Queensland Premier claps back at athletes Olympic stadium criticism

queensland
Premier Steven MIles has rejected criticism of his infrastructure plans ahead of the Olympics.

An open letter by well-known Olympians and Paralympians criticising plans for the Brisbane 2032 Games has been dismissed by Queensland Premier Steve Miles.

The open letter took aim at the government’s plan to ignore its own review into the Games infrastructure that called for building a $3.4 billion stadium at Victoria Park and instead revamp Lang Park, the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) and the Gabba.

“While we understand that you want to get the best value for taxpayers out of the Games, we do not believe that the QSAC site represents that, not just financially but also in terms of a legacy for Brisbane and Queensland,” the letter stated.

“And frankly, a main stadium with a capacity of only 40,000 would be an embarrassment which in no way would represent the go-ahead spirit of Queensland.

“We all remember the magnificent event that Sydney put on in 2000.

“Queensland deserves something equally spectacular, without a centrepiece that would reek of compromise. It’s not too late to change your mind, Mr Miles.”

The athletes also took aim at the QSAC revamp, saying the disruption would impact athletes training ahead of the Olympics in 2032.

Miles said in response that he couldn’t justify the big price tags attached to a new build stadium.

“…I can’t justify spending billions more on stadiums, no matter how many swimmers ask me,” he said.

“I think we can upgrade the Gabba, deliver a suitable stadium for those sports, without needing to take billions of dollars.”

Read the full letter below.

Dear Premier,

We, the undersigned, representing current and former Queensland Olympians and Paralympians, implore you to revisit your decision to host the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics events at the current Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre at Nathan.

While we understand that you want to get the best value for taxpayers out of the Games, we do not believe that the QSAC site represents that, not just financially but also in terms of a legacy for Brisbane and Queensland.

And frankly, a main stadium with a capacity of only 40,000 would be an embarrassment which in no way would represent the go-ahead spirit of Queensland.

Also, the QSAC facility is the nursery of athletics in this state, and any disruption to the site could only hurt our performance in our home Games.

We all remember the magnificent event that Sydney put on in 2000. Queensland deserves something equally spectacular, without a centrepiece that would reek of compromise.

It’s not too late to change your mind, Mr Miles.

Signed:

Curtis McGrath

Grant Hackett

Monique Murphy

Karni Liddell

Brenton Rickard

Brooke Hanson

Melanie Wright

Chris Wright

Geoff Huegill

Jon Sieben

Andrew Baildon

Sally Pearson

Leisel Jones

Jessicah Schipper

Emily Petricola