

IMAGE (C) Danny Santangelo @ Santography

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