KAP Crossbench Motion: Ditch the Olympics, Build Regional North Queensland

Nick Dametto MP, Shane Knuth MP and Robbie Katter MP.

15 February 2024

The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) spearheaded a crossbench motion in State Parliament this week that sought the endorsement of the House to immediately commence the necessary steps to cancel the Brisbane Olympics and redirect the $7 billion of funds towards improving State Government services and infrastructure and nation building projects in regional Queensland.

The KAP’s reputation for out-representing the LNP and being the only political party to stand up and speak out about regional disparities and the importance of unlocking the potential of North Regional Queensland was evident when the LNP sided with Labor to vote down KAP’s motion.

Hinchinbrook MP and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto said the outcome of the motion was inevitable, but it was important for Queenslanders to learn where the priorities of the two major parties stood.

“I had hoped for the sake of Queenslanders, and in light of the upcoming State Election that the LNP would exhibit a broader vision for Regional North Queensland, one that extended far beyond the confines of a single event in south-east Queensland,” Mr Dametto said.

“Reallocating financial resources from the Olympic Games to critical infrastructure initiatives in the regions could catalyse job creation, stimulate investment, and enhance the liveability for present and future residents.

“Blowing $7 billion on the Olympics while people are homeless, nation building infrastructure projects like dams are scrapped, our hospitals aren’t up to scratch, and the Bruce Highway falls apart is bad fiscal policy.

“This State can’t afford the cost blowouts expected from hosting a modern Olympic Games.

“I’d expect this kind of self-indulgent spending from the Labor party but it is now clear that the LNP is just as eager to cut a ribbon on the games opening night while the rest of the State suffers.”

KAP MP for Hill Shane Knuth said the regions had been denied adequate funding for decades.

“When I was first elected 20 years ago, I was amazed when I started coming to Brisbane with all the massive infrastructure projects they had,” Mr Knuth said.

“There were tunnels constructed everywhere and that’s going back 20 years. Now we have a $7 billion Cross River Rail project and all the rest.

“Yet up in the north, one of the few roads connecting the coast to the Tablelands, that shuts more than 40 times every year, can’t be upgraded or get a tunnel to guarantee year-round access for critical freight and transport.

“You have to be delusional if you think these games will benefit the regions, or even Brisbane for that matter.

“Some like to remember the Sydney Olympic Games for all its positives but the reality is we are living in vastly different times to the Sydney 2000 Olympics and in actual fact, it’s been calculated that the net direct cost of the Sydney Olympics (when updated to 2023 prices), was $4.5 billion.”[1]

KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the 2032 Olympics represented gluttony of the highest order which will further entrench the neglect of Queensland’s regions.

“The transfer of public funds needed to stage the Olympics diminishes the government’s capacity to respond to the cost-of-living crisis,” Mr Katter said.

“Across the State people can’t afford to feed their families or put a roof over their heads, and in the north investment and construction is at a standstill.

“Regional Queensland will be frozen in time as everything is syphoned to the south-east for 2032 and the years beyond.”


[1] https://www.vu.edu.au/about-vu/news-events/news/how-can-you-tell-if-hosting-the-olympics-or-commonwealth-games-offers-value-for-money

Nick Dametto MP