One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has demanded the 2032 Brisbane Olympics be canceled as preparations for the event appear to be a disaster.
International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates declared this week that the games were “up the nose” of the Queensland public after the government failed to redevelop the venue.
Former Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had proposed a redeveloped Gabba stadium as the crown jewel of the Olympic bid, but the project has been declared “dead” and Coates claimed the government did not promote alternative venues.
In January, Queensland’s new premier, Steven Miles, ordered a review of the redevelopment over fears the $1 billion price tag had ballooned to $2.7 billion.
Senator Hanson said on Thursday that “as early as 2018” her party had warned that “Labour’s Olympic vanity project was unviable and not adequately calculated”.
“We warned them that there would be budgetary waste and squandering,” he said.
‘We warned you before the 2022 state election. We warned you again.’
He pointed to cost estimates for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which soared from $3.2 billion to $6.9 billion, with the two-week event generating a $2.1 billion loss.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has called for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics to be canceled after redevelopment of its main stadium appears increasingly unviable.
Senator Hanson noted that the 2000 Sydney Olympics generated losses in terms of business and tourism.
His comments come after former Victorian Labor premier Dan Andrews last year sensationally canceled the 2026 Commonwealth Games in his state after cost estimates rose from $2.6 billion to $7 billion.
Premier Miles commissioned former Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk to investigate the Gabba project and the equally troubled Brisbane Arena project, which would see a 17,000-seat auditorium built over the Roma St railway line to host swimming events. .
But Coates, who was central to Australia securing the Sydney and then Brisbane Olympics, pre-empted the March 18 review this week by saying in an interview that the Gabba project “just doesn’t add up”.
“We have put it to the review committee that we should leave the Gabba and we should look for another venue for athletics,” Coates told News Corp.
He has proposed that the opening ceremony be held at Suncorp Stadium and the athletics ceremony at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre, site of the 1982 Commonwealth Games.
IOC vice-president John Coates said this week the Games were “on the nose” in Brisbane.
The redevelopment of Brisbane’s iconic Gabba stadium for the Olympics is all but canned after the cost soared to triple the original $1 billion cost.
Australian Olympic Committee president Ian Chesterman has since agreed there are better options than rebuilding the iconic Brisbane Games venue, and they would be put to a review committee.
Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the Gabba project was “dead”, while Infrastructure Minister Grace Grace said she would wait for the report.
Brisbane 2032 Organizing Committee president Andrew Liveris said the Gabba and Brisbane Arena projects had lost valuable time in preparation for the Games.
“I regret the loss of time and the distraction that has taken me away from the incredible achievement of winning these Games,” he said.
‘We need to not re-litigate every decision about venues and infrastructure. “We need to get the best results for all stakeholders and continue planning work for what will be the biggest event in Queensland’s history, and one we should all be proud of.”
Grace denied that time had been “wasted” and that the Games had become a “disaster” of planning.
“Since our bid there have been many changes post-Covid… construction costs are one of those… so it’s time to take stock,” he said.
Queensland Infrastructure Minister Grace Grace insisted the Olympics were not “dead” in the state and alternative venues would be found.
Since a plan was published in November, it had been hotly debated whether the Gabba should be demolished and rebuilt as a centerpiece of the games.
The Queensland government unveiled a $2.7 billion Gabba redevelopment plan that would see the stadium demolished, rebuilt and taken out of use between 2025 and 2030.
It would also force the AFL and Brisbane cricket to find a new home.
Opponents had called for its reconstruction to be canceled due to rising costs after the plan’s initial $1 billion price tag rose to nearly three times that estimate.
Announcing the review in January, Premier Steven Miles said he hoped the independent process could find better value for money options.
Miles also said he shared concerns expressed by Queenslanders about the level of spending a five-year rebuild would entail.
“Concerns about the cost of some venues have made it a divisive issue in the Queensland community – I want to change that,” Mr Miles said.
State opposition deputy leader Jarrod Bleijie said the LNP’s stance on the Gabba had not changed.
“The Liberal National Party has always maintained that we do not support the complete fall of the Gabba,” he said on Thursday.
“It was a $2.7 billion project with no business case, no financial credibility behind it.”
The Queensland Greens have also called for the entire project to be scrapped, citing the threat the redevelopment plan posed to East Brisbane State School.
“The Greens have been fighting this stupid project for three years, decrying the extreme cost, lack of consultation and the fact that destroying a school and a park for a four-week event is ridiculous,” said Dr Amy MacMahon , South Brisbane MP. she said.
“We will not stop until we hear the Prime Minister say the Gabba redevelopment has been scrapped and East Brisbane State School and Raymond Park are protected.”