A proud Queenslander based in the south east and a Northern MP have crossed regional boundaries and united to demand the Palaszczuk Labor Government urgently reconsider its priorities and delay the 2032 Olympic Games bid.
Young Caboolture father Tyrone D’Lisle, who has a background in regional and urban planning, said he was alarmed when he first heard the LNP and then the Labor Government talking about an Olympics bid for Queensland.
“Myself and my family are proud Queenslanders and I have a passion for seeing our communities thrive,” he said.
“When I heard about the Olympics bid, I was concerned about the negative impacts this would have on our state.
“Previous host cities have been left with huge bills, and under-utilised or abandoned infrastructure as they put a short-term focus on delivering the games ahead of a long-term focus on delivering infrastructure and services for their people.
“I do not want to see Queensland make that same mistake.”
Mr D’Lisle said, after going online, he got a strong sense that many other Queenslanders had similar concerns, with people being particularly vocal about the need for drought relief, emergency planning, and attention to the economy over an Olympics cash splash.
“However I felt like this strong opposition wasn’t being heard by those in Parliament, so I started an E-petition to give these voices a real opportunity to be heard,” he said.
Armed with the E-petition, Mr D’Lisle contacted State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter, who has been vocal in his opposition to the 2032 Olympics bid, to seek his support and sponsorship of the E-petition.
“I contacted Robbie Katter and asked him to support my petition as I know that he is committed to seeing all of Queensland thrive, especially our regions, and not just the south east corner,” Mr D’Lisle said.
“I knew Robbie would share my concerns about the drought, unemployment in our regions, and the lack of long-term vision in delivering infrastructure for Queensland.
“I am very grateful for his support and I hope that the Queensland Parliament will take the concerns raised in this petition seriously.”
Mr Katter commended Mr D’Lisle for his initiative and said it was a no-brainer for him to sponsor the petition.
“This is not about raining on anyone’s parade, or being negative – it is about doing what’s right for our future,” he said.
“The Commonwealth Games was just a few years ago and it cost the state billions of dollars but largely the only benefit provided was to that host city.
“Further I’m told the latest Olympics in Rio blew out its budget at $13 billion USD – is this the sort of debt we want to be staring down the barrel at given the state of our economy and industries, particularly in the regions?
“In Queensland we are soon to be sitting on about $90 billion total debt, so it will be interesting to see where this sort of money will be plucked from if we are successful for 2032.
“According to our State Government we can’t afford more money to address the drought, or funding for vital infrastructure like dams, but we can most certainly afford to host the Olympic Games.
“This is shocking self-indulgence by those down on George Street and I hope with this petition we can get them to see sense.”
Mr Katter said he would most certainly support an Olympics bid for Queensland in the future, provided that critical policy concerns, like stabilising current industries, boosting the state’s economy and correcting concerning unemployment issues, are dealt with first.
The petition, which closes on November 24, is online at: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=3209
Full text of the petition:
“Queensland citizens draws to the attention of the House that there is strong community disapproval with Queensland seeking an Olympic bid for 2032. Queenslanders are concerned with the extraordinary costs associated with hosting an Olympic games, the fact that host cities never make back as much money from the event as they spend, the special protections awarded to Olympic sponsors at the exclusion of local businesses, and the disruption to normal civic life. Queenslanders believe that this money could be better spent dealing with immediate challenges facing Queensland such as the economy, drought, and vital infrastructure and services.
Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to resolve that no further government monies be spent seeking an Olympic bid until such time as that critical policy concerns, namely related to stabilising current industries, boosting the state’s economy and correcting concerning unemployment issues, are properly addressed.”