April 13, 2021


Liam Howe

Boosting Brisbane beyond the ’30s

In late February, the IOC formally selected Brisbane as the preferred bidder for the 2032 Olympic Games.

This is huge news. I am really excited about what this means for Brisbane. I believe it will allow the City – and more broadly, South-East Queensland – to make serious ground on Sydney and Melbourne, resulting in better opportunities for our children over the next 50 years.

After the 2018 Commonwealth Games rolled out through the Gold Coast between 2013 and 2018, we’ve gained some massive infrastructure legacy benefits, such as the Aquatic Centre and the fabulous Carrara Sports Precinct. I’m also inclined to recall the immediate, and now lasting effect for Gold Coast based businesses like ours involved in delivering temporary infrastructure, live-sites and all the other peripherals that were essential to making the games happen.

But perhaps more importantly, I believe the major benefit of the GC2018 event was the Gold Coast’s coming-of-age as a result of all this. The biggest transformation I noticed over that period was in the confidence and maturing of the City’s businesses and conversations.

Those Games sparked interactions and activities between sectors that were previously operating in silos. We synthesized and lobbied together for the best outcomes for GC businesses. As a result, the interactions between the Gold Coast and the State Bureaucrats in Brisbane increased exponentially.

Another outcome was an enhanced connection to all aspects of our identity. The GC2018 Organising Committee was able to help the community engage with our indigenous heritage, facilitating heightened levels of respect for the land and its history.

Clearly, the Brisbane 2032 bid will involve all cities in the south east corner, including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. This will require a measure of co-ordination not seen before between these cities, at all levels of Government.

With the Olympics being exponentially larger than the Commonwealth Games, one can project that the 2032 Games would not only set Brisbane on a trajectory of growth and further maturation, it would also create a dynamic where the entire South East Corner operates, necessarily, as one big city.

One big city connected by state-of-the-art transport, world-class infrastructure, supported by a culture and lifestyle enviable the world over.

I am incredibly excited for the journey over the next 11 years, and looking forward to iEDM being able to play a significant part in an extraordinary chapter in Queensland’s history.