Queensland nix calls to revisit Gabba rejig


Queensland rejects call to review The Gabba budget Image: Government of Queensland

Queensland has rejected calls from a Senate inquiry to review its plan to spend AUD$2.7 billion (£1.4 billion/$1.7 billion/€1.6 billion) on redeveloping the Gabba Stadium in Woolloongabba, Australia, for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane.

‘inside the games’ stated that an interim report published in Canberra examining preparations for Brisbane 2032 suggested the organizing authority consider other sites and venues.

The 42,000-capacity Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Gabba, is a major sports stadium in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia. The nickname ‘Gabba’ derives from the suburb of Woolloongabba, in which it is located.

The 2032 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXV Olympiad and also known as Brisbane 2032, is an upcoming international multisport event proposed to be held between July 23rd to August 8th, 2032 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

The 2032 Summer Paralympics, officially the 19th Summer Paralympic Games and commonly known as Brisbane 2032 are an upcoming major international multisport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee scheduled to be held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, from August 24th–September 5th, 2032.

Bonn (Germany)-based the International Paralympic Committee is an international non-profit organization and the global governing body for the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Paralympic Games and functions as the international federation for nine sports.

‘inside the games’ further stated that the inquiry recommended that those involved in the planning of Brisbane 2032 should “urgently review the decision to host athletics events at the Gabba Stadium”.

They added, “The review should consider the feasibility of alternative options, including using the existing infrastructure, and work to find a solution that is acceptable to these communities. It may also be unwise and inappropriate for the Government to insist that a redeveloped Gabba host the athletics for the Games.”

The call came after Victoria withdrew from hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games amid claims that costs had risen to AUD$7 billion (£3.6 billion/$4.5 billion/€4.2 billion).

The Senate Committee also deliberated on the position in Victoria and strongly condemned the decision to pull out of staging the Games.

Costs for the Gabba rebuild, increasing capacity by 8,000 seats to 50,000, have more than doubled, with land between the stadium and the nearby Southbank declared a priority development area.

The local residents have also objected to the planned demolition of the heritage-listed East Brisbane State School which is situated close to the Gabba.

The report added, “The State Governments should not use major events as an excuse to fast-track already-planned urban development against the wishes of their citizens and the local communities, and without due diligence.”

The Committee was also concerned about the proposal to build an expensive Whitewater Centre at Redlands (Australia local Government area), proposing facilities purpose-built for the Sydney Games as a cost-effective option.

But Queensland’s Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe claimed that the report contained factual errors and provided no new insight into the delivery of the Games – “I didn’t learn massively new things through the process but we welcome all those people who are interested in making sure that the Brisbane 2032 Games are delivering great things for Queensland. When you look at the interim report and you read it carefully and you note the factual errors that are in it, I trust that some of those are probably typos or rushed to get the interim report out in a certain time frame – I’m not sure what that was. I didn’t learn anything greatly new out of this report.”

Hinchliffe insisted that the Queensland Government was committed to redeveloping the Gabba – “The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games represent a transformational opportunity for Queensland, much bigger and much more extraordinary in terms of the transformation than anything we’ve seen or experienced before. We’ve got to grasp that opportunity and make sure that it delivers well beyond the event and take the vision to see what is not only a stadium redevelopment, but is a precinct redevelopment of the whole Gabba area. The Gabba is the way in which we will deliver a world-class experience not just for the Games but for Queensland and for Brisbane for decades to come.”

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