DARK AGES DESCEND ON REGIONS AS BRISBANE PARTIES
21 July 2021,
The “dark ages” will descend this evening on North and regional Queensland should Brisbane be successfully awarded the 2032 Olympic Games, Katter’s Australian Party MPs have warned.
KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said fanfare, financial trickery and creative spin was being used by the Palaszczuk Labor Government to justify the $17.8 billion invoice she would essentially deliver to Queenslanders to stage the 2032 event.
Mr Katter said despite the wide-spread reporting that the event would only cost $5.8 billion, and would break even when profits were considered, the true cost to Queensland’s economy would be far greater.
He said it was likely there would be an up to $12 billion spend on “critical” infrastructure, such as the $1 billion re-development of the Gabba, to prepare south-east Queensland to host the Games.
The Federal Government has already committed up to $6 billion to pre-Games infrastructure as part of 50:50 co-contribution funding pool with the Queensland Government.
“The awarding of this event is no great victory for Queenslanders, let alone those of us in North and regional communities who may see an event or two held locally if we’re lucky,” Mr Katter said.
“We are going to experience a government-imposed ‘dark ages’ period over the next decade, which will mean more spending in the south-east and less in the regions; this is already a chronic problem.
“We already have to fight for our fair share of funding for basic infrastructure like roads and health care, let alone the sort of nation-building projects that are essential to building industries, creating jobs and growing regional communities.
“This includes projects like the Bradfield Scheme, the rail line into the Galilee Basin and the widespread expansion of the biofuels industry, and we need this sort of investment more than ever given the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
KAP Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said the Queensland community, including people based in the south-east, were deeply-divided over the local Olympic Games.
He said according to survey results, less than 50 per cent of people supported the event.
“This topic has already divided our state and will certainly continue to do so over the next 10 years,” he said.
“The Premier is hell-bent on having her party, and I expect tonight she will get her wish, however the KAP has no plans to let the regions suffer as a result.
“Regional Queensland should be petrified of what’s set to be a $17.8 billion party in Brisbane and, at the very least, we should be demanding a nation-building off-set fund so that we can continue to develop North and regional Queensland.
“If this isn’t achieved you can almost guarantee there will not be one significant dam, rail line or transmission line built in this state designed to help our essential industries grow.
“We all know mining and agriculture will be the industries footing the bill for the Olympics.”
Mr Dametto said the KAP had sponsored a petition by North Queensland economist and founder of Our Fair Share, Colin Dwyer, calling for the establishment of a nation-building fund to offset negative impacts on regional Queensland of the Games.
The petition is available at: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=3575
A 2020 report by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School found every Games since 1960 had ended up on average 172 per cent over budget.
“With historical cost blow outs like this, is it any wonder Brisbane is the only city to bid to host the Olympics?” asked Mr Dametto.